It’s emerged as a takeaway favourite and restaurant of choice among a whole generation of diners, but have you ever wondered what life is really like behind the scenes at Nando’s?
The first branch of Nando’s, the popular South African chicken restaurant chain familiar to millions, opened way back in 1992.
Since then Nando’s has been busy steadily taking over high streets up and down the land with its familiar brand of chargrilled chicken.
But what goes on behind the scenes at the popular chain could leave you shocked, surprised and maybe even a little disappointed.
Now a former Nando’s employee has stepped forward to reveal what goes on behind the scenes as part of an interview with the Leicester Mercury – here are nine of the biggest revelations.
It’s Not Organic
Nando’s might seem super-healthy compared to chicken-based fast food rivals like KFC, but that’s not exactly accurate. For one thing, Nando’s chicken is not organic and actually arrives at the restaurant pre-marinated.
The cooking process is a bit more complicated too – chicken starts off by being cooked in a combi oven before before stored in a hot drawer until order. Only then is it added to the grill, where it is cooked for a couple of minutes before serving. At least there’s no risk of it being undercooked.
Ever felt like you’ve had Nando’s chips someone else before? You might – McCain supply all of Nando’s chips. That means that if you are looking to recreate this part of the Nando’s experience at home, all you need are some McCain’s and a bit of peri peri salt for good measure.
Sides like macho peas may seem fresh enough but they are actually frozen. Every day, someone is tasked with thawing them out and portioning them up.
Macho peas aren’t the only item to be delivered in frozen form either – it’s the same for pitta breads, vegetarian burgers and cakes.
Those looking to enjoy the best value for money when it comes to their chicken would be better off asking for chicken breast rather than a leg or wing. You get way more meat – so make sure to request it, specifically, when ordering.
While chicken breast offers the best value for money, at the other end of the scale, Nando’s workers reckon olives represent the worst value with staff told to only add just one layer of olives to each ramekin. That amount to about eight or nine olives which are bulked out with pieces of garlic, too.
You know that whole trick of asking for tap water and then using the glass to top up on drinks from the soft drink dispenser? Yeah, Nando’s staff are wise to that. In fact, they are told to keep a close eye out for customers trying this little trick – they will be confronted and most likely charged for their trickery.
If you really want to piss off the staff, try ordering the chicken livers. They are widely regarded as the worst thing to cook in the kitchen by the people that work there. Mainly because they stink the entire place out.
Apparently there are some guys out there who think the way to win over a date is to show a penchant for spicy food – even if they can’t actually handle the spice for real.
These deluded fools have been known to order their meal with lemon and herb – the mildest spice level – only to then ask for an extra hot sticker to be placed on it instead to impress their date. Well, that or ensure they don’t steal any of their food.
The Black Card Is Real
The myth of the Black Card – a special card that grants you free Nando’s for life – has been doing the rounds for years. But it is a real thing, usually handed out to celebrities willing to promote the brand online, with holders including Rio Ferdinand, Vernon Kaye and Reggie Yates.
For more info on all things Nando’s check out our breakdown of all the incredible secret menu options available to customers now.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.