It’s 2016: Do we really need to be asked if we’ve been to Nando’s before?

Yes, I have been to Nando’s mate

Hi there everyone. You know in Nando’s right, that place you go every other week to eat chicken? You know when you sit down, and the person serving you asks The Question: have you been to Nando’s before? 

How do you feel when they ask you that, on your 111,438th visit to Nando’s?

I’ve been asked The Question more than I’ve been asked out on dates at this point. I’ve been asked it in every month of the year. I’ve been asked it on every day of the week. I’ve been asked it when I feel happy, I’ve been asked it when I would like the entire world to disappear.

Have you been to Nando’s before? 

He's popping the question

He’s popping the question

Now, I’m not saying I’m some sort of clairvoyant genius with an impossibly brilliant understanding of the human psyche (that’ll be for the historians to decide) but every single person who reads this article and every single one of their friends and all of their families have all been to Nando’s.

Literally everyone:

David Cameron’s been to Nando’s

He gets peri salt on his chips. 

Kanye’s been to Nando’s

He stood on the table and everyone got mad snapchats. 

Your Mum has been to Nando’s

She bought the olives when you wanted the pitta bread which comes with the plastic bottle of peri sauce that mysteriously tastes better than the peri sauce which comes in a glass bottle for no reason whatsoever –  but you didn’t say anything because the idea of pointing out that your Mum has got it wrong when she’s taken you to Nando’s like this for a treat makes your soul feel bad.

Your Dad has been to Nando’s

He arrived, sadness in his eyes, ordered the weird steak thing with a fino side and a glass of red wine, twitched a little at the idea of paying before the food arrived, ate it in monastic silence and muttered under his breath on the way home £40 for chicken and chips in that voice he does when he doesn’t consciously want you to hear him bitching but unconsciously wants you to hear every word.

Even the vegetarians with their sad looking mushroom burgers

Yes, they have been to Nando’s. Yes they tried to argue that the etiolated, watery mushroom they ordered is superior to the pulling half a chicken apart with your bare hands, washing it in garlic sauce and then chewing the fuck out of it.

Ed Sheeran, Prince Harry, Beyoncé, Ricky Gervais, David Beckham, Example, Oprah Winfrey, Pixie Lott, Robert Pattinson, Denise Van Outen, Mary J Blige, Tinchy Stryder, Jay Z and loads of other people who are famous for singing and acting and being generally more talented than you – these people – who you can find if you google ‘celebrities + Nando’s’ (because I’m tired of listing them now tbh), these are the people who have been to Harvester’s

Sorry, I meant Nando’s.

Even Cameron

Even Cameron

The point is: we have all been.

So why do the staff still ask The Question, as you take your seat, as they put that metal rooster in the hole, as you ignore the menu you’ve read a million times: have you been to Nando’s before?

It’s not as if the stand up, queue, order, pay system they have matches The Critique of Pure Reason for complexity. If my mate Uwais who got a respectable four E’s at AS Level (yeah, including one in Sociology) understands how it works, everyone does.

What happens if I go to my local Nando’s day after day after day, until I’ve had so much facetime with the staff there that they know me and I know them, and every time I visit I say “Yeah, I’ve been to Nando’s” when they ask The Question, until – after weeks of buying wing roulette on  a daily basis has left me on the verge of bankruptcy – they’re visibly teetering on the edge of never asking The Question again, I just drop the bomb and say “No, mate, I have never been to Nando’s before.”

What happens then?