Tour of Joburg with JDA arranged by Laurice Taitz
I was delighted when Laurice Taitz, the mover and shaker behind Johannesburg In Your Pocket, and guru of all that’s happening in Jozi, asked me to join a Joburg tour. She arranged it with the Johannesburg Development Agency (thanks Nomalizo) to show various journalists, tourism professionals and media students some of the exciting developments (both past and present) in Joburg inner city.
We had a riveting tour of the Jeppe Street Post Office, still a working post office. The plan is to convert this magnificent art deco building into affordable housing. Then we stopped off at Hallmark House on Siemert St, the extraordinary hotel and apartment building redesigned and upgraded by David Adjaye. (for another post).
Central Kitchen, Nando’s Head Office, Lorentzville
And we ended the tour in Lorentzville. Think memorable ads; international chain; marketing success; pushing the boundaries; peri-peri chicken … Yes, it has to be Nando’s. I wrote some time ago about Nando’s and its history . I said that theirs was a ‘seriously winning formula where South African entrepreneurship consistently meets good quality food, art, zappy style, and quirky irreverent humour.’
I had visited their head office in late 2015 for the innovative fund-raising exhibition Broken Monsters and was bowled over by the the décor and design. So I was really pleased to get back to see it in the daytime and be given a tour by Kirsty Niehaus, marketing manager of Nando’s Art Initiative.
Nando’s have kept their head office in the original buildings where they started out the business 30 years ago. It has been oh so cleverly redesigned and refurbed by Raw Studios. There are fabulous open plan offices, grassed courtyards with water features,an amazing canteen, a stunning roof top bar and even a shop, Loja, selling Nando’s branded merchandise.
The kitchen comprises 3 sections: a fully equipped state-of-the-art functioning restaurant kitchen, a tasting booth where the subtleties of Nando’s secret recipes are refined, and a food lab where all physical testing is done. Branding is Nando’s specialty and if Loja’s merchandise is not enough, Nando’s has its own radio station: Nando’s Heatwave Radio which broadcasts Afro-Luso music in Nando’s outlets.
And of course the decor has become a brand in itself – it’s fun, colourful, stylish, contemporary and just completely hip with fab artworks and furniture by cutting–edge local designers like Dokter and Misses, Vogel and James Mudge.
On the roof top is Gloria’s original barraca. This was her vendor’s stall to sell refreshments on the beach in Mozambique. She would get so harassed by police who were forever demanding it be taken down and then confiscating it, that Robbie Brozin came up with a novel solution.
He had a mobile one built so that when the police were in the area she could simply ‘move on’. In return Gloria gave her original baracca to Nando’s and it now sits on the rooftop bar and the hatch opens and drinks flow come party time and TGIF.
Nando’s core values
The Nando’s brand is firmly rooted in creativity, innovation, a caring work environment, and solid core values. These core values of Integrity, Pride, Passion and Family; are inscribed in the stone slabs in a water feature in the courtyard.
Nando’s near Liz at Lancaster
And best of all for Liz at Lancaster guests, there are a number of Nando’s near the guesthouse. The closest Nando’s is at Parktown North.