The co-owners of a Hitchin restaurant and takeaway have discussed their plans for a new eatery, after an application was submitted for Stevenage.

The Comet spoke with Sanjay and Rishi Chandarana at Hitchin's Peckers yesterday (Thursday, January 11).

The brothers submitted plans to Stevenage Borough Council for a new Peckers in Unit 3, Kenilworth Close, last month (December 2023).

The pair expressed the excitement of opening a new restaurant just 11 months after launching the Hitchin site.

Rishi said: "We see Stevenage as a town which has a lot of potential and it doesn't have a huge amount of options (for similar chicken restaurants).

The Comet: The proposed layout of Peckers, Stevenage.The proposed layout of Peckers, Stevenage. (Image: Peckers / Stevenage Borough Council)

"Stevenage really comes to mind because of the two Budgens stores that we have just outside in Watton and Walkern.

"The thing they've always said is that they lack a good quality takeaway. So we felt that we could bring the Peckers brand into Stevenage."

Asked why Kenilworth Close was chosen as the area for the new Peckers, Rishi cited the community spirit in the areas that they serve.

He continued: "We like being part of a community, that's the big thing with our stores. 

"Even with Peckers in Hitchin, we chose not to go in the town centre because of our affiliation with this local area.

"It means that you are more intertwined with the community, that's a big thing for us.

The Comet: Peckers would be located at the former Unit 3, Kenilworth Close, Stevenage.Peckers would be located at the former Unit 3, Kenilworth Close, Stevenage. (Image: Google Maps)

"The children that come in here, they may only have a fiver but they share.

"A lot of my memories come from when they all come in, there's ten of them, and they buy three portions of chips and they share.

"Obviously, we'll chuck in a couple for free."

The pair touched upon their plans for moving into town centres in the future, but reaffirmed that small communities were the focus for the time being.

Rishi added: "I think we will go into town centres in the future, if we look at St Albans it would have to be in the city centre.

"It is because we have such a deep knowledge of Hitchin and Stevenage, and these local towns, that we know that if we place here we can still deliver to five or six villages within a five minute drive."

Rishi added: "Every store is going to be different, but its about keeping a good rapport with our customers.

"We have a lot of friends there, so its - touch wood - going to be plain sailing, but you never know in business."


The duo explained how they aim to sit in the gap between fast-food stores like McDonalds and KFC, and high quality restaurants which take longer to serve their food.

"There is a gap in the market," Rishi continued.

"You have McDonalds, and then you have your more premium sites.

"We slot right in the middle. We still hope to have the quality of food, but by delivering the product as quickly as McDonalds."