What should the Nando’s app do? // @Nandos_Official

Whenever a restaurant doesn’t either have a mobile friendly website (including a nearest shop locator) or a mobile app, I just think they’re missing a trick. It seems reasonably obvious that you’d want customers to find you easily. And if they’re on your site / using your app, throw in a few other bits and bobs to attract them back to the site / app / restaurant.

For some time my favourite “quick meal restaurant” has been lacking in this space. I was discussing it with Mrs Me over a meal this weekend (burger with cheese and pine, lemon and herb, side of corn) and we talked about what the Nando’s app should have. When prep’ing for this post, I discovered that Nando’s have recently launched an app. I was preparing to delete the notes from our conversation (yes, notes – what of it?) when I checked the app and was disappointed by the sense of lost opportunity.

The existing app has 3 features: store locator (frankly a must, also a hygiene factor), the ability to create a group event at a Nando’s and the ability to checkin via Facebook places (was this really worth development time?). There seems to be very little which will drive people into the shops, so I decided to share our ideas anyway.

Gamification
Make people compete. Get them excited. Sell more chicken. Gamification is very web 2.rightnow.

  • Some sort of “roulette wheel” of hotness game for randomising orders
  • Setup challenges, possibly within a region or for a specific shop. Challenges could be things like “eat everything on the menu (within a year)”, “ask for it extra, extra hot”, etc. Create a “journey to extra hot” challenge where the user orders hotter and hotter food each time.

Reward your regulars
Nando’s already has a loyalty card system. But carrying cards around is so 1900’s. Get the loyalty card on the app, even get prepayment on the app. I’d rather pre-fund my kid to eat grilled chicken than McDonald’s or some other fast food chain. Starbucks have got the mechanics worked out, it’s doable.

Once you’ve got the loyalty card built in, show a map of which Nando’s I’ve eaten in around the country, or the world. Set me a challenge – can I eat at every Nando’s within 20 miles of my house? There’s another game, right there.

Get the basics right
Store finder isn’t the only “hygiene factor” feature. Surely the menu should be on the app? (They do say it’s coming). Update the menu? Popup a notification to the phone. Create a challenge – can I eat all new menu items within two weeks that they are released? Another game!

Let me prepare a takeaway order and order it from the app. Phoning a busy restaurant is never all that efficient. Save orders to “my favourites”: can I order our regular “takeaway night dinner” within 3 clicks? Great, I’m not bothering to go anywhere else then.

Celebrate your heritage
Some shops use their walls to showcase (and potentially sell) work by South African artists. Share these on the app. It’s a great source of potential content to bring people back into the app. And get them sharing on Facebook, Pinterest and the like.

Some other ideas which don’t have logical categories

  • Don’t forget retail: Can I buy your sauces? Recipe books? Crisps? T-shirts? Over the years all these things have been for sale. Mobile commerce is growing. Grow with it.
  • Don’t forget the ankle biters: Colouring in sheets for download. Or make a little colouring in game on the app for kids to do while waiting.
  • Don’t forget to share information: Recipes (with your sauce, of course), nutritional info, etc. You have a blog, there’s a ready source of new content right there.

Frankly, there’s a lot of suggestions here. I don’t imagine it would be easy to tie it all together into a single app. Difficult, but surely not impossible?

So Nando’s – hope you’re checking chickin (see what I did there?) this out.

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