Queues at KFC's long-awaited new Chippenham branch appear to have died down, after a "nightmare" launch last week.

After a shaky start - where waiting times of three hours were reported - by yesterday lunchtime the drive-thru section of the restaurant appeared to be running smoothly.

The eat-in operation, however, appeared to be shut for the time being.

The company’s reputation to deliver “fast” food took a kicking on Facebook over the weekend as KFC fans complained about three-hour queues, poor staff training, food allegedly dropped on the floor and that the takeaway closed the kitchen the day after it opened.

KFC Chippenham was due to open in March, but the opening was delayed to May, when a spokesman said it would be “very soon”, which turned out to be a not-very-soon opening of last Friday.

Although the restaurant planned to have car parking for 50 vehicles, that appears to have been insufficient for the demand, as before 9pm on KFC’s opening day, Facebook followers of The Real Shout Out Calne group were told: “Just a heads-up before you waste your time. KFC in Chippenham is closed because there’s too many cars, they've shut the kitchen.”

The post sparked a litany of complaints from fans of finger-licking.

A KFC spokesperson said: “What a week! It’s been a long time coming but KFC in Chippenham is now open and already a huge hit with local fried chicken fans.

"We’ve had a really busy start over the past few days so we’re sorry if everyone’s experience wasn’t quite up to the Colonel’s standards – that’s the last thing we want.

"We’ve already got 30 new team members going above and beyond behind the fryers and we’re on the lookout for another 40 to join them in the coming weeks. The restaurant’s opening times is currently 11am till 8pm."