South African Restaurant Chain Supports Jamaican Restaurant in Atlanta After Devastating Fire

The international South Africa-based restaurant chain, Nando’s PERi-PERi Chicken, provided staunch support for the popular Dar Fire Chicken restaurant in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, after it was destroyed by fire in April 2024. Nando’s, which is set to open two restaurants in the city, paid for 404 free meals from the Dat Fire Jerk Chicken food truck, which serves as a replacement for the devastated restaurant.

South African Restaurant Chain Supports Jamaican Restaurant in Atlanta After Devastating Fire 4

Free meals and community support

Dat Fire owner and chef Jay John parked the Dat Fire food truck in front of the Jamaican restaurant’s burned-out location, and the public was invited to enjoy a meal from the truck on May 7, 2024, courtesy of Nando’s. Meals were served from noon to 4 pm, with leftover dishes donated to PAWkids, a community hub with a faith-aligned, community-based mission to empower, provide resources, and create self-sustainability in the lives of residents. Locals turned out to support the effort, with one diner explaining that she knew the difficulties faced by smaller Black businesses as they try to rebuild after traumatic events. She added that seeing Nando’s support Dat Fire was “awesome.”

Support from Nando’s

Despite the fire, owner Jay Johns continues to operate his food service with his team, serving fresh food from his food truck and refusing to slow down. According to Krista McLay of Nando’s, the restaurant chain had a simple goal and that was to “help a restaurant down on its luck.” She noted the similarities in the “roots” of Nando’s and Dat Fire and said the chain wanted to provide the site for meals and raise funds to help in the rebuilding of the Jamaican eatery. Nando’s support meant the world to Chef John, who thanked the restaurant and hospitality community that had “just been so wonderful during this tragic time.” The CEO of Nando’s PERi-PERi-Chicken USA, John Fisher, released a statement, saying, that as a “fellow flame-grilled dining destination, Nando’s was “heartbroken” when it heard of Dat Fire’s destruction. He added that Nando’s is ” honored to support Dat Fire and their campaign to rebuild by helping them serve the Atlanta community with their famous jerk chicken.” The owners have launched a GoFundMe to raise funds for their rebuilding effort.

Photo – Dar Fire Chicken