Fernando’s, in Reading, was sent a legal letter from the chicken giant, accusing its owners of copying the restaurant chain’s logo and name.
The letter states that both the cockerel and chilli images used by Fernando’s on its menus are “highly similar” to the Nando’s-owned and trademarked ‘Barcelos Cockerel’ and ‘Peri-ometer’.
“We have asked this restaurant to re-brand because we believe it is trying to benefit from some of the things that make us who we are – our menu, logo and even our name,” says a Nando’s spokesperson.
“We are really proud of our brand and we know it means a lot to our customers. That’s why whenever we think there is trademark infringement we try to sort it out amicably.”
The chain also accused the Reading-based company of using too similar of a name.
Owner Asam Aziz, who opened Fernando’s seven months ago, says that he is being “bullied” by Nando’s, because “[his] chicken is better than theirs”.
"We wanted to sell peri-peri chicken, being of Portuguese origin, we use the chicken which I believe is a Portuguese chicken and the name Fernando's is a Portuguese name,” Aziz told local news website In Your Area.
“It's also a place which is famous from TV show Take Me Out. We got the idea from there, for couples coming here for a meal.”
Winning couples on Take Me Out are sent to the island of Fernando’s, a fictitious name for Puerto de la Cruz in northern Tenerife. “The worst case scenario is I’ll have to give up the rights to Fernando’s,” says Aziz.
“I’ll have to give up the rights to the chicken and I’ll have to give up rights to the chilli and start re-branding from the beginning.”