It may sound as a cross between a fast food joint and a casual diner, but Nandos is nothing of that sort. In fact, this South African fast-casual restaurant chain is part of the fastest growing restaurant category today and is set to foray into India by mid-October, 2005.
Nandos has appointed Indage Hotels as its master franchisee for India, which will enable Indage to open, operate or sub-franchise Nandos restaurants in the country as well as is the custodian of the brand in India.
Speaking about the launch, Srinidhi Rao, CEO, Indage Hotels, said, “The fast-casuals is the fastest growing restaurant category in the world, and for Nandos to enter India is re-emphasing this fact. One needs to understand is that Nandos is not a fast food joint or a casual dining, it is between the two and yet is cheap as compared to the two. Our main aim now is to make the brand relevant to India, and it will reflect in the product, tone of communication and customer experience.”
The company has aggressive expansion plans in India. After Mumbai, Nandos will be launched in Delhi and Bangalore by the end of 2006. It will also explore possibilities of company run outlets, joint ventures and sub-franchised outlets to spread thought out the country.
The restaurant chain has appointed Alok Nanda Communications (ANC) as its creative agency. ANC will start by embarking on a brand building exercise. Worldwide, Nandos’ communication revolves around wit and humour and the ads are funny and highly topical. ANC is expected to continue in a similar vein.
Nandos, being a very ‘experience’ kind of a brand, the restaurant chain’s primary objective is to first get the customer to try the experience. For the first three months, the focus will be on encouraging trials and concentrate on getting people to get used to the taste.
ANC’s Alok Nanda said, “Nandos is a gutsy brand and likes to play off current events and somewhat controversial as well. But in the first phase, we will have to define what they are, and in the next stage we will bring in the take on events – all in a very fun way. The activities will only be below-the-line and on-ground and will start a week before the launch. We will be actively involved in creating the buzz at a very local level within 5 km, as Nandos is a very fun and off-centre brand.”
The first Nandos joint will be opened at Inorbit Mall in Malad in suburban Mumbai. The marketing budget will be 5 per cent of revenue and the aim is to get 600 people every day in the restaurant. By the end of this fiscal, the company plans to open five such joints in Mumbai itself.
Nandos is currently present in 32 countries, India being the 33rd.