Audac delivers for Nando in Jo’burg
Thursday, 3 February 2022
artThe goal was to deliver a high-quality, zoned audio-visual solution
South Africa - Global restaurant chain Nando’s is keen to celebrate its Southern African origins. To this end, Nando’s has commissioned local art from the outset to decorate its restaurants; consequently, the chain now possesses the largest privately owned collection of contemporary Southern African art in the world.
Recently, Nando’s inaugurated one of its latest restaurants, located in the Mall of Africa, Johannesburg. Much like the collection of art, the cultural resonance of audio is also an important touchpoint for the brand. In fact, Nando’s run an entire radio station across all their restaurants that delivers a carefully curated Afro-Luso playlist. Heatwave Radio combines the ‘beats of Africa along with the fiery rhythms of Latin America’, an ode to the Afro-Portuguese heritage of the company.
Retail solutions specialists Lumalytic secured the tender to handle audio-visual design and integration for the new restaurant, pitching a solution that provides background music (BGM) and lighting with control across multiple zones. Lumalytic partnered with Stage Audio Works (SAW) who assisted with the design and supply of the audio element. SAW specified a comprehensive Audac system in response to the restaurant’s needs.
The goal was to deliver a high-quality, zoned audio-visual solution where the lighting and audio work in synergy. A key requirement was the automated control of these elements throughout the day to create the right ambiance at the right moment. The LED lighting solution runs on a DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) network and is controlled via a Q-SYS Core which also provides flexible audio control across three zones.
The Audac audio solution is based on a variety of ceiling loudspeakers spread across three distinct zones: the main restaurant seating area, the back of house (BOH) staff-only area including the kitchen, stores etc., and the famous PERi-PERi chicken grill. To cover the restaurant floor, SAW specified eight ultra-compact CELO2s whose uncompromising sound quality belie their bijou proportions.
Low-end reinforcement is provided by a pair of CELO8S ceiling subwoofers. Both models were fitted with black grilles to match seamlessly with the restaurant’s interior. To ensure that audio playback was consistent throughout the site, multiple CIRA530D loudspeakers with Audac’s patented QuickFit mounting mechanism were installed in the BOH area, so that all staff, share the same experience. Finally, a pair of Audac AWP06 waterproof, IP65-compliant ceiling speakers were installed by the grill, so that output would not be affected by any steam produced.
Mike Summerfield elaborates on the motivation behind SAW’s specification: “We went with Audac as their ceiling loudspeaker offering provides an array of high-end, versatile and aesthetically pleasing solutions. They are exceptionally easy to install, and the sound quality is second to none, which is crucial to creating an immersive atmosphere.” He continues, “Nando’s is well known for taking good care of its employees. As such, it was imperative that the staff had their own BGM system for the BOH. It’s a model that has served them well, as this staff-centric approach translates to increased productivity, and happy customers.”  
As part of the second phase of the installation, Lumalytic installed an ambient microphone which allows music to adjust automatically to ambient sound levels. This helps to regulate the volume according to the level of traffic in the store. 
This entire system is powered by two Audac EPA254 quad channel amplifiers, which are housed neatly along with the other rackmount equipment in a Stage Plus cabinet in the manager’s office. The EPA254’s minimal weight and compact size, combined with high energy efficiency makes them the perfect choice for an installation of this scale. Finally, all cabling used in the integration was from PROCAB, a brand that offers cost effective, professional standard cabling to suit any environment.

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