A global fast food chain has had a grand opening in a Kent town centre today.
Taco Bell opened its store in Maidstone, officially becoming the second branch in the county.
Reporters Ben Austin and Cara Simmonds went to Week Street to check out the new arrival.
Not fazed by the sleet and snow, manager Tiji Thomas opened the doors to find a queue of customers this morning.
Mr Thomas said: "We were looking at multiple places to find the right location in town. The KFC down the road belongs to us as well. We were happy to find the right place here.
"We looked around a lot of places in the UK, but we chose Maidstone because you have the shopping centre nearby and the public footpath, so we will have a lot of coverage all the time.
"Customers can expect great service, and as a brand we want to deliver the best service they expect from us."
The Mexican-inspired fast food restaurant came to the UK in 2010 and currently operates 87 restaurants.
This Taco Bell is part of the Fremlin Walk ownership and has replaced Bill's restaurant, which shut in 2020 due to Covid-19.
Both Maidstone residents and Taco Bell fans arrived for the store's grand opening, many delighted to grab a burrito or two.
Elliott Manford, a business owner from Maidstone, said: "I work here and it saves going to Chatham every day to go to Taco Bell."
A group of students said they were big Taco Bell fans, with one saying: "We literally came to town just for the Taco Bell!
"We saw they were giving away free T-shirts as well and you get a free taco.
"I think it’s nice to have more fast food options in town, all the other places are just pretty much in the same direction.
"You have the generic ones like KFC and McDonald’s, but this is a bit different."
Another said: "It’s a really good first experience and it's even better as we were one of first people here.
"It’s a total claim to fame – everyone is going to be so jealous when we say we were one of the first to go to Taco Bell, and we also have a Taco Bell's T-shirt.
"They actually had a go at us for coming in too early when the door was open, we were so excited.
"We had already started our order, so we were technically the first people to order at Taco Bell!"
From burritos to quesadillas, even churros dipped in chocolate, Taco Bell serves a wide range of Mexican-inspired fast food.
Not wanting to miss out, we ordered our own, going for the 'Regular Chalupa Supreme Meal', which consisted of two tacos filled with beef, lettuce, tomato and sour cream.
It also came with seasoned fries and a fizzy drink, totalling £5.99.
Fremlin Walk centre manager, Lloyd Wright, said: “We’re delighted that Taco Bell is finally open in Fremlin Walk, and wish the new team a warm welcome to the centre.
"There was a real buzz around the opening this morning, with a queue of customers eager for their first Taco Bell Maidstone experience.
“The good news doesn’t stop here either. We’ll soon be able to announce even more exciting new retailers at Fremlin Walk.”