Donald Trump's presidential election made many in Washington, D.C. feel their values were under attack.
Nando's PERi-PERi, which has 27 restaurants in D.C. and its surrounding area, felt compelled to cut through the polarized, antagonistic atmosphere with a message of inclusivity. Motivated by its roots in South Africa, Nando's sought to stand up for those most marginalized, including its own immigrant employees. Aware that many were struggling to effectively communicate their frustration, we decided to take the lead.
Ten days before inauguration, we installed full-window signs in all of Nando's D.C. restaurants with the following message:
Nando's PERi-PERi is an IMMIGRANT EMPLOYING, GAY LOVING, MUSLIM RESPECTING, EQUAL PAYING, MULTICULTURAL chicken restaurant where EVERYONE IS WELCOME.
We placed the statement on the counters of Nando's restaurants, staff t-shirts, a custom website for download, and in the Washington Post Express—D.C.'s commuter newspaper with a reach of 339,000—via a full-page ad. But we wanted even more people to have a voice.
Two days later, we distributed 60,000 posters through the Express featuring the "Everyone Is Welcome" message—unbranded—so anyone could use them. We encouraged readers to place them in their windows during inauguration week to make explicitly clear that "Everyone Is Welcome." The posters took on new life as protests signs almost immediately, appearing in protests across the United States for months after the campaign's launch.
The campaign became an international celebration of inclusivity that extended beyond the brand, reflected the shared values of Nando's and the U.S., and reminded the world that Everyone Is Welcome.
* Week of Jan 22, 2017 - Mar 20, 2017, fast casual industry benchmark.