Nando’s, the fast-food chain behind some of SA’s cheekiest ad campaigns, regards 2017 as the most telling year in its three-decade history, according to SA CEO Mike Cathie. The Financial Mail interviewed Cathie about the year that was, SA’s reinvigoration, and how the chain is responding to changes in the retail landscape. Consumers have been under huge spending pressure and naturally December would have been a crucial time for the industry. How did the group perform in terms of festive trade? Our trade was good. The year was tough without a doubt — the first six months were incredibly tough, but it turned out to be a wonderful year for us. It’s not really about the result, it’s about how the business responds to tough times, and it’s good to be tested. Even though times were tough, we didn’t cut back on any development initiatives, human initiatives or community initiatives.Some positive leading indicators have emerged since the ANC’s elective conference in December. Are you seeing...

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