A HEREFORDSHIRE businessman who has spent more than 40 years building an empire of KFC franchise restaurants across three counties has just swept the board by being recognised by the global fast-food brand as its number-one UK and Ireland partner for 2023.

Awarded both Partner of the Year and for Operational Excellence, Gerard Nicholas’s franchise group, NNA Ltd, won two of the most prestigious awards in the global brand's latest franchise awards ceremony.

NNA’s Hereford restaurant is at the junction of Commercial Road and Stonebow Road, while it also runs KFC Ross on Wye at Ross Park.

With its head office based in Gloucester's Goodridge Avenue, the franchise contested with 32 other KFC franchise partners to scoop a brace of awards.

KFC franchises are graded on standards such as product quality, speed of service and customer satisfaction, and NNA's restaurants are ranked among the very best in the UK.

For its operational excellence criteria, KFC recognised NNA's restaurants for their day-to-day operations such as meeting and exceeding food safety and, health and safety standards, outstanding cooking procedures, store cleanliness and investment on up-to-date décor.


A KFC spokesperson said: "We are very proud of Gerard Nicholas and NNA Ltd, our Gloucester-based franchise partner. Their unwavering commitment to excellence has rightly earned them the titles of Partner of the Year and Operational Excellence at our recent franchise awards ceremony.

"For over 40 years, NNA's restaurants have consistently upheld our high standards, from product quality to customer satisfaction. Their dedication to our brand and consistently going above and beyond for our loyal fans, makes them an invaluable member of our franchise community."

With outlets beyond Herefordshire in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Evesham and Cirencester, the owner of the family-run business said he was proud at the accolade arriving just as NNA marks its 42nd year.

Ledbury Reporter: (L-R) Suseema Bakmeedeniya, George Pritchard, Tanuj Sharma, Andy Chambers, Gerard Nicholas, Rajesh Kaparthi, Anitha Bojja and Triveni Mingi outside the group's Quedgeley branch(L-R) Suseema Bakmeedeniya, George Pritchard, Tanuj Sharma, Andy Chambers, Gerard Nicholas, Rajesh Kaparthi, Anitha Bojja and Triveni Mingi outside the group's Quedgeley branch (Image: NNA Ltd)

Mr Nicholas said: "I began my career working in a KFC in London in Camberwell Green, back in 1975 where I met my wife, Martina. In 1982, we came to Cheltenham to open our first KFC restaurant on the High Street and, after that success, went on in 1990 to open our second restaurant on Westgate Street, in Gloucester.

"By building carefully, the rest have all followed from those early days, always investing in the business and the people as we went along,"

He added: "It has been hard work, but we have been blessed to have such a great team around us, many have been with us for a very long time and have also moved up into senior positions. We couldn't thank all the staff enough for their hard work and dedication and these awards are testimony to team work and the values that we endeavour to instil within NNA ltd.”

Competition for KFC's top awards is a tightly fought affair, with 32 partners attending the latest annual ceremony in London to discover the results. Between these partners and alongside its own directly-run restaurants, KFC now operates over 1,000 retail outlets across the UK and Ireland, of which 86 per cent are in England.