Nando’s Old Street
Over the past decade, casual dining chain Nando’s has grown and developed at such a rate it is now firmly embedded in modern British culture. However, rather than implement a store wide brand concept as is the way of many of its rivals, branches are individually styled.
As a result restaurants are unique and yet at the same time distinctive to the Nando’s brand. This commitment to design was recently highlighted at the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards where Nando’s Old Street won in the ‘Best Multiple Restaurant’ category. The wining firm behind the design was moreno:masey. Director Rodrigo Moreno Masey spoke to Premier Hospitality about the design process and the award win:
“We are one of a very small family of designers that Nando’s work with on a regular basis to deliver all of their new and refurbished sites across the estate. We’ve been working with them for about six years and in that time we’ve done around 30 sites for them. We’ve got a longstanding relationship with Nando’s and with the team there.
“We are very lucky in the way that Nando’s work that, whilst they have a very clear brand identity, they don’t set up any specific design parameters for the spaces other than it must feel like a Nando’s when you walk in. The test is that if you took all the signage away and you walked in, would you still know you were in a Nando’s?”
Normally the firm would spend around six to nine months working on a project of this type but additional structural work meant a slightly longer timescale than normal at Old Street. The design also had to take into account an awkward change of level as Rodrigo explained:
“On this site because of the strange change in levels from the street to the ground floor we saw an opportunity to cut a large hole in the front of the restaurant. Essentially you enter and walk along a small bridge around a very large void and as a result the basement became the front of house.
“What that also gives you is this double height wall, upon which we’ve installed quite a special feature. It is essentially a wall made up of wooden spheres 90mm in diameter that vary in shade and colour. You are able to pick out the Nando’s cockerel just by simply using relief and texture.
“In the darker part of the restaurant there are large, all-encompassing booths with huge dome pendants over each. We’ve taken a reclaimed piece of timber that varies in shade and texture and assembled it into a classic herringbone pattern up the wall and onto the ceiling.”
After disappointment in previous years, Rodrigo and his team were delighted to receive recognition for their innovative work on the project. He added:
“We’ve been shortlisted four years in a row so we were very happy to get an award. The Restaurant and Bar Design Awards represent a culmination of the restaurant industry from a design point of view, both in this country and internationally. To be recognised in that forum is a real achievement for us.”
UHS voted ‘the best furniture supplier in the hospitality industry’. The company continually inspires, creates, and finds imaginative and beautiful furniture solutions for restaurants, bars, and hotels.
UHS’ based in the UK and Europe with a global presence has resulted in UHS creating the finest, specific craftsmanship and design of furniture for the hospitality sector. Recently, UHS worked closely with the Nandos design teams and have created a number of customised and bespoke products for them, including the distinctive Kwaito chair.
Dan Gillmore, of UHS Group, said: “This award winning project on Old St is a great venue created by a great design team at Moreno Masey!”