Published: 13:57, 28 September 2021
| Updated: 14:00, 28 September 2021
Nando's has become the newest addition to the town's multi-million pound regeneration scheme.
The popular eatery opened its doors to the public last Thursday after months of delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It joins the recently opened The Light cinema, Sentado Lounge and Travelodge in Bournce Place, Sittingbourne, which is part of the town's Spirit of Sittingbourne plans.
Nando's will be able to open its doors to 100 diners inside its new restaurant, as well as 12 outside seats, and has created 40 new jobs for the area.
Originally planned to open early last year plans were hit on hold as the country reacted to the coronavirus pandemic.
But after more than a year, it has welcomed customers through its doors for the first time, and been described as a "great addition" to the town.
Swale council's Cllr Monique Bonney said: “We’re excited to welcome Nando’s to Sittingbourne – I know a lot of people have been waiting for this. The restaurant is another great addition to the town and shows that businesses know Sittingbourne is a great place to invest.
'Nando’s arrival is fantastic news for Sittingbourne...'
“Nando’s have waited patiently throughout the pandemic, and we are incredibly grateful to them for changing their original plans to accommodate The Light cinema and bowling alley.
"Together with the other businesses in Bourne Place, they have significantly improved the leisure offer in the town centre.”
A spokesman for the Spirit of Sittingbourne added: “Nando’s arrival is fantastic news for Sittingbourne. As well as providing much-loved delicious and affordable food, the restaurant adds to the growing leisure offer in Bourne Place, which is fast becoming an entertainment hub for residents and visitors alike.”
While council leader Roger Truelove said: “The pandemic created a great deal of uncertainty in the hospitality sector, with many brands choosing not to open new sites.
"We have worked hard to make sure Nando’s recognise the opportunities Sittingbourne offers, and they chose the town as one of the sites did want to open, and I am confident it will be a success for them.”
A survey completed by U+I - which is a part of the project alongside Quinn Estates and Swale council - predicted a "post pandemic boost" for Sittingbourne as reisdents are "likely to continue to spend more time and money locally".
Of the 250 people surveyed, results showed 50% of people have shopped locally more often than since working from home.