WASHINGTON, March 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly all restaurants in North America are struggling today, deciding whether they can stay open with a transition to delivery and takeout, or simply close their doors altogether. Nando's PERi-PERi announces today that it will keep nearly all its 92 restaurants open in the US and Canada for at least the next two weeks, to continue to employ its 2,600-person US and Canadian workforce.

"Today's decision means that we are keeping some restaurants open that are barely generating revenue, just so that we can keep our employees paid and engaged," said John Fisher, the Nando's North American CEO. "We want the communities we serve to know that Nando's is here for you. And we are here for our Nandocas, or workers, that we have always proudly called our family."

Nando's will stay open for takeout and delivery in Chicago, Washington, Maryland, Virginia and throughout Canada, for the next two weeks, and hopefully longer. There will be exceptions for any jurisdiction that orders restaurants to close altogether. Nando's will make accommodations for any Nandoca who is not comfortable working in our restaurants at this time. 

Staying Open… With Safety

Nando's is committed to staying open safely, and that means strictly enforcing social distancing for employees and customers. The company will allow a maximum of 10 Nandocas and customers per restaurant at any given time, and will constantly enforce elevated hygiene. All Nando's employees must continue to frequently wash hands; clean all surfaces, and stay home when feeling ill. Nando's will continue to do health checks at the beginning and end of each shift, and leave to-go orders at the front of its stores.

Largest Community Service Program in Nando's NA History

During this period, it's likely that some Nandocas will have little to do. The restaurants where they operate may be too quiet to keep them active in any traditional way. That's one reason Nando's North America is simultaneously announcing the largest community-service program in its history.

Starting Thursday, March 26, Nando's pledges to:

  • Bring hot catered meals to hospitals near every Nando's in North America, to provide comfort and sustenance to the nurses, doctors and hospitals workers struggling to keep us all safe and alive. On the house.
  • Provide free Nando's takeout to any nurse, doctor or healthcare worker who shows up at a Nando's in uniform or with a valid healthcare ID, or calls to place a to-go order and presents ID at collection
  • Create a new Nandoca volunteer force. Our Nandocas will be paid to deploy their services to help others in the immediate communities in which we operate
  • Allocate 50 free meals per day per restaurant for laid-off members of the restaurant industry. They can walk in and take away Nando's with pride
  • Donate all surplus food, packaged and non-expired, to local area food banks
  • Provide free family meals for our Nandoca families in need
  • Pay it forward. Any customer or Nandoca can pay the gift of a family meal forward to the neediest members of their community. Customers will be encouraged to buy a meal for a laid-off industry worker or medical personnel.

"This is an expensive undertaking, but it's worth every nickel," Fisher said. "At Nando's, we will Stand Together, 6 Feet Apart. We don't just serve chicken. We serve the community. We're all in this together."

About Nando's PERi-PERi

The first Nando's restaurant opened its doors in 1987 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since then, the Nando's flame has spread to 23 countries on five continents. Nando's is known worldwide for its succulent PERi-PERi chicken, marinated for 24 hours, flame-grilled to perfection, and basted to the customer's preferred flavor and spice. It's equally renowned for its spicy PERi-PERi, the Bird's Eye chili pepper that indigenous Africans introduced to the Portuguese centuries ago.

Nando's PERi-PERi made its U.S. debut in 2008 in Washington, DC.  Nando's PERi-PERi now operates 42 restaurants in and around Virginia, Maryland, Washington and Chicago, and 50 more in Canada. For more information, please visit www.nandosperiperi.com, follow @NandosUSA on Twitter, Like Us at Nando's PERi-PERi USA on Facebook, and follow nandosusa on Instagram.

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