Wingstop the US-listed QSR concept, has announced a minority investment in the UK business, which is operated by Lemon Pepper Holdings (LPH).

Wingstop said the investment follows strong performance in the UK and underscores the brand’s confidence in the market as a key growth lever for global expansion.

Wingstop CFO Michael Skipworth said: “We are thrilled to partner with the Lemon Pepper team as they grow their brand presence in the UK, a market with tremendous long-term potential.

“We believe this strategic use of our capital will strengthen the development pipeline in that market and I am excited to join the Lemon Pepper Holdings Board of Directors and play a role in helping achieve the potential for the Wingstop brand in the UK.”

Wingstop entered into a 100-restaurant agreement with LPH in 2017 as the sole franchisee for the UK market.

LPH successfully opened Wingstop’s first restaurant in central London and its portfolio now has a mix of high street, shopping mall and ghost kitchen locations.

LPH was founded by Saul Lewin, Tom Grogan, Herman Sahota and Paddy Bamford.

The UK saw its highest sales growth in 2020 and continued to open seven new locations despite successive national lockdowns.

This investment follows the opening of a new Wingstop restaurant in Reading last month – the first outside of London and one of several planned new openings this year, which will include Manchester, Kingston-upon-Thames, Birmingham Bullring and Bristol.

Wingstop is one of a number of US and global chicken and QSR brands looking to establish themselves in the UK, including Wendy’s, Popeyes and Jollibee.