In my previous article for our lovely Food section, I talked about how the lack of easily accessible take out options has affected my eating habits. Even though there’s no Moogy’s or Bluestone here in Melbourne, I do have a couple options for a quick meal that I don’t have to prepare. Unfortunately, the prices don’t exactly reflect the quality of food that is presented. Such is the case of Nando’s.
Nando’s is best described to an American as a higher quality hybrid of Boston Market and KFC. The Portugese style chicken chain hails from South Africa, but has over 250 locations here in Australia. Nando’s is like Boston Market in the sense that you can get full chickens (or in quarters of halves if you prefer) and like KFC in that you can get chicken sandwiches (the Aussies call sandwiches burgers here, take a minute and have a laugh about that because no one here understands why I find it funny). Nando’s also offers fries with their signature Peri Peri seasoning. You can find Nandos in food courts or in stand alone locations, like most typical American fast food.
From the description I’ve provided, you can probably get a general idea of what Nando’s is. The only aspect I haven’t really explained is the price, which is where the problem lies. If you’re a typical adult male like me, you’ll probably need at least a half chicken to satisfy your hunger that’s inevitably brought on by living in such a strenuous society like university life. A half chicken with fries and a drink costs sixteen dollars. That’s right sixteen dollars for a meal at a fast food restaurant. Chicken, fries, and a drink, you don’t even get a toy. I’ve learnt quickly that things in Australia are more expensive, but Nando’s prices are nothing shy of ludicrous.
The only real difference between Nando’s and Boston Market is the sauce that’s put on the chicken. Nando’s offers four types of sauce, lemon and herb, mild, hot, and extra hot. The sauce comes from your fairly standard ingredients and not in fact from the tears of a Portuguese princess as one might expect when paying such premium prices.
Now, I’m not criticizing the quality of Nando’s food. The chicken is delicious and the sauce compliments the meal beautifully. But that doesn’t change the fact that Nando’s is in fact, fast food. You can dress up the chicken all you want, it still comes from a food court and the prices should reflect that. Nando’s is not a sit down restaurant with a full bar and wait staff. There’s no excuse for these prices.
The simple solution to the Nando’s predicament would be not to eat there. But we live in a representative democracy and the people do have a say in matters like how much chicken should cost. Nando’s could be a marvelous beacon of good with its savory menu, but instead it stands as a force of evil by ripping off college students who are living off a fixed income. Nando’s needs to see its error and right its wrongs by lowering its prices.