A people-first, chicken-second kind of place: An interview with Nando’s SA CEO

It was 11:00 on a Friday when we made our way to the Nando’s Central Kitchen in Lorentzville. Not native Jo’burgers, we questioned the accuracy of Google maps as it led us through a myriad of twists and turns. Rounding a corner, we saw the recognisable red and black of the Nando’s brand and very audibly breathed a sigh of relief – we were indeed at the right place.

We made our way into the building and were immediately taken by the beautiful, creative office space: art hanging against every wall (all original pieces), beautifully handmade chairs, and statement pieces in almost every room. The vibrant, positive energy in the building was contagious and we soon found that our fatigue had miraculously subsided. We were excited to be there.

The Nando’s story is a remarkable one. It all started with peri-peri chicken in a small restaurant in Rosettenville three decades ago and has since grown into a global brand. We chatted to Mike Cathie, CEO of Nando’s SA, who told us more about the Nando’s journey, its heritage and plans for the future.

Get the latest edition of Top 500 to read the full interview. Email Ingrid.Johnstone@topco.co.za to order your copy.

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