- Nando's Peri-Peri served meals that customers didn't order, filmed the aftermath on hidden cameras and posted the videos to its social media channels as part of the company's effort to encourage people to vote, according to a press release.
- In the videos, which the restaurant chain captured at a Washington, D.C., location, customers were told there was a mystery "Undemocratic Meal" and that the chef would choose for them. They were then served unappetizing meals like two chocolate brownies on a bed of rice in an attempt to illustrate the importance of people making their own decisions. Once a customer got a different meal than what they ordered, the restaurant surprised them with red and blue napkins that said "Don't Let Someone Else Decide for You. Vote November 3."
- The restaurant added voter registration forms to its menu in September and has distributed more than 200,000 voter registration applications and voter-resource flyers in stores and takeout bags to customers, per the company statement.
The point of Nando's Peri-Peri's stunt was to remind customers that not voting means other voters will choose elected officials on their behalf, John Fisher, CEO of Nando's Peri-Peri USA, said in a statement. To the company, it's critical for voters to get their voices heard, Fisher said.
The company also noted in its email that it has given employees paid time off to vote, provided resources to educate staffers on voter registration, early voting and voting from home; and transport staffers who need rides to the polls on Election Day. The company, which started in South Africa, was there in 1994 when South Africans were able to vote in general elections for the first time, and it recognizes the importance of voting, Sepanta Bagherpour, Nando's chief brand officer, said in a statement.
The restaurant is the latest of several to employ hidden cameras as part of stunt campaigns to capture consumers' true reactions to an in-store experience. Earlier this week, Burger Kings in Sweden and Denmark dares people to say "canceled clown" three times into a restaurant restroom mirror, playing off the well-known "Bloody Mary" legend. Doing so caused the lights to go out and a frightening, red-haired, white-faced clown — referencing archrival McDonald's mascot — menacingly appearing in the reflection.
The hidden camera videos were Nando's most recent political effort. The company also launched a diversity campaign following the inauguration of President Trump, proclaiming to consumers that #EverybodyIsWelcome at its restaurants.
As the U.S. presidential election quickly approaches, more brands have been outspoken about voting rights. Other brands, including Patagonia, Absolut, Snipes and Puma, have introduced initiatives to help consumers and even staffers vote.