NANDO’S PERi-PERi TO HEAT UP CHICAGO WITH SPICY FLAME-GRILLED CHICKEN
CHICAGO, November 12, 2014 – Nando’s PERi-PERi, the South African-Portuguese restaurant
known worldwide for its spicy flame-grilled chicken, is spreading its wings to Chicago! In its
first major expansion since moving to the U.S. six years ago, Nando’s will be opening three new
restaurants in Chicago starting in spring 2015.
“After conducting exhaustive market research in major U.S. cities, and reviewing thousands of
social media posts from Nando’s fans all over the country asking us to move to their town, we
have selected Chicago as our own Second City,” announced Burton Heiss, CEO of Nando’s PERi-
PERi USA. “We will no longer deny the good people of Chicago their Nando’s fix.”
Nando’s, which operates restaurants in 23 nations from Australia to Zimbabwe, first moved
to the United States in 2008. It set up shop in Washington, DC, and since then has opened 20
restaurants in and around the nation’s capital and Baltimore.
From the earliest days, rabid fans from across the country have urged Nando’s to open in their
hometowns. Nando’s listened and, in October, invited its legions of Facebook friends and Twitter
followers to help select Nando’s second major U.S. metropolitan area. “We’re exploring new
PERi-tory. Tell us if your city is ready to play with fire,” Nando’s posted. Thousands took
to Facebook to lobby for their hometowns.
The response from Facebook fans in Chicago was epic:
• “Chicago! Peri-Peri heat would make winters a bit more bearable.”
• “OMG, please come to Chicago!”
• “Chicago definitely!!! I’ve been a huge fan of Nando’s since 94…”
• “Chicago has been booming with fried chicken places - the right grilled chicken place with the right sauces would crush it, just sayin…”
Nando’s had already been considering Chicago and a handful of other major cities. But the Facebook love pushed the Windy City to the top of the list.
Starting next spring, Nandocas, or Nando’s employees, will be firing up their grills at a new restaurant in Chicago’s West Loop. In the months to follow, Nando’s will open two more locations, in Chicago’s storied Lincoln Park and Lake View neighborhoods.
PERi-PERi, or African Bird’s Eye Chili, is the heart and soul of the Nando’s experience. “We marinate our chicken in PERi-PERi for at least 24 hours, so the flavor goes right through to the bone,” Heiss explained. “Then we grill it over an open flame it and baste it to our customers’ preferred spice. That’s what makes our chicken so addictive.”
The devotion of Nando’s customers has become legendary. There’s the super-fan who is on his way to dining at all 1,100 stores worldwide. The 3.1 million Facebook likes and fan-boy tweets (“Nando’s will cater my wedding, children’s christening and funeral”). And even the (sometimes awkwardly placed) Nando’s tattoos.
Nando’s has built such a loyal following by providing fresh, uniquely spicy food in a relaxed atmosphere with friendly service. Every Nando’s is painstakingly designed and detailed, with earthy textures and bright colors that reflect its sunny African-Portuguese heritage. With thousands of pieces of original works of art that are a constant reminder of where the restaurant came from, Nando’s has become the largest collector of South African contemporary art in the world. Ranging from oil paintings and sculptures to beadwork and weaving, the Nando’s collection gives undiscovered and emerging artists from diverse social and economic backgrounds the opportunity to display their work around the globe.
Chicago, we can’t wait to say, “Minha casa é sua casa.” Our home is your home.
Seven Oaks Media Group