Why I really hate Nando’s


“Lunch today with the family?”A text I received last week from my aca­demic father. What to do? With exams all this week, I was going to decline a weekday restaurant meal, but the fact that I had recently neglected the “fam­ily” made me think otherwise. I wish I hadn’t.

Whereabouts for lunch, I asked. “Nando’s at 12,” came the reply. To say that this ruined my day would be an understatement. I hate Nando’s with a passion. I bit my tongue as I reluctantly dragged my feet towards Market Street.

As I slowly crept forward, I was calculating how many alcoholic bev­erages I was sacrificing for an over­priced, glamourised KFC. Roughly 4.6 vodka and cokes! I tried to take my mind off this factoid and started to dream about a scenario where the en­tire academic family somehow all can­celled at the last minute, simultane­ously. That way I could run back home and recover from the post-traumatic stress of nearly being subjected to the strange ambience of a South African-meets-Portuguese environment.

To my utter dismay, everyone turned up on time. Disaster. As we entered the building I tried to avoid all eye contact with staff. The words “Have you ever been to Nando’s be­fore, guys?” from the waiter sting my inner cochlea. I had to answer, quite truthfully: “Yes, twice unfortunately.”

My answer would have been yes regardless of whether I’d been before or not: anything to avoid the drivel about how Nandos is best-known for its wonderful, fantastical and incredu­lous fusion of peri-peri sauce smeared all over a fowl. I look around, as we’re being escorted to our culinary death, at all the happy, innocent and naive in­dividuals, paying a hugely overpriced bill for nothing other than cheap, bad quality, battery farmed chicken.

Looking at the menu I truly was shaken to the core, discovering that a chicken fillet wrap with no side is £7 or that a whole chicken is £12. The serv­ice would have been farcical, if there had been any service. They don’t even put out your cutlery and serviettes!

Here is a lesson in economics: one whole chicken, cooked with a lemon and herb seasoning in Morrisons: £3. The cost of getting there (on foot or by car): 50p. Is the experience of sitting down in a horribly designed chamber  and having your food brought to you for an extra £8.50?

My meal finally graces the table after a long wait – all £13.50 of it. A chicken burger and a measly side of chips, seemingly oven baked rather than freshly fried. I suffered through the experience, each bite worse than the last. At every open and close of my mandible I had horrible nightmares as to what the directors would be doing with their £11.02 profit, courtesy of yours truly. A cocktail in Monaco, a meal in London, a seminar on value for money? Most certainly not the latter.

It is not that I am opposed to busi­nesses making money off of me; I’m not. I am a staunch capitalist. I love business and money. There is a distinc­tion, though, between “good” profit and “bad” profit. If I make money off you by ripping you off and giving you a subpar experience, this is classed as bad profit regardless of how much money I make. The fact that you may have purchased my services makes no difference, as you realised the experi­ence was not up to standard and thus will not be giving me money again in the long term.

To truly flourish, a company must really show value for money and ex­cellent service – always. I feel strongly that Nandos falls short of this, by a long shot.

There are two good things about Nando’s, both of which occur at the end of your meal. The first: you have already paid for your meal at the be­ginning and can run out of the build­ing quickly and discreetly. The second: you get to leave and never (hopefully) have to come back.

The views expressed in this article do not represent the views of The Saint, but an individual’s opinion.


  1. Is this written by the same Gabriel Ross who ‘Likes’ Domino’s Pizza on Facebook? And yet he thinks–calculating by cost of raw ingredients–that Nando’s is overpriced and low quality? At least we know Gabriel ‘Likes’ irony.

  2. Oh for god’s sake, is this guy for real?! Fine, we get that you dislike their peri peri sauce. How is this any different than saying hmmm I don’t like pizza, so I’m going to slate pizza express for their disgusting, overpriced blah blah blah, and could easily buy a pizza at aldi for 50p! Wow! Good, don’t go to Nandos – more chicken for us! 🙂

  3. I get it that students have tight budgets, I certainly was on one when I was in St. Andrews. However, this article just seems like a long complaint coming from a cheapskate. When he mentioned battery chicken I got excited, thinking his rant would lead to some substance more worthy of consideration other than just his wallet.

  4. probably the worst article i have ever read in the Saint, how did this make it to print? there are plenty of ways to say you don’t like Nandos but this article is awful, you don’t understand the principles and economics of business, restaurants charge more than stuff does in the supermarket IDIOT

  5. I agree withe every single comment here. This entire article is just a load of complaints about paying for eating out. Incredibly annoyed and disgusted with such immaturity being published.

  6. Hold thy quarrel for just one moment. Morrisons do not sell a whole cooked poultry carcass drizzled in lemon and herbs! They provide either garlic and rosemary, lemon and butter or plain to all good customers of thy finest store in town. Another issue I must address the good gentleman on is that you have mistaken the cost of said cooked dead animal. The cheapest whole cooked chicken costs £4.79.

    I bid you good day.

  7. Hear hear Gabe! Great to hear from a fellow business and money enthusiast! Sad to hear about the trifle concerning your ‘inner cochlea’ boyo!

  8. Yes, but most people don’t force there negative opinions onto everyone…Obviously Nando’s isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but what use is it attacking the business? People are still going to go there regardless! There are seriously worse things going on in the world that deserve more publicity than ‘Why I don’t like Nandos’, and this is supposed to be a serious newspaper?? If you don’t like it, don’t go…simple!

  9. It is indeed a very unpleasant article to read. As well as it is shocking how could this have been published in The Saint,the worst article I’ve ever read. I think that the newspaper should have an image,style and probably a shared opinion so writing at the bottom of the article that is is individual’s opinion is not an excuse for me.
    It’s also odd to read about how someone’s hate/anger towards something,at least not in The Saint.Spread the love,not hate.
    Really disappointed with The Saint.

  10. Being critical and having an opinion is fine, but this really is a vacuous piece of writing. I’m left with no real criticism of the food itself apart from the chicken is ‘bad quality’ (as was mentioned above, it seemed that this might be an interesting point elucidated upon, but alas not) and the chips seem like they’re ‘oven baked’. I’m not sure your ‘lesson in economics’ really demonstrates that you’re qualified to be giving such lessons. All in all, this is a pretty crude article.

  11. This article’s really quite poisonous.
    Firstly, the chicken isn’t battery farmed. I’m saying that as a previous part time Nandos employee. Granted it’s not “free range” because that would increase the price of the chicken for the customer (and I’m going to take a wild guess that you wouldn’t be ok with that), it’s the next step down. Nandos are really careful to educate all their staff about precisely this issue so that we can put your assuming little mind at ease, Nandos chickens are not living in bad conditions.

    As for not having cutlery at the table? I don’t mind the 5 second walk to go get some, and considering that half the people coming into Nandos order burgers, pittas and wraps…having cutlery ready on the table that won’t be used, but will be washed up is just pointless. The pressure of do-I-pick-that-chip-up-with-the-fork-or-can-I-just-go-for-it is gone and if people want cutlery, it’s right there.

    Granted the menu is expensive, but the people at Nandos working hard to make the meal you’re so insulting about deserve more than you refusing to make eye contact with them because you’re wondering how much a smile would cost you at Morrisons.

  12. You are an actual idiot. Kinda feel like you should have just went to KFC for genetically modified chicken in disgusting kitchens. How dare you insult the staff either. Most of them are academics half way through university.

    The views expressed are not of nandos but of a peeved off individual

    • We don’t work hard!? Who do you think refills the sauces every night after the closing time, so they are all full and clean for the next day? Who do you think cleans the whole place after ur gone? Who do you think scrubs the food off your dirty plate? Who do you think clears tables fast and efficiently to reduce your waiting time? Just because Nandos employees don’t brig cutlary and drinks doesn’t mean they don’t work hard! Enough with the negative comments! Find something better to waste your time on!! And if you don’t like Nandos, don’t go there!!

  13. The staff deserve more respect. To not even have you look them in the eye is rude and arrogant. Get off your high horse and stop writing such pointless drivel.

  14. I agree wholeheartedly with the article, the people commenting are the clearly the same type of people who would have voted for Margaret Thatcher if she was still alive. Lol.

  15. Ross Kirk is obv Gabriel in disguise or one of a small number of friends. Having such disrespect for that staff in this article is insulting to me as a reader. These people are working hard and the staff there are much better than most in St. Andrews.

    “As I slowly crept forward, I was calculating how many alcoholic bev­erages I was sacrificing for an over­priced, glamourised KFC. Roughly 4.6 vodka and cokes! I tried to take my mind off this factoid … ” Did you even go to school? Let alone university?

    Maybe you should get a job, and you can go and eat some more overpriced chicken.

    Also who’s the editor here? How did this drivel get through the net or is there no quality control any more?

  16. “As we entered the building I tried to avoid all eye contact with staff.”

    I could insert an insult here but there’s no need, we can all read, we all see what this guy is.

    Also, this is worthy of an article?

  17. The only thoughts that are provoked By reading this article are as follows:

    Firstly, this article makes you come across as a very unpleasant person and not a lot of fun to be around at all.

    Secondly, it must’ve been a slow week for news.

    Also, get a medium butterfly chicken with peri peri chips and spicy rice and try to write a negative article about nandos after that.

    I agree it is expensive. But spaghetti bolognese is basically mince and spaghetti in most cases and would cost less than a pound a serving if you were being thrifty as fuck. But you wouldn’t hesitate to pay £10 for that at an Italian restaurant.

    This is the kind of article that gives st Andrews students their stuck up reputation when I know that in most cases it is undeserving

  18. ‘at every open and close of my mandible’ did you use a thesaurus for every sentence of this article or are you just really pretentious?

  19. I work for this wretched company and receive a minimum wage. The food is bland, processed, overpriced and the young managers are not in any way interested in any development regarding training of staff. I have witnessed bullying, extreme sexism and racism and I know, from a previous legal job I had, that this company would be absolutely battered in a civil court hearing. I do not get any of this abuse directed at me as I am a bit of a hard nut and I have made it clear to them not to talk to me the way they do to others. We have cockroaches and beetles within the building and when the weather gets warm we have masses of fruit flies which emanate from the filth that resides throughout the store.

    They claim to have veggie burgers and bean burgers for the non-meat eaters but these items are cooked on the same grill as all the fillets and chicken livers. We have been visited by EHO’s who have classed our restaurant as 1 out of 5 and obviously the manager doesn’t post this on the wall of the store for the public to see. All the lights in the restaurant are set to low. It is dim, cramped and dingy. The staff are mainly young students at university and the abuse they get from most of our managers is nothing short of degrading. I have personally witnessed this abuse. One example of it was against a young lad who was told, “I am not your fucking mother, get out here and get on the till.” The lad in question had just walked into my area to rack up some dirty plates for the dishwasher.

    We have mice running under the booths in the store, one was even in the restaurant during a busy evening. Nothing has been done to eradicate this problem. We have metal containers that are three-quarter full of water that are used throughout the whole day for ladles and spoons for dishing out coleslaw, ratatouille, luso beans, creamy mash, sweet mash etc and the remains that are present in the container are a mixture of all these food items and more as the utensils are used then popped back in the containers without being cleaned.

    We have had, last summer, a blocked drain that was not fixed for 6 weeks and the kitchen was full of old fat and dirty water throughout this time and was difficult to walk in that area. The reason they didn’t fix it was because they were told, allegedly, that they had to wait until a certain period of profit was achieved before they would remedy the situation. Therefore a total disregard for health and safety.

    Some of the staff are working a close shift, finishing at 12:30 – 01:00 am and then have to open at 08:00 the next day. A total disregard of the 12 hour between shifts rule that operates in the UK.

    I was told when I commenced employment that working for Nando’s was like being in one big happy family.. if that is the case, then this family should be reported to the Social Services for neglect of the highest order.

    I stress that I am only in this job as it is very difficult for me to even get an answer from any job I have applied for, let alone an interview… c’est la vie when you are a middle aged professional with no luck getting anything apart from employment at Nando’s.

    I could go on but it would mean reciting the many notes I have taken whilst in this employment and it would be a laborious read…. unless you were adjudicating over the evidence.

    Nando’s is a very poor company with a high profit achievement, but would that high profit be reached if the customer knew the inner workings. I think not.

  20. Anybody who buys chicken from Nando’s is a fucking moron. Tastes like shit, very expensive and no atmosphere – If you want cheap food, go to KFC; if you want good food, go to a decent chain; if you want atmosphere, go to an independent restaurant. The only reason anyone goes to Nando’s is because they are deranged or a sadist. It is is the worst case of mass hysteria since the Salem Witch Trials.

  21. They charge the same for a take-away and put it in separate bags which make it impossible to eat as a take-away. I was expecting something special from all the hype, but it seemed to be a McDonald style restaurant with fine dining prices.

  22. The author lost all credibility at the end of the first paragraph when he stated that a Portuguese meeting South African environment is weird. Has he never heard of Angola and Mozambique, whose white populations mostly migrated to SA in 1975 when they became independent? Is he aware that in Joburg – and most likely elsewhere in SA too – there are a plethora of small family owned independent Portuguese South African restaurants serving Peri Peri chicken amongst other things (prego rolls, trinchado, and much more)? Is he aware that even long before Angola and Mozambique became independent, Ferreira was one of the most common names for white South Africans after Coetzee, De Clerc and Oberholzer, and the name of a Boer War General?
    It never ceases to amaze and amuse me how poorly educated some people think they know it all in fact are.


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