Fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken is to create 9,000 jobs in an expansion plan worth £150 million.

Over the next three to five years the company will open 300 new restaurants to add to its 760 outlets in the UK. Each of these will employ between 25 and 40 people.

Consumers’ increasing appetite for cheaper food during the recession has helped KFC to increase its sales and market share over the past year, according to its chief executive, Martin Shuker.

He told the Times: “There aren’t many companies [that] can be so positive in this market. We are delighted to be able to announce this significant investment in the UK. Our growth strategy demonstrates the strong demand from our customers.”

The company already employs 22,000 people in the UK.