Can I just shock you? I don’t like Nando’s.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the two blokes behind the concept are absolute miracle workers. Up there with the David Blaines and Dynamos of this world, they’ve wittingly managed to dupe millions of people into thinking that it’s ok to pay the best part of a Pavarotti (tenner) for what is effectively, chicken and chips.
And I admire the way in which they’ve done it too. They’ve created a story that everybody has bought into. Behind every great brand is a story and this one is that of peri peri chicken. The bird’s eye chilli or pili pili was introduced to the Portuguese settlers by the Native Africans. Finding it a bit of a mouthful to say, they renamed it peri peri and began adding it to all of their food. And in the same way that the Africans shared it with the Portuguese, Nando’s shares it with the world. With over a thousand restaurants globally Nando’s now has a righteous place in the top 30 of worldwide brands.
What Nando’s does best is empower the customer. Chicken the way you like it: You pick your marinade; you get your drink; you grab your cutlery; hey you can even choose your Nando’s sauce. So you’re doing most of the work and paying for the privilege. But for some reason, that’s good. That’s what you like.
And in making you the protagonist of this story it has created a formidable brood of PR battery hens that spread the word on its behalf. How many people do you know that tweet or update their Facebook status about going for a “cheeky” Nando’s as if it’s a visit to one of the world’s wonders? And it’s not just the uneducated or people of a certain social status – we’re talking everybody, from all walks of life. Poor people, lay people, well-to-do people, celebrity people and some very affluent people that have no doubt eaten in some of the world’s finest and most expensive restaurants. I’m beginning to think I’m the only kind of people that doesn’t get it.