The Design Manager position exists to provide leadership and direction to achieve all restaurant design related goals and objectives. This position will play a key role within the Property Department in terms of achieving the brand’s mission to produce creative and engaging spaces that deliver the Nando’s Experience.

Each Nando’s restaurant is unique and painstakingly designed. All feature original art, earthy textures and bright colors that reflect Nando’s sunny African-Portuguese heritage. Our distinctive design style and commitment to sourcing FF&E from our local artisan partners in Southern Africa sets us apart from other concepts and creates an amazing experience for our restaurant teams and our guests. This position will manage all outside consultants throughout the development phase of our restaurant locations, clearly communicating design intent and vision to the consultant teams, along with directing construction workflow and troubleshooting design details to meet opening deadlines. This role will require a self-driven, detail-oriented individual with strong communication skills and an entrepreneurial nature. As with all members of the Nando’s family, the Design Manager will be expected to wear multiple hats, seek out opportunities to make Nando’s and themselves better every day and in general, be a good team player! The essential functions of this position are mapped out below:


  • Project Management
    • Ensures each new restaurant design includes strong plan/flow, unique features, and includes authentic South African art/ design elements
    • Manages all design consultant relationships including architects, designers, engineers, artists, FF&E vendors
    • Assembles project briefs, budgets and schedules for new builds, renovations and design related projects
    • Completes test fits and site analysis for real estate prospects
    • Leads internal initiatives that involve physical components of brand
    • Designs (drafts/sketches) small design projects as needed
    • Ensures all developer guidelines on signage and design are met
    • Ensures that FF&E, finish selections and construction details are high quality and fit for purpose
  • Design Admin & Support
    • Builds and maintains budgeting tools for FF&E
    • Keeps all design/drawing/procurement files organized and accessible for maintenance
    • Builds and maintains CAD library elements
    • Builds and maintains a catalog of baseline brand standards (banquette styles, chair types, resilient finishes, hardware, equipment, etc) to control cost and quality issues.
    • Manages art library and furniture/finish inventory
    • Assembles FF&E handover manuals for Restaurant and facilities team
    • Manages and negotiates vendor contacts, discounts, etc.
    • Completes design driven procurement and artwork imports
  • Design Maintenance
    • Works with existing restaurants and the facilities team to maintain and update FF&E as needed


  • 5+ years’ experience working on commercial and/or hospitality projects as a project manager or project designer
  • Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design or Architecture
  • Ability to use CAD software to draft floorplans
  • Experience in modeling software, preferably Archicad or SketchUp
  • Deep knowledge of construction methods and products specific to restaurant interiors
  • Ability to innovate and to solve problems in a creative and resourceful way, while driving teams to meet budget and schedule parameters
  • Proficiency in construction documentation, processes and building codes