Entries tagged with “Nando’s”.


nandos_chicken_1903_620_462_100Few South Africans know that Dick Enthoven, billionaire owner of Spier and Hollard Insurance Company Ltd, is also the owner of Nando’s.  Now a Malaysian publication has crowed the details about the successful spicy-chicken chain.

How Enthoven got to know Robbie Brozin and Nando Duarte, the founders of Nando’s, is not shared, but Enthoven gave them a loan to expand their Nando’s chain in South Africa initially, and then internationally.

Nando’s is described as a ‘private family business’ and the main backers are the Enthovens, providing capital and (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlinese

*   A bid for Cape Town to host a Grand Prix next year will be submitted by Cape Town Grand Prix SA to Motorsport South Africa tomorrow.  It is planned to be hosted in Green Point and at the Cape Town Stadium.  The costs involved are in the region of R750 million.

*    Nando’s is using its international outlets to attract attention to top South African design, including Vogel riempie chairs, and tables by Egg Designs. Pedersen + Lennard and Design Afrika have been commissioned too.  Nando’s designer Tracy Lee Lynch said about the project: ‘We’re implementing the project slowly and realistically. We’ll start with 20 pieces by 10 designers that will be used by the Nando’s interiors teams across the world. Customers in places such as Canada and the UK will see the best of our local talent‘.  The company’s head office (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Bureau of Economic Research Survey for the 4th quarter of this year shows that the expected growth rate in the volume of Accommodation business decreased to 5%, from 9% in the 3rd quarter. On average 11% growth is expected for the first quarter of next year. Disconcerting however is the drop in Business Confidence for the 4th quarter, down from 70 in the 3rd quarter, to 49 for this quarter, in a period which is usually buoyant.  Another concern is the first anticipated decline in growth in business in the Western Cape, of -3%, for the first quarter of 2015, the drop from the 3rd quarter growth rate of 20% crashing down to +3% in the 4th quarter!  (received from the Bureau of Economic Research)

*   Nando’s has set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in India, and plans to open 20  company stores in addition to those to be opened by its franchisees.   This is the chicken fast-food company’s second stab at the Indian market.

*   Chef Massimo Botturo, owner of the 3rd Best Restaurant in the world (Osteria Francescana in Modena), has denied speculations (more…)

Truffle Exterior Whale CottageThe bottom end of Chiappini Street has housed two of my favourite restaurants in their time – Bruce Robertson’s The Showroom and Cormac Keane’s Portofino, both the talking point of Cape Town in their time.  After a surprisingly long tenancy by low class Leaf, a smart ‘5 star 100% Halaal Fine Dining Bistro‘ has opened, called TRUFFLE.  The restaurant was opened to offer top-end Halaal cuisine, which has not been available in Cape Town before.  The name was chosen for its association with indulgence, which is echoed throughout the restaurant.

I had seen the exterior branding whilst driving down Buitengracht Street a week ago, but could not find any website via Google.  Yesterday I stopped by, and was astounded how the restaurant interior has changed since Leaf occupied the space until about a year ago.  Mohammed Adam was kind enough to spend time with me, to share information about the restaurant. Truffle Mohammed Adam Whale Cottage He and Nisreen Ebrahim are joint owners, Nisreen and her husband Rafiq being previous owners of four fast food outlets they would not reveal the names of (LinkedIn revealed that they were Nando’s outlets), and took over the space in January. Mohammed did all the interior design, after some building work was done, half of the upstairs being closed off by means of a wall now, to give the kitchen double volume space.  Almost everything has been changed, other than the wooden floor in the outside section, with a new wooden floor upstairs; new wooden steps for the staircase to match the tops of the tables and the (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Whale news headlines

*   A short-lived marriage between the DA and Agang came to an end yesterday, Mamphela Ramphele withdrawing her collaboration with the DA in standing as their Presidential candidate!  On Social Media the two parties’ collaboration was welcomed, and described as a breath of fresh air in South African politics.   Since yesterday, both women leaders of the two parties have been slated, Helen Zille for her lack of judgement in collaborating with Ramphele, and Ramphele for not honouring her agreement with the DA.

*   Cutting SAA routes (such as Buenos Aires, and London/Cape Town) is detrimental to the tourism industry at a time when the weak Rand is increasing interest amongst travellers in visiting our country.

*   Nando’s is using Mobile Social Media for its ‘This time of year nobody should have to eat alone’ campaign for the first time, Mxit reaching 6,5 million users spending 95 minutes on the medium on average per day.

*   The South African Brandy Foundation is hosting two Fine Brandy Fusion events this year, from 22 – 23 (more…)

Nando's Madiba adIt should have been a surprise that the Sunday Times last weekend contained 10 full page and 16 smaller advertisements in honour of the late Nelson Mandela, given his passing on Thursday evening, and the deadlines of newspapers to ensure their distribution in the early hours of Sunday morning.  It was interesting to evaluate corporate South Africa’s response, in their advertisements, to the passing of our country’s greatest leader, most quoting the wisdom of Madiba in their tributes to him.

Given the two days in which ad agencies had to book their clients’ advertisements, it is clear that they could not have created them in such a short time period, given lead times to conceptualise the ad, obtain client approval, and to produce the material.  It is clear that the major corporates had their farewell ads to Madiba prepared and mothballed for the announcement of his passing.

The most touching and most genuine advertisement, in our opinion, is the one by Nando’s, demonstrating the power of consistency in advertisement layout and typeface, recognisable to any South African without its logo or branding.  The most disgusting of all Mandela AVBOB Whale Cotatge Portfoliothe ads is that by funeral organisers AVBOB, depicting Madiba in daisies, and shouting its pay-off line ‘We’re here for you’!

Pick ‘n Pay’s advertising disappointed, with three full page advertisements in last Sunday’s edition, the one on page 12 in the main body being a crass ‘Price Cuts’ one, amidst the remaining ads all being tributes to Madiba.  Pick ‘n Pay and the media department of its ad agency could have done a better job in planning the placements, requesting its tribute ad in this slot, and its special offer ad in other sections of the paper.  Cynically one could think that the retailer purposely capitalised on the above (more…)

mandela-house-statue-whale-cottage-portfolio-225x300On Thursday evening South Africa and the world lost in Nelson Mandela one of its most influential citizens ever, who taught us about the nobility of forgiveness, despite what he suffered for 27 years to make South Africa and the world a better place for all.

No doubt like many others, I could not help but feel sad about the passing of someone whom I had never met, but who feels like a father, and the sadness is even greater, this being the second father I have lost this year. Reading the outpouring of love for Mr Mandela on TV, on radio, on Twitter, and Facebook, the timelines were dominated by the expression of each one who uses the media.  Kfm played tributes and ‘nostalgic’ music, not its normal music mix, like Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge over Troubled Water‘ and Eric Clapton’s ‘Tears in Heaven’, and many more songs that related to the specialness of Madiba.

The world’s leaders expressed their sadness, and President Barack Obama was one of the first to express his condolences in the early hours of yesterday morning.  He and his wife Michelle have announced that they will travel to South Africa next week, to pay their respects to the  country and the family.   Books of condolence have been opened in South African embassies around the world, for South Africans and Madiba admirers to express their feelings.  A moving tribute was paid to him by his assistant of many years Zelda la Grange.

Many media interviewees said that the day had been inevitable, but no one was prepared for the final passing. A number of false reports announced Madiba’s passing mid-year, and it is clear that the major international and local TV stations had long before prepared documentaries about the man that had such a hold over the world.

Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster (now Drakenstein) prison in 1990, a month after I had moved back home to Cape Town from Pretoria and Johannesburg, and I was one of many millions watching the TV broadcast of the long and slow walk to freedom from the prison.  The broadcast by SABC was a lowlight of Mr Mandela’s release, his release having been delayed, and the SABC reporter had nothing more to say while waiting for at least an hour than to comment on a leaking tap!  As Madiba’s cavalcade was leaving Paarl, I was one of thousands making our way to the City Hall, to hear Madiba address the nation and the world.  We heard his distinctive voice for the first time.  It was the start of a new South Africa, of tolerance and respect for each other, most of the time.  Not only was Madiba respected for his lack of bitterness, but President FW de Klerk was saluted too for his graciousness in motivating his Cabinet to release Madiba, knowing full well that he and his National Party would eventually lose the ruling power.  For their gentlemanliness both leaders jointly received the Nobel (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Nando’s, Prince Harry’s and Beyonce’s favourite chicken take-out in London, will be opening its first store at Gatwick airport.

*   Heathrow needs a third runway to deal with the estimated doubling of traffic by 2030.  One plan is to build a floating runway on an estuary of the Thames, instead of demolishing houses in a village close to Heathrow.

*   Wide-spread flooding hit Somerset West, Franschhoek, Hermanus/Stanford, Strand, and Cape Town on Friday evening.  The Franschhoek Pass, Chapman’s Peak, Betty’s Bay/Gordon’s Bay road, and Victoria Road* between Camps Bay and Hout Bay are still closed.

*   Eben Sadie of The Sadie Family Wines is the winemaker featured in the weekly Terroirist blog interview!

*   Not only is Stellenbosch famous for its many wine estates producing excellent (more…)

Mandela Exhibition Mandela and Tutu Whale Cottage PortfolioCape Town was a hive of activity yesterday, as President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, as well as their daughters, visited Cape Town for the day on their three African nation tour.  It also was the opening of the Nelson Mandela Legacy Exhibition, an emotionally moving event.  The day was focused on the contribution which former President Mandela has made to Cape Town in particular, but also to South Africa and the rest of the world. (more…)

Cape Town positions itself as a Festive Season playground, yet is not very tourist-friendly when it comes to being open for business on Christmas Day.  For a city that is the Gourmet Capital of our country, the best that many tourists could eat yesterday was a McDonalds burger!

A Tweet by Table Bay Hotel concierge Ryan Van Zyl yesterday morning highlighted how difficult it would be for him to find restaurants for his guests on the special day.  In Camps Bay, for example, out of about 25 restaurants in the suburb, about half were closed for the day.  Even more closed late afternoon, meaning that Paranga, Zenzero, and Café Caprice were making a killing on the Promenade.  However, this came at a price, with queues to be allocated a table, and slow service in some instances, we have been told by our guests. Today a similar number of Camps Bay restaurants are closed, expecting the annual arrival of rowdy Capetonians taking over the beach suburb, causing mayhem, with potential theft of tourist and restaurant possessions, making Camps Bay a no-go zone just from the traffic build-up alone. Kloof Street has close to 40 restaurants, and is known as the street that never sleeps, always having restaurants open.  At 19h00 yesterday we found only four of these operating: Nando’s, Mc Donalds, Myög, and Mixa’s Schwarma!  Caffé Milano was open during the day yesterday, but had to close when it ran out of supplies.

A restaurant owner’s wife responded on Twitter to Van Zyl’s retort, saying that it was their restaurant’s annual gift to their staff for their hard work, to be closed for two days, which doesn’t make sense, as one can give staff ample time off during winter, when restaurants cry about how quiet they are.   In addition, the Tweeter shared that the lost business does not weigh up against the problems they experience with reliable supply of produce.  This sounds like a more serious issue, but surely one can order ahead for the two days?  Good restaurants will have well-established supplier relationships, which surely cannot be influenced by public holidays, as the Christmas days are not the only ones on which suppliers could be closed. One wonders how the restaurants that were open yesterday coped, from a supply point of view.  Staff reliability is of course the unmentionable, and this may well be the real reason why so many restaurants were closed yesterday.  No Guest House or Hotel, also operating in the hospitality industry, would dream of closing for two days over Christmas, or would have the audacity to ask its guests to make up their own beds on these two days! Surprising is that most restaurants are open on New Years’ Eve, and making plenty of money out of the rates they are charging, supplier support appearing to not be an issue next week!

We have never understood the country closing down for about three weeks around 16 December, when the hospitality requires supplies of guest refreshment portions and amenities, being more fully occupied in the same period as in any other time of the year.   Retailers feel the brunt of supplier closures too, disappointing their clients with out of stocks.  Our experience with the V&A Waterfront and Woolworths showed that the management was not only away from their businesses over weekends, but appear to be so over this whole Christmas week, the Waterfront’s running appearing to be in the hands of its Information Centre’s Assistant Manager Zulfa Nordien.  Commendable is that the phone of Cape Town Tourism was answered yesterday, albeit at their airport branch, the City head office on Burg Street appearing to be closed, with its management on holiday too this week!  This is one of the busiest tourism weeks lying ahead!  Very few Tweets of Cape Town Tourism and the V&A Waterfront are proactive in providing tourist information to our City’s visitors over the festive season, largely restricted to reTweets, or if one is lucky, to having ones queries answered. Today the V&A Waterfront Tweeter got her information wrong in answering a question about whether the new V&A Market on the Wharf is open today!

Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde has encouraged the hospitality industry to take its breaks over winter. Perhaps it is time for him to be prescriptive in encouraging our Cape Town and Western Cape restaurants to be tourist friendly, and to be open over Christmas.  We salute the restaurants and their staff who put service above self yesterday, and welcomed customers and spoilt them with Christmas cheer and good food.

POSTSCRIPT 26/12: We are grateful that Minister Winde supported our plea, in a Tweet in response to this blogpost:alanwinde @FoodWineBlogClu YES we should be open for business over the festive season. It’s harvest time for the tourism industry. @WhaleCottage

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:  www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage