Takeaway Truth: Nando's 'Little Hotties' Snack Range

Takeaway Truth is a new occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: Nando's 'Little Hotties' Snack Range (with a side order of sex).

Fast food restaurants have been known to gild the lily when it comes to accurate depictions of their menu items. Far too often, the mouth-watering feast on the poster turns out to be a limp and oily morsel. In a bid to keep the fry-jockey overlords honest, we've decided to document the reality of fast food — it was either that, or go postal like Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

If fast food marketing departments were animals, Nando's would be a dog in heat tied to a cut snake. Its advertisements are completely bonkers, with an inappropriately "risqué" vibe that often borders on sexist.

Who could forget the chicken-loving mum of three, who also happened to be a stripper? Or the bimbo whose breasts were so large she couldn't see her dinner plate? Both of these ads came under fire from the Advertising Standards Bureau, but the randy franchise refused to change its spots. Instead, it simply licked its wounds with saucy relish and prepared to launch its naughtiest blitzkrieg yet.

The Nando's 'Little Hotties' are a pair of snack-sized menu items dubbed the Pequeno Mini Chicken Burger and Pequeno Mini Chicken Pita. The marketing of these unassuming entrees made all previous Nando's ads look like Huggies commercials. To promote its new snack range, the company built an entire, standalone website dedicated to a troupe of voluptuously vampy burlesque dancers. No really. Here's what the landing page looks like:

Little hotties indeed.

I toyed with the idea of doing a photo shoot with myself in the same outfit, but nobody wants to see that. Instead, I scoured the internet for a Little Hotties image that didn't include a scantily-clad woman. (This proved to be a difficult undertaking.)

Here's an image of what the Nando's Little Hotties look like in Nando's advertising:

And here's what we got served:

When there's no hot girl to distract you, it becomes blatantly obvious how misleading the Nando images are. The Pequeno Mini Chicken Pita is especially deceptive: the reality is a limp, soggy pocket of sadness with none of the vibrant fillings depicted in the advertisement. The burger is a bit better, but not by much. Here's a closer comparison shot:

Note that the bun is a completely different shape. The lettuce has also become the primary ingredient, whereas it's just a condiment in the advert.

This is especially galling when you consider Nando's positions itself as an 'upmarket' fast food restaurant, with exorbitant prices to match. Tch, eh? Sex might sell, but the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. After viewing the reality of Nando's Little Hotties range, we simply aren't that hungry.

    Truth Rating: 5/10

Which fast food franchise or menu item would you like us to tackle next? Let us know in the comments section below.


    I was hoping for a comparison between the girl in the ad and the guy who served you...

    I do enjoy these columns, but sometimes wonder what it is exactly you expect.. You aren't going to get a burger that took as long as an hour to make for a single photo, off a production line. It's just not possible.

      As I've said before, it's not about expecting a carbon copy -- it's about assessing the degree of deception. Some franchises are less honest than others.

        True, and I guess it's not as though you gave them a 1 or anything, just a half truth.

    ahaha I love the positioning of the mouse in the second pic

    All I can say is that I imagine she would taste a lot better than either of the burgers...

    PS: I've long had the idea of setting up a comparison site for comparison the advertised version with the real version. It's great to see you're doing the work for me!

    The comparison images might be closer if you used a slightly more orange light. Although I suppose that the difference in lighting is part of the point.

    I love Nando's adds. Most of the South African ones never make it in Oz, because South Africa is not as anal about add regulation as Australia which frankly is the most boring in the world. And more often than not, Nando's would anticipate the backlash about an add and since the pot has been stirred already, have the follow on add ripe & ready. Nando's 1, Complainers 0.

      It's 'ad', not 'add'.

    Had Nando's breakfast the other day, peri peri scrambled eggs mmmmmmm yummy

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