1 x 30 minute episode
MPEG-1 Layer 3
Fernando's vs Nando's
On a busy street in Reading - at the front of the shopping centre - you might catch the distinctive smell of peri peri chicken. This is Fernando's. Opened in Autumn 2017, it's a halal restaurant, belonging to Asam Aziz.
A huge fan of the ITV dating show, Take Me Out, Asam says he named his restaurant after the fictional island where couples are sent : "the isle of Fernando's". Some customers did wonder whether Nando's might take issue with the name - but "I just couldn't see that. Why would Nando's have a problem with that?", he says.
This is Asam's first venture of his own. His Dad arrived in Reading in 1965 from Pakistan "with nothing but 50p in his pocket and the trousers he was wearing", and Asam moved here in the 70s when he was one. His Dad saved and saved until he could afford their first convenience store in 2000 and now, with Fernando's, Asam is branching out on his own.
200 people came to their opening in September, as the local Imam blessed the restaurant. The restaurant was a huge success in the community. Busy all the time, Asam seemed to be succeeding in his first year in business. But then, in March, a letter arrived from Nandos' lawyers - it stated that Fernando's was in breach of the company's copyright. Not only with the name, but with the Portuguese Chicken Barcelos symbol he'd chosen as his logo, and other branding inside. Now he faces a dilemma that could bring him down: should he totally re-brand, or refuse to make changes and be taken to court. Clearly, as a small business, the risk in fighting a huge global chain is enormous, but there's a problem - Asam isn't the sort of person who backs down easily: "I can't just hang my gloves up".
But, it's still early days in the life of his restaurant. What choice does he have?
Produced in Bristol by Polly Weston.