Nando’s Turns 20
Nando’s have become such an integral part of the South African franchise scene that it is easy to overlook that they are with us for just on two decades. Earlier this month, Nando’s celebrated their 20th birthday, and they did so in style.
With typical flamboyancy, they decided to keep all their stores closed for the day and invite their employees ‘ all 6 000 of them ‘ to a party which they will remember for the rest of their lives. Arranging the party was no mean feat in itself but to get all their staff to Johannesburg on time created some logistical challenges of its own. They met the challenge by making use of 20 planes and 100 buses. As an aside, MD Kevin Utian mentioned that 99% of the staffers who came to Johannesburg by plane had never flown before.
Nando’s came into existence in 1987, when Chairman Robbie Brozin acquired a small chicken outlet in Rosettenville, Johannesburg. Today, the brand operates through about 250 stores throughout South Africa and a further 500 or so located in 30 countries throughout the world. South Africa has the largest number of stores, followed by the UK, Australia and New Zealand with about 175 stores each.
Nando’s is well known for its humorous and often slightly controversial advertising campaigns. According to Utian, it is one of only a handful of South African food service companies that have succeeded internationally at such a scale. He attributes this to the fact that at Nando’s, the passion is still alive. They also keep a flat management structure and look after their staff.
Several of Nando’s original employees are still with the company today, and have managed to rise through the ranks, in one instance from sweeper to international trainer.
Happy Birthday, Nando’s, and many you go from strength to strength for many years to come!