As opposition to Trump grows, Nando's #EveryoneIsWelcome proves hot business - Times LIVE
Wed May 24 23:28:04 SAST 2017

As opposition to Trump grows, Nando's #EveryoneIsWelcome proves hot business

Shelley Seid | 2017-02-02 14:00:03.0
South African restaurant chain Nando. File photo

It seems that walkie talkies aren't just a South African thing - except in the US of A it's literally a case of the more Nando’s talks‚ the more people walk into their stores.

Footfall figures have gone up after the launch of the company's very vocal anti-discrimination campaign #EveryoneIsWelcome‚ that followed divisive pronouncements by then president-elect Donald Trump in the run up to the US election. And others in America are asking for more stores to come to their cities. It turns out their campaign‚ launched two weeks before Trump moved into the White House‚ is as hot as their famous peri-peri sauce.

It involved plastering all six Washington DC outlets with posters stating that the fast food outlet is “an immigrant employing‚ gay loving‚ Muslim respecting‚ racism opposing‚ equal paying‚ multicultural restaurant”.

A message on the back of these posters reads: “Even if you’ve never sat at one of our tables‚ you’re welcome to stand with us.” Servers in the stores wear “Everyone Is Welcome” t-shirts.

The response has been overwhelming‚ says Sepanta Bagherpour‚ vice president of marketing at Nando’s US. He says the campaign has flooded social media channels.

“People have placed the posters in the windows of stores and offices and houses throughout the District. In the limited cases where we’ve received negative feedback‚ countless Twitter and Facebook users have rallied to our support‚ of their own volition.”

He said that social commentary is an important part of the fabric of Nando’s communications. “We will continue to look for the right opportunities to make our voice heard.”

And it has been good for business. “The traffic at our Washington restaurants immediately increased once the campaign began.”

Founded in 1987 in Johannesburg‚ the company is relatively new to the US having opened its first store in 2008. Currently it operates almost 40 restaurants in Washington DC‚ Virginia‚ Maryland and Chicago.

But the people - on Twitter at least - want more.

Hussein Rashid (‏@islamoyankee) posted to his more than 5‚000 followers: "Wish there was a @NandosUSA in #NYC so I could go where #everyoneiswelcome."

Radio commentator Laura Flanders (@GRITlaura) encouraged her 12‚500 followers to head to their local outlet: "Looking for somewhere to eat today Im going to @Nando's #everyoneiswelcome."

-TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

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