Nando’s, the much-loved piri-piri chicken chain, has roundly denied the suggestion that it would offer young members of the Conservative party a discount.
According to numerous reports, party bigwigs had floated the idea of a restaurant discount card to appeal to younger voters, in the face of Labour’s growing youth membership. A discount at Nando’s was the most prominent of these ideas, in another example of ill-fated generational outreach.
In response, Nando’s issued the following statement:
Nando’s has no political affiliations as a brand and no political discount card exists.
We have a Nando’s loyalty card and standard gift cards that anyone can use, and we offer a 20% discount to Police, Fire Services, Ambulance service and NHS staff.
Famed for its appeal to all-comers including Drake, Adele, the Royal Family and Samantha Cameron’s husband, Nando’s has successfully captured the British imagination since it launched in west London in 1992. Its saturation into pop culture explains why it was such an easy target for this initiative, and also explains why it has been so quickly and roundly rebuffed: its broad appeal would undoubtedly suffer from partisanship.
As might have been expected, Twitter reaction was swift.
Imagine getting a Conservative Party Membership card out of your wallet in front of your mates in Nandos— Hannah Joinson (@hannahjoinson1) May 19, 2018
The Conservatives, who are trying to negotiate the UK's way out of the European Union, have failed to secure a small discount on chicken at Nandos for their young members. Encouraging.https://t.co/tKQlp4UfoI— John Johnston (@johnjohnstonmi) May 22, 2018
Not sure what's better, that this was the conservatives big idea to recruit young members or if Nandos told them to shove it. https://t.co/FNy3exJFF2— Unfitforpurpose (@unfitforpurpose) May 21, 2018
At the conservative party we believe in changing things around every now and then is good . So why not lay off the food bank rations and treat yourself to a discount meal at Nandos— Ann Nonny Mouse (@ann_nonny) May 21, 2018
The brand also moved quickly to appease diners worried about the potential move:
Hey Mark, Nando’s has no political affiliations as a brand and no political discount card exists.— Nando's (@NandosUK) May 21, 2018
The key takeaway here is that a restaurant — a huge, nationwide one, yes — was considered popular and important enough to factor into winning over a youth membership — that food would be considered a tool for political leverage.