I was in November 2012 that Nando’s, the South African casual dining restaurant, started dishing out its ‘chicken and chips’ cuisine in New Delhi from its Vasant Kunj outlet, the first in NCR. Since then the restaurant has seen an incessant queue of people trying to get their hands on the group’s legendary chicken and its range of trademark sauces, dispensed freely tableside. While the debut outlets of brands like Starbucks had a similar influx of consumers, they subsequently ebbed. Nando’s continues to ride the waves, not least because till very recently, it was the brand’s sole outlet in the region. Nando’s recently opened at a second location in Cyber Hub, Gurgaon, and the demand for their peri-peri continues to be red hot.
“Nando’s has a great brand presence in the UK, Australia, Dubai and Singapore, which are four of the top destinations visited by Indians. When they come back from their holiday or business trip, they tend to recall the Nando’s brand and experience. Plus, Nando’s enjoys a lot of celebrity endorsement, right from Lady Gaga tweeting about how much she loves Nando’s chicken,” said Deepinder Batth, India spokesperson for Nando’s, and CEO of Janpath Restaurants, which is the group’s territorial franchisee. The restaurant chain is famous for its peri-peri chicken (available in halves, quarters and butterflied breasts), skewers, spicy rice dishes and, of course, their proprietary sauces.
“The Delhi story has given the corporate office in South Africa a lot of confidence in India. We selected DLF Promenade in Vasant Kunj because of the well-travelled and informed clientele it gave us access to. It was also a great big space on a single floor, which allowed us to employ our theatre kitchen to full effect, an advantage some of the other outlets in other parts of the country haven’t been able to get,” says Batth, adding that he and his team visited 117 sites over six months before finally picking the Vasant Kunj space. Emboldened by Delhi’s success, the group plans to open eight-ten more outlets in NCR by 2017-18, and 30-32 more pan-India. Apart from the space element, Delhi will be a key market, given that “spicy chicken and Delhi doesn’t require a lot of math”.
The group emphasises on “really fast casual dining with maximised efficiency and service”, given the high volume of customers. “Our supply chain is split into three major segments: intellectual property, which includes Nando’s sauces