My proudest Nando’s moment was when I, as the only girl, played in the PERi-PERi Football Cup and we won. It felt amazing when I returned to the restaurant and my face was up on the computer screen for months.
Today, there are over 410 Nando’s restaurants in the UK and Ireland, but our story starts long before the first UK restaurants opened here in the West London suburb of Ealing. It’s a story of discovery, passion and ambition. It’s an evolving story too, so while we always look back on where we’ve come from with pride, it’s where we’re going next that really gets us excited. Have a read for yourself and see if you agree.
What’s happened so far
PERi-PERi is the heart and soul of Nando’s. Its story is our story. For centuries the people of Southeast Africa have used PERi-PERi to bring fire to their food. It is in Mozambique’s rich soil and blistering sunshine that the African Bird’s Eye Chilli grows into its fiery best. When Portuguese explorers arrived there, they were enchanted by its flavour. They added a squeeze of lemon and a kick of garlic and turned PERi-PERi into a very well-travelled spice. Which is how, many years later it ended up in Rosettenville, Johannesburg.
One afternoon in 1987, two friends went for lunch at a humble Portuguese eatery. As their meal drew to a close, they knew they’d tasted something that had to be shared. PERi-PERi was about to make one more journey – from Rosettenville to the world.
Fernando Duarte & Robbie Brozin get stuck into PERi-PERi marinated chicken in Johannesburg and decide never to let go.
The first UK Nando's opens in Ealing Common. It actually opened as a take-away, and if we're being totally honest, didn't really work.
Robbie had a dream to make Nando's the greatest place to work. So what did he do? Hired an HR Director when there were only 5 restaurants open.
By now we've realised that Nando's was made for restaurants, not take-aways. So when the Putney restaurant opened, we added plates and cutlery.
Nando's is recognised as an Investor In People (IIP).
The one-millionth bottle of PERi-PERi sauce is produced. Hot!
Nando's UK opens its 40th restaurant. We realise we're on a bit of a roll now.
The start of Nando's South African Art collection. We now have over 5,000 pieces.
Streatham becomes the 100th restaurant to open in the UK & Ireland. In the same year that Facebook launched. Kind of makes us feel old.
We open in Westfield Stratford. Just in time for the London 2012 Olympics. That's good planning.
The 300th UK Nando's opens in Trowbridge. And the Royal Baby says waaa.
Kanye creates a frenzy by jumping up and down on the tables in our London O2 restaurant, just an hour ahead of his appearance at the BRIT Awards.
We launch the Nando's Facebook Careers page.
One of our Cambridge restaurants becomes fully sustainable.
Our future king Prince William, reveals he has a soft spot for Nando's.
Watch this space...
Our way of working
Our main aim is to simply create memorable experiences for everyone who has a bit (or a lot) of Nando’s in their life – our customers, communities, founders and suppliers. In fact, it’s everyone we work with. How do we do it? Good question.
It really comes down to the fact that we genuinely care for one another. It’s more than just a job we come to every day. We want everyone in our family to be happy and succeed, so we keep an eye out for each other, inspire each other and celebrate with each other.
Our informal approach to work means we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and that everyone can be true to themselves. Who we are at work is who we are at home.
Since the very beginning, our values have been our guiding light. Pride, passion, courage, integrity and most of all family, are the 5 things we live and breathe, every day.
Everyone at Nando’s has their own story relating to one or more of our values…
The value of pride and passion
My restaurant family was there to support me all the way when my Dad passed away. They’d keep asking me how I was coping and if I needed any help with anything.The value of family
As I moved to London from Poland, I didn’t know anyone here, let alone the language that well. Nando’s took me under their wing. It felt like a second home with a new family especially at times when I’d feel home sick.The value of courage and family
I joined Nando’s with a hotel background. It was a bit of a struggle to really get into the mindset of Nando’s. My MD, instead of giving me the boot, supported me all the way until I was ready to proceed on my own. Just like her MD had once done for her.The value of courage and integrity