Who Founded Nando's? Channel 5's New Doc Is Lifting The Lid On The Peri Peri Kingdom

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It's hard to believe there was a time where Nando's wasn't ruler of the high street food chain roost, but this was indeed the case. This is one of many things explored in a behind-the-scenes programmed based on the history of the Portuguese-inspired chicken house that airs on Channel 5 on Thursday. Of the many questions the show provokes, there's who founded Nando's and just how big is the company these days?

Called Nando's: A PERi PERi Big Success, the one-off special will tell the inside story of the food chain, documenting its expansion from its fast-food roots to table service success via the help of both social media and celebrity endorsements. Who can forget Ed Sheeran's duet with Example which boasted about the latter's legendary black card? Or how the phrase "cheeky Nando's" is so commonly heard, that one can't imagine life without it?

So, in the spirit of documenting Nando's unstoppable rise to success, here's a four point listicle that takes a similar deep dive and dishes out all the facts you want to know about Nando's. But, heed my warning. Reading the listicle may leave you with a "PERi PERi" strong craving for some chicken, Nando's style.

1Who Founded Nando's & Where?

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The first Nando's in the UK opened as a fast-food service in Ealing Common in 1992. However, the first Nando's restaurant in the world was actually opened in Rosettenville in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1987 and was originally called Chickenland, reports PopSugar. It was this restaurant that was visited by Fernando Duarte and his friend Robbie Brozin, who bought Chickenland and renamed it Nando's after Duarte’s son. Thus, a legend was born.

But, as The Caterer reports, it was under the stewardship of Robbie Enthoven, who took over running the restaurants in 1993 after they were acquired by Capricorn Ventures International in 1992, that Nando's grew into what we know it as today.

2How Many Restaurants Does Nando's Have?

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According to fan site Rate Your Nando's, there are 1186 Nando's Restaurants across the globe. This isn't a million miles away fromThe Caterer's report in 2017 that the group had 908 restaurants it owned and 241 franchises in February 2017. The blog estimates that 392 of these are in the UK, 259 are in South Africa and 243 are in Australia, making Australia the country with the highest Nando's restaurant density per population. And, here I was thinking it was the Brits who loved Nando's the most... Also, interestingly, the founders of said blog, James and Marc, will reportedly appear in the Channel 5 documentary, so look out for them.

3How Much Chicken Does Nando's Sell A Day?

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KGB Answers reports that Nando’s serves up more than half a million chickens each week, which means that the chain is serving more than 71,000 chickens to its customers a day, a fact that was also reported by the Daily Mail in 2013. It seems possible that that figure might have changed in the last five years, given the company's expansion. Nevertheless, The Daily Record also reported in 2016 that Nando's is visited by 800,000 people a week in the UK, so you can bet the number of chickens served is seriously high.

4What Is Nando's Social Media Game Like?

Very strong. Indeed, The South African reports that in the UK, Nando’s is the most popular restaurant on Twitter with the most followers. And, with 1.49 million followers of the Nandos UK Twitter feed, it certainly isn't light on customer love. It also has 244,000 Instagram followers and 8,767 subscribers to its YouTube channel. One of the things the restaurant has done incredibly well is engaging with millennials via these platforms. If you go on Twitter at any given time you're likely to find lots of people shouting about how much they love Nando's.

So strong is the company's social media game that in 2015, Americans started getting wind of the chain and wondering exactly what a "Cheeky Nando's" was. As Buzzfeed reported, many Brits were only to happy to oblige with an explanation.

So there you have it. The Nando's success story in a nut shell.

Editor's note: After publication, we discovered this article did not meet our editorial standards. There were portions that did not correctly attribute another source. It has been updated to meet our standards.