Nando's Nino Twickenham, 62 King Street, Twickenham, TW1 3SH. 19 January 2018

The opening of Nando’s’ new format ‘Nino’, a streamlined take on its core restaurant business, is the latest example of the quick-serve and delivery markets’ growing appeal for casual dining operators. These new streamlined formats can help brands capture a greater share of the growing delivery market, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

While Nando’s is only just introducing its cut down format, other brands have experimented with similar forays into the quick-serve arena, many of which have failed to gain recognition and grow, due to a lack of focus. Recent examples of failed attempts include Carluccio’s, Toby Carvery Express and TGI Fast Track, which were in many ways unsuccessful at adapting their key offerings and image for the quick-serve, grab ‘n’ go crowd.

In the US, however, Buffalo Wild Wings enjoyed more success with a similar concept. Last year, the chain opened two new “B-Dubs Express” outlets.  While this started with a limited, two outlet footprint, a third outlet is scheduled to open later this year in Minneapolis, and is set to benefit from a self-serve beer wall.

Louis Towell, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “This highlights a key point of differentiation from quick serve restaurants for these cut-down casual dining operators, which routinely offer a selection of alcoholic beverages and typically focus on key millennial demographics, as highlighted by the prevalence of craft beers and ciders on their menus.”

Alongside the surge in popularity of grab ‘n’ go formats is the surge in delivery, which continues to go from strength to strength. Much like Buffalo Wild Wings’ B-Dubs Express, Nino’s streamlined menu and smaller seating area should enable the branches to better focus on consumers’ growing appetite for delivery, without the large overheads associated with larger outlets. Similarly, as these restaurants offer alcohol on their menus, they typically also offer delivery of alcohol through services such as Deliveroo, thus further broadening their appeal.

GlobalData forecasts delivery in full-service and quick-service restaurants in the UK to see growth at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.8% until 2021, compared to 3.1% in dine-in, highlighting the improved returns achievable in delivery when compared with traditional out-of-home occasions.

Towell continues: “As a result, it is likely that brands will continue to experiment with streamlined formats, which can help them to better adapt to modern foodservice consumers’ constantly evolving needs and demands. In fact, with express varieties of Five Guys Burgers and Fries expected, as well as smaller players like Moose entering the express market, more familiar brands will try to benefit from these smaller formats in 2018.

“Any brand looking to make the move into express should consider the mistakes made by their predecessors, and ensure that their new brand is sufficiently identifiable to attract a customer base of its own.”