Why Nando’s has closed 14 Qld stores
Fast-food restaurant chain Nando's has blamed greedy landlords for the closure of more than a dozen Queensland outlets.
A spokeswoman for the South African chain, which was founded in 1987, said there were varying reasons but tenancy was a major issue.
Another hurdle was the redevelopment or sale of properties where outlets had opened and franchisees walking away from their businesses.
"Over the last few years there has been a mix of both company and franchise restaurant closures," the spokeswoman said.
"Nearly half of the franchise closures have been due to factors such as landlord redevelopment, landlords imposing unrealistic rents, the opportunity to relocate to more suitable premises or franchisees choosing not to renew their agreement."
Included among the 14 store locations to shut in recent years were the Myer Centre, Chermside, Coorparoo, Robina, Coolangatta, New Farm, Cairns and Townsville.
The spokeswoman said the closures belie the brand's success and there would be future store openings and refurbishments, believed to cost as much as half a million dollars.
"Our total network sales are the highest they have ever been and continue to grow," she said.
"In Queensland specifically, in the last five years Nando's has made a significant investment to ensure the restaurant footprint is a true representation of the brand, providing customers with a high-quality restaurant experience.
"This has included new restaurant builds at Garden City, Toowong, Redbank Plains and Australia Fair together with relocations or expansions of Festival Towers, Browns Plains, Capalaba, Maroochydore, Southbank, Ipswich and Springfield Lakes
Overall the number of Queensland locations has dwindling to 39 although a new restaurant is planned for the Harbour Town Outlet on the Gold Coast before Christmas.
The focus of the brand remains fast-food and it's an industry still growing in Australia, according to Nando's management.
"Nando's has deliberately reconfigured its national footprint including an extensive refurbishment program, new restaurant openings and relocations as well as closures across both the company owned and franchise network," she said.
"This strategy will ensure we stay at the forefront of Fast Casual Dining as Australians demand for the category increases.
"We'll be opening one additional restaurant by the end of the year (Harbour Town) and we're also assessing expansion opportunities for two other restaurants."