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December 1, 2016

Everyone’s a Friend of Mine

Thermals on, gloves packed and coats fully buttoned, we waved goodbye to London Heathrow and hello to Ireland, visiting our overseas family! We already know our love is unconditional but how are our feelings communicated to the rest of the country?

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As the Land of Saints and Scholars, it was only right our visit included sightseeing and embracing the Irish culture and history. From stunning architecture to charming accents, Dublin really is a beautiful city. However, in true Nando’s style we were on a mission to embed ourselves into the ‘craic’ and that’s definitely what we did!

After touching down in Dublin, we jumped straight into finding out where our Barci fits on the Irish family tree. Flagging a cab outside Terminal 2, we headed straight to the tourist hotspot of Temple Bar, where our extended family are based on St. Andrews Street. Rocking up to our boutique overnight stay at The Morgan, the welcoming vibe was present at every stop. A little touch up and we were ready to stroll along the cobbled streets and meet the team at Nando’s.

As we were strolling down Temple Bar, taking in all the lovely sites; the O’Neill’s and O’Connor’s locals opening the doors for their stout deliveries, it was surreal to think only a couple of hours before we were in cold and rainy England – not that there was an expectation of sunny spells or sangria!

Did you know the River Liffey divides the north and south of the city? Neither did we until our friendly taxi driver Brian poured his heart out on what Ireland means to him. Proud. Passionate and welcoming. Three of the many words Brian and other locals used to describe the country. But it didn’t stop there. Our fellow Patrãos and Nandocas had a lot more to say…

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Let’s rewind eight years, when the first Nando’s doors opened in Belfast, shortly followed by Dublin’s first restaurant in Dundrum. Since then, a total of 15 restaurants have been introduced, with the family love continuing to spread year-on-year. It’s safe to say the beauty of the country and locals is infectious, with many global hospitality chains wanting to join the Irish streets. Being home to Nando’s since 2008, Ireland is a very proud country with chapters of emotion and pride part of its ever-growing story.

As a ‘Welcoming Family’, the connection between all members is undeniable but it doesn’t stop there; it goes beyond the front door and is passed around the family table. After a great introduction to the journey Nando’s have made to Ireland, we packed up our stationery and headed down to the restaurant for a feast of goodness. Imagine a Sunday lunch where your parents, aunties, uncles and cousins are pulling up chairs and passing around dishes of delicious food – now bring that vision into a Nando’s restaurant and you’ll find it’s their reality.

From its South African roots, the culture is growing across every nation. It’s not only a place to work, it’s a family; a caring, trusting emotionally-invested network that shapes each individual.

After our stomachs were well and truly lined with PERi-PERi and spicy rice, we bid a sweet TTFN to our Nando’s friends with warm content. As we grinned ear-to-ear, lining up for warming hugs, it will definitely not be long until we are back on the Emerald Isle for another family outing!

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