Leeds - J27 - Jonathan Review

Jonathan's picture
How Helpful?: 
No votes yet
Number of Visits: 
How Busy?: 
A few tables occupied
Date of Last Visit: 
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Time of Day: 
Mid-afternoon or late evening
4.5 / 5
Friendliness of Staff: 
5 (Wow, I feel incredibly welcome! Recognised if a frequent visitor)
Speed of Service: 
3 (10 - 15 mins - Nando's average)
Quality of Food: 
5 (Nando's fit for a King - The very best (Please tell us why)!
Decoration & Cleanliness: 
5 (An exceptional Nando's! (Please tell us why) )
Comments - Stand out in our monthly competition! What did you eat? Unique aspects? Parking/transport tips?: 

Well, the time finally came to visit Nando's after 4 months of not visiting thanks to the Coronavirus Pandemic. I could've ordered a takeout but I wanted the proper experience so decided to wait until they began reopening branches again. Nando's Junction 27 was the closest one to us that was offering the "sit in" experience so myself and 2 friends made the 1 hour and 20 minutes car journey down to it.

I should point out that I've visited this branch 2-3 times in the past however we're talking many many years ago and I honestly could not remember anything about the branch. That said, of course this visit would be unique in that it's the first time I've been to Nando's during a Pandemic and although I was excited to finally get to go back, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit apprehensive about the trip.

So when you get there, instead of going straight in you now have to scan a QR code on your phone. This places you into a digital queue for a table, we ended up waiting for about 45 minutes outside of the branch. The good thing here is you are given constant updates such as your position in the queue and the expected time until they think a table will be free. It's worth noting here that we went on a Sunday evening, times may (and probably will) be longer on a Saturday or Weekday.

We finally got a notification to let us know our table was ready, they only hold tables for 10 minutes so if you miss your slot you have to rescan your code (I imagine they won't be as strict if it's not as busy). Before we entered, we had to use the hand sanitiser station position right outside of the door and then we were allowed in and shown to our table. We were sat down not too close to any other groups and talked through the new procedure which in a nutshell was; anything you usually do which involves standing up and walking around the branch, we will do for you.

I can't fault the staff one bit, they were absolutely fantastic at managing the restaurant in what must be a very weird environment for them. Everything was well explained and they always maintained social distancing rules e.g. not touching glasses, not leaning over tables to get stuff. As with pretty much every branch I've been to, they were very polite too.

Given the circumstances, I can't complain on the speed that the food took to arrive to the table. In fact, it was quicker than some of the branches I'd been to before the Pandemic so a massive thumbs up from me for speed of service!

Ah, the food! 4 months it had been since I last tasted anything Peri Peri and it was amazing! I'm really glad I held of and waiting for the proper experience. I went for one of my usual meals:

  • Double Chicken Burger (Extra Hot)
  • Peri Salted Chips
  • Garlic Bread
  • Bottomless Soft Drink (Coke)

As this was a special occasion, I decided to increase the amount of chicken ever so slightly and got a 1/4 Chicken (Extra Hot) to go with the rest of my meal.

Food quality was fantastic, I'd say it was one of the nicer Nando's meals I've ever had although that may partially be due to the withdrawal symptoms I was having.

I can't really talk much about the layout because I didn't see most of it! Our table was a straight line from the door so other than that section, I didn't see much else. One thing I will mention is if you're worried about being too close to other people, you don't need to be. It's a big branch and all of the occupied tables were well spaced out so there's no chance of you being sat too close to another group. The fact that you don't need to get up mid meal to get a drink refill etc also helps too. I get the feeling that the branches Nando's decided to reopen first are the bigger branches as it allows them to get more people in whilst still being able to separate people.

Classic Nando's decor, which is always nice to look at in different branches when you're waiting for your food. One of my friends pointed out that the big painting in-front of us was wearing a face mask which was interesting, I wonder if that's a running theme across all of the re-opened branches?

Obviously cleanliness regardless of whether there's a Pandemic or not is important but if there's ever a time to make sure the branch is clean, now is that time. Fortunately, Junction 27 passed! Very clean branch, possibly because it was only staff walking around but I couldn't see any mess in the parts of the branch I could actually see.

As I said at the start of my review, I was slightly apprehensive about the trip mainly because the restrictions could've made the entire thing a nightmare however that couldn't be any further from the truth. It was fantastic to see Nando's sticking to the social distancing guidelines and it was done in a way to be as least annoying as possible. In fact, the 3 of us agreed that we'd actually quite like Nando's to operate like this long into the future, even after the Pandemic is over. The whole place just had a calming and pleasant atmosphere about it which I think was a combination of brilliant staff and also customers sticking to the rules that have been set.

If you're worried about going to Nando's but really want your fix, I can tell you that there's nothing to worry about.

I'd like to revisit this branch for sure and that's definitely likely as it's the closest one open to where we live and will be until Nando's announces more branches reopening, which I'll be keeping an eye out for as it's always good to have a Nando's branch closer to home!

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