Time for a cheeky Nando’s at Gatwick Airport

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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I’ve just been out for a cheeky Nandos.

Now you, like me, may ask “What’s a cheeky Nandos?”

The answer depends on who you talk to. ‘Know your Meme.com’ says the following:

Cheeky Nando’s is a British expression typically used on social media to describe a quality dining experience at the South African restaurant chain Nando’s. In late 2014, the phrase began trending in captions of selfie photographs featuring subjects making an ‘A-OK” hand signal. The British slang term ‘cheeky’ is often used to describe someone who is exhibiting charming or irreverent behavior. The exact origin of the phrase ‘cheeky Nando’s’ is unclear. The earliest known use was featured in the title of a hip hop track uploaded by Buzy Ray

But I guess you knew that all along, right?

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This explanation comes via Buzzfeed.com

You know when you go down town with the lads and you all realize you’re hank marvin’ so you say “lads let’s go Maccers” but your mate Smithy a.k.a. The Bantersaurus Rex has some mula left on his nandos gift card and he’s like “mate let’s a have a cheeky nandos on me” and you go “Smithy my son you’re an absolute ledge” so you go have an extra cheeky nandos with a side order of Top Quality Banter 

Is it becoming clearer now? Thought not.

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Anyway, cheeky or otherwise, I’ve just had a Nando’s. Well a Churrasco Thigh Burger washed down with a Mango Quencher at Nando’s, Gatwick Airport, to be precise.

I was dining with Gatwick Airport Head of Retail Spencer Sheen and Business Development Manager, Catering & Services Charlotte Christiansen and colleagues. Spencer and Charlotte were keen to show me Nando’s, opened a year ago in a European airport debut for the popular restaurant chain and we were joined briefly by Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer.

The place, like all the South Terminal’s restaurants, was humming. Packed with people, buzzing with music (no, not Buzy Ray but what is known as ‘Afro-Lusoo’, a blend of African/Portuguese roots), resplendent with great art on the walls, and overall as full of funk as fowl (Nando’s specialises in chicken dishes).

It’s a happening place in a happening airport. As I’ve written in this Blog before, Gatwick is one of the world’s most improved airports. Its food & drinks offer, from the superb Comptoir Libanais, to the outstanding Red Lion pub, to the always top-class Caviar House & Prunier to the arguably peerless Jamie’s Italian restaurant is consistently and diversely excellent. And Gatwick’s travellers are voting with their palates and pounds, giving it an overall 80% rating of good or excellent and driving tremendous growth in revenues.

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Guy, Spencer and Charlotte talk constantly about customer engagement and experience and consumer relevance. They’re not just words bandied around as jargon; you feel (and see) that the management team really walks the walk. “We want to be a fantastic airport,” says Spencer.

Anyone who remembers the old Gatwick Airport (before privatisation) and contrasts it with the new, would say the company is a long way advanced to fulfilling that mission. As always when I spend time with airport management I learned a lot today. Hey, I even picked up a new catchphrase. It may have been my first but it won’t be my last cheeky Nandos.

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[Eggcentrically innovative): A mobile charging station housed in an ostrich egg] 

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[Caviar House & Prunier: Always top-class]

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[Pret a Manger]

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[No need for a caption here. And just look at  those crowds.]

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