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For longer than we’ve had democracy Nando’s has travelled the world with its delicious flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken, and is found in over 1000 homes worldwide. But when they talk about taking Southern African pieces all around the globe, they’re not just speaking about chicken!
Not only does the brand have a passion for its Afro-Portuguese flavour and flair, but it is deeply inspired by the African aesthetic and spirit. It’s this passion, and purposeof changing lives that has brought about the marriage of the best chicken and great South African art, design, and music.
Despite the economic need for a lean supply chain, Nando’s has actively invested in design and art programmes by partnering with young designers, artists, and musicians.These partnerships, in collaboration with Yellowwood and The Spier Arts Trust, take the shape of various projects, as well as development and mentorship programmes that seek to support local artists and promote work that is both inspiring and of a world-class standard in terms of production planning, compliance, quality control, capacity building and all the aspects of running a business profitably.
Artists such as Thabiso Mjo of Mash T-Design and Candice Lawrence of Modern Gesture, who’ve participated in the designer development initiatives such as the Hot Young Designer Competition, have been provided with various platforms to showcase their work internationally, and have been supported through mentorship to scale their businesses to world-class standards.They have, along with about 350 artists on a regular basis, enjoyed the benefits of mentorship from various business and design experts to improve all aspects of commercializing their art.
Business, though, is only part of it: it is the heart of South African creativity that drives the brand. From cross-over projects that see musicians from different countries and backgrounds uniting to create hybrid styles and sounds in the Music Exchange programme, to the Nando’s Design Portal (an online platform that connects global markets and local designers directly),the brand is committed to handing a megaphone to the creative voices of the continent.
The deliberate investment in these artists and designers works on multiple levels: it creates a conscious and mindful value chain that benefits not only business (the company’s as well as the artists’ and designers’) but the art and design community overall. It has allowed the brand to showcase quality pieces from talented South African artisans to the world through its network of international restaurants, at the same time as building a culture of responsible and authentic business practices – which, realistically, isn’t the easiest route for a business to take, but, as Nando’s has found,is 100 percent worth it.
Infusing creativity into the Nando’s brand through art, design and music has always been an integral part of who they are – they take this pretty seriously. So, back in 2001 when considering what was next for the look and feel of their restaurants, the direction was clear: unique, inspiring and beautiful restaurants that would make guests feel at home. To date, Nando’s has acquired and showcased more than 21 000 pieces of contemporary Southern African art in approximately 1200 restaurants in over 20 countries across the globe – a scale equaled only by their passion for South African creatives. By displaying this amazing art and design in their restaurants,they give guests who visit a truly unique experience.
So next time you’re in a Nando’s restaurant waiting for your order or enjoying your favourite flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken,take a look around and admire the unique South African hospitality, art and design – Proudly taken from South Africa to the world!