The planned expansion comes four years after the company opened a temporary storefront in Reading, a town west of London, in 2019.
LGBTQ activists and supporters protested the company’s arrival due to comments made by former Chick-fil-A CEO Dan T. Cathy regarding same-sex marriage in 2012.
In the past, Chick-fil-A has also faced criticism for its donations to Christian organizations, such as the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which have expressed opposition to gay rights.
In 2019, the company announced it would give money to charities that focused on “education, homelessness and hunger and expanded its partnerships with Junior Achievement, Covenant House and local food banks,” USA Today reported.
The company no longer donates money to the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes but still received backlash online for making those donations at all.
The mall hosting the temporary store announced that the shop’s lease won’t be expended beyond six months, shortly after it opened, Berkshire Live reported.
As part of its new expansion plan, Chick-fil-A plans to invest $100 million in the U.K. over the next decade and plans to open restaurants in Asia by 2026.
The company currently has more than 2,800 restaurants across the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, a news release said.