A CHICKEN restaurant chain is spreading its wings to open a new branch in Eastleigh.

Roosters Piri Piri is poised to create 18 jobs when it unveils its first outlet in Eastleigh later this year.

The restaurant – based in High Street – will be its 50th branch in Britain and its eighth new shop in the last four months alone.

Director for Roosters Piri Piri, Khalit Mirza, confirmed to the Daily Echo that, subject to planning approval, the company will sign a lease to move into 32 High Street in Eastleigh.

Currently, the company is waiting to hear from Eastleigh Borough Council as to whether their application to change the use of the site from a vacant retail outlet to a restaurant is approved.

If it is then the company is planning a recruitment campaign to hire a range of positions from managers to customer service and kitchen workers.

He said: “We have been looking at Eastleigh as a potential location to open a new premises for a while now.

“When planning consent is gained, we hope to open our new restaurant ten weeks afterwards.

“We are trying to give high quality food at affordable prices differentiating ourselves from our competitors.”

The company launched its debut in Hampshire restaurant on Portswood Road in Southampton in 2011, 18 years after setting up its first branch in Ealing Broadway in 1993 and originally prided themselves as an “upmarket kebab shop”.

They have grown to a major player in London and the South East, challenging the huge chicken giant Nandos.

The news was also welcomed by Eastleigh MP Mims Davies and council leader Keith House as part of the regeneration of Eastleigh town centre which will help keep Eastleigh vibrant.