Our story

How it all began

The Nando’s story started centuries ago, when the Portuguese explorers set sail for the East in search of adventure and the legendary spice route.

The winds of Africa called them ashore and it was there, under the warm sun, in the rich soil that they discovered the African Bird’s Eye Chilli or PERi-PERi. A spice like no other, they used it to create a unique sauce that put fire in their bellies and ignited passion in their souls.

A few hundred years later (in 1987 to be exact), it was the same PERi-PERi sauce that inspired Fernando Duarte to invite his friend Robbie Brozin to a humble Portuguese eatery in the heart of Rosettenville, South Africa to try some mouth-watering PERi-PERi marinated and basted chicken.

It wasn’t just the best chicken Robbie had ever tasted; it was love at first bite!

Picture of Fernando Duarte and Robbie Brozin and the first Nando's restaurant

It was love at first bite!

The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, you can find Nando’s restaurants, our addictive sauces and tasty grocery range right around the world. Whether you’re a first-time visitor, or an old friend, we can’t wait to welcome you and serve you a delicious fix of PERi-PERi!

The legend of the Barcelos Cockerel

This tale dates back to the 14th century, and, like all legends, the details differ depending on who’s doing the telling. Here’s our version.

A pilgrim was passing through the village of Barcelos in Portugal when he was wrongly accused of theft. This was a serious charge for which a guilty verdict meant certain death.

The pilgrim was brought before the town’s judge, who was about to eat a roast cockerel for dinner. Feeling vulnerable in a strange village and knowing what his sorry fate might be, the pilgrim pleaded: “If I am innocent, may that cockerel get up and crow!”

No sooner had he spoken, than the cockerel got up and crowed heartily (well it is a legend!).

With that, the pilgrim was pardoned and allowed to go on his way.

Ever since, the Barcelos Cockerel has been a symbol of faith, justice and good fortune.

Nando’s bites

Want to get a stadium full of mates together for a Nando’s feast? Head to our biggest restaurant in Westfield Stratford in London.

If you want to look up at the tallest building in the world while enjoying your PERi-PERi fix, visit Dubai where you can look skywards at The Burj.

The biggest office block in the world is The Pentagon in Washington DC. Nando’s Arlington Row close by, keeps people that work there fired up!

If you’re going on an expedition to the North or South Pole, your last stops to fuel up on PERi-PERi are Aberdeen in Scotland and Queenstown in New Zealand!

The Nando’s restaurants closest to the equator are in Singapore. Who would have thought that Nando’s could make that part of the world hotter!

The first Nando’s restaurant to welcome in a new day is in Fiji. So if you’re desperate for a PERi-PERi fix, you know where to go.

The northern-most Nando’s restaurant is in Aberdeen, Scotland, where in the winter it’s between -1°C to 8°C. Nothing like PERi-PERi to warm up.

Don’t want to look too far for your Nando’s fix? Then make sure you’re in Melbourne – the city with the most Nando’s restaurants in the world.

Our very first restaurant opened in 1987 in Rosettenville, a suburb of Johannesburg in South Africa. It’s still there to this day.

Escudo. Portuguese for ‘shield’ and the Nando’s seal of quality. You’ll find the Escudo on our packaging and in our restaurants.

Patrão. Portuguese for ‘Head of the House’. At Nando’s, each restaurant manager is the head of their casa, so we call them Patrãos.

Minha casa è sua casa - Portuguese for ‘my home is your home’. We call our restaurants ‘casas’, because we like to make everyone feel at home.

Our biggest artwork was made in Cape Town and installed at Nando’s Kings Cross in London. At 3 x 18m, the award-winning mosaic weighs two tonnes.

Nando’s restaurants in the UK are home to around 3,000 pieces of South African art. That’s about 2 500 more than Tate Britain’s total display!

Nando’s is believed to have the world’s largest contemporary South African art collection. We love it as it reminds us of our roots.

Nando’s has strong African and Portuguese influences. We call it Afro-Portuguese, and it’s expressed in our restaurant designs and our food.

In 2010, we were proud that Nando’s was named best big company to work for in the UK. We reckon it could be because we’re like one big family!

In 2010, we were listed as an Ad Age International Top 30 Global Marketing Brand. To think that our cheeky ads started because of small budgets.

In 2010 we were super proud to win Restaurateur of the Year in the UK. Thanks Nando’s fans, we couldn’t have done it without you!

Nando’s was the 1st South African high street retail brand to go global across 5 continents. (The Portuguese explorers’ influence is in our blood!)

In the hot sauce category, Nando’s is rated Number 1 in the UK and South Africa. Thanks fans for giving us this tasty accolade!

In 1912, an American scientist, Wilbur Scoville invented the Scoville scale to measure a chilli’s heat. At Nando’s we use the PERi-ometer.

The heat of a chilli depends on the amount of capsaicin it contains. Capsaicin is the hot stuff that gives chillies their bite.

Chillies are classified as fruit, but when harvested green, vegetables and harvested ripe, a spice! Huh?! At Nando’s we just call them addictive!

The word PERi-PERi or Pili-Pili is Swahili for the African Bird’s Eye Chilli. At Nando’s we reckon it was named twice because it tastes so nice!

Our marinades and basting sauces are made from 100% natural ingredients. So NO added preservatives, MSG, flavourants or colourants.

Give me another bite