A staggering 300 people have applied for jobs at a premium burger restaurant as an American chain prepares to opens its first UK franchise here in Chester.

Diners will soon be enjoying gourmet steak burgers, hand-cut fries and hand-dipped milk shakes at Steak ‘n Shake in Frodsham Street, whether eating in or taking away.

Husband and wife team Barry and Sarah Bellamy have invested in the venture which will operate from premises formerly occupied by the M&S menswear store.

Recruitment signs have now appeared in the window although most of the 40 available positions are now filled.

Sarah said: “We have had quite a few applications, probably a couple of hundred, maybe more – probably about 300.”

Training starts this week.

Steak n Shake in Frodsham Street, Chester, is opening on Saturday, December 10.

And Sarah confirmed the opening of the company’s first UK outlet had now been moved forward to Saturday, December 10.

Steak ‘n Shake, known for its freshly cooked high end burgers, has a cult following in the States but is now expanding into Europe.

The Chester restaurant owners are promising a ‘wow’ interior with all meals cooked to order with fresh ingredients and at a price that ‘won’t break the bank’.

Steak ‘n Shake was founded in 1934 by Gus Belt who converted a gas station and chicken restaurant in Normal, Illinois, into a hamburger stand.

Today the company employs 20,000 people at more than 500 restaurants of which the majority are company-operated but many are franchised. Today the major shareholder in the business is American entrepreneur Sardar Biglari, who owns Maxim magazine.

The company has an international development team headquartered in Monaco who are masterminding the expansion across Europe and the Middle East, with Steak ‘n Shake restaurants now open in France and Italy.