Nandos Restaurant In Bradford Cultural Studies Essay

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The main aim of this essay is to explore the various concepts and theories of globalisation with emphasis on the cultural aspect using Nando's restaurant as an analysis for study. This essay explores the various dimensions of globalisation such as the globalisation of culture, the definition of cultures, theories and concepts and its effect in an organisation and people's way of life. This essay expatiates on how organisations adapt to the cultures of the environment it finds itself in, their behavioural pattern of different individuals and why they behave in such ways in the organisation was also highlighted. This essay also attempts to establish the opinion that people from different cultures which may be the outcome of different backgrounds, personal characteristics and the immediate environment.

On entering Nando's on the eve of the first of January 2011 to celebrate the New Year and also prepare for my study with a couple of friends, the atmosphere was very pleasant with soft music playing in the background, I noticed the staff were mainly middle aged looking all identical in a neat black uniforms and a marching apron. We were asked if we wanted to eat in or take away. On deciding to eat in, menus were handed to us as we headed to the counter to pay for our food. At the counter we had to choose from the different Portuguese spices available for the chicken we intended to eat and also had to pay for our choice of drinks. The attendant was a middle aged woman who seemed to be half British and half African. I asked if the chicken and meat is halal, she smiled at her fellow colleague and said yes because most people in Bradford are Pakistanis. After paying, we were then ushered to our seats by a young Chinese lady who appeared to be an indigene with a strong northern British accent pleading with us to be patient for our order.

As we sat quietly on our table i noticed the lightening was great and it gave the room a cool effect as it pierced through the ceiling down our table. The table was in different shapes with colourful table sheets set on them. Our table was by the window as we could see what was going on outside. The decor was a mixture of Portuguese print from the pre colonial times with modern British fixtures pasted on the wall. The atmosphere seemed really pleasant with the staff looking all friendly and happy to be working together. They seemed to be from different ethnic backgrounds all working together collectively in their neatly ironed uniform. Back at our seats, I noticed a beautiful Muslim family staring at us as we chatted away in great expectation of our meal. The wife seemed to be highly conservative really covered up from head to toe as she briefly glanced at our table. Although, the children were all dressed in a western rock and playful outfit looking nice and happy. The music changed to a contemporary song that seemed to be every ones favourite as everyone got in the mood for celebration. It was west life playing with a mix of another western song that sounded appealing.

Finally another staff that appeared to be French came over to our table to serve our food, greeting us with a strong French accent. Our meal came with a glass of French wine and waves of raspberry sauce swirling through a creamy cheesecake, lightly caramelised on top.The smell was appetizing and it looked delicious. The room was getting fuller with all kinds people trooping in. Both young, old and middle aged looking ready to have a good night. Next to our table was a black family of six dressed in a native Nigerian outfit looking ready to eat as they were approached by the same Chinese waitress that attended to our table. After our meal, I looked around and noticed everyone was having a great time irrespective of where they came from.

Globalisation is generally known to be the elimination of restrictions to trade between nations. It is viewed as transition of conventional patterns of international production ,investment ,and trade as interactions between overlapping interests of business and society (Ohmea,1990) .Globalisation is defined broadly as increased permeability of traditional boundaries of almost every kind, including physical borders such as time and space ,nation states and economies ,industries and organisations and less tangible borders such as cultural norms or assumptions about how thing are done (Dicken ,1992).

Due to the rapid evolving global change, national economies are integrating into an interdependent global economic system. Globalisation is referred to as the transition towards a more integrated and interdependent world economy. There is a high rate of change and an increasing number of raising complexities and uncertainty also features of globalisation and all have implications (Parker,1998). It has brought about a lot of advantages to the world as a whole but was there are disadvantages to which it brings. For, businesses, these has helped in providing many opportunities for firms and enterprises to increase their revenues by expanding their businesses around the world. Another is that globalisation has helped to facilitate favourable government policies .As regards to its implications; globalisation has brought about foreign competition which has led to threats to dominating home industries (Hill, 2009).

Globalisation of markets is being referred to as the merging of the national markets into a global market, reducing barriers to trade thereby increasing integration. For instance, using multinational companies as an example, these companies such as ikea, canon, Sony and other big companies are benefactors of the globalisation of markets, enabling them to offer their basic products to the whole world, creating a global market (Hill, 2009).

Culture is seen as the integrated pattern of human knowledge, what people eat, how they dress, activities they practice, belief, custom and behaviour that depends upon man's capacity for learning as he becomes a member of a member of the society. Hofstede (1984) describes culture as the collective programming of the mind which differentiates human groups from another. Hofstede(1984) further segments culture into values and norms whereby values deal with the an individual or groups beliefs on what is wrong or right while norms are the social rules and guidelines which are set to follow. He further divides norms into folkways and mores that further explains norms.

Globalisation has brought about the world becoming a single global entity whereby various foreign cultures are being integrated into one (Robertson, 2000). The trompanaar's universalities theory talks on ideas and concepts that can be used generally. Trompernaar's and hofstede's focused basically on what we might call 'dominant' culture which is what people know and accept. They pointed out that though nations have different cultures yet, they still accept a dominant culture in which they follow (parker, 1998). They further spoke on individual values, as a result of globalization, this so called individual values are now national values which focus on universal individual values for people living in different nations.

Though globalization allows people adapt to new cultures, it has brought about 'culture shock' and this shock is seen as the different phases individuals encounter when trying to adjust to a new culture and environment. National culture refers to the collective programming of the mind, which distinguishes members of one human group from those of another. According to Schein (1992) organizational culture is seen as an inherent fact that is not easily changed by the basic assumptions and inventions that cannot be backed up with normative facts. He further went on to explain the main challenges of adapting to organizational culture such as internal integration and external adaptation.

Whenever there is a change in organizational tradition, there would be an alternate change in the organizational culture of a business. A major source of cultural globalization is the business activities that an organization engages in. As businesses find new markets for new products, they transmit cultural messages such as how people should dress look and behave. These days competitors are try to provide an alternative to cultural changes as against norms and values (parker, 1998).Changes in culture are as a result of globalization. As a result of the ever changing globalization patterns, organization has to adapt to this to the culture in which it finds itself .This is commonly known as 'a trend to blend'. The cultures, life style, people, language and communication are becoming increasingly uniform in many ways which are interpreting social change. These forces are the threats to cultural differences in society and conventional ways of life according to (Held, 2004).

Hofstede (1984), talked widely on the four dimensions of national cultures. He showed how culture relates to its work place and how it relates to the dimension of culture. This is highlighted below.


This is focused on how individuals are expected to develop their relationship between the individual and other fellows (Parker, 1995). Individualism relates to a fondness to act independently, while collectivism refers to a greater relationship where individuals work hand in hand as a group (hill, 2009). Basically collectivism is the secondary phase of individualism.

Power distance

This dimension deals with the fact on how individuals are not equal in their intellectual and physical capabilities .This shows the extent by which power is not evenly distributed (Hill, 2009).

Uncertainty avoidance

This dimension shows the extent to which people prefer certainty to uncertainty (Parker, 1998).


This dimension refers to the relationship between gender roles in an organization whereby in a masculine society, there is a large distinction between sex roles in a society where the males are given more priority than women. This is seen as the 'assertive pole'. While in a femininity society, the reverse is the case this is little or no differentiation between genders in the same job they are seen as the 'caring pole' (parker, 1998).

Case analysis

Without food we cannot survive, so all aspirations are meaningless without the basic of food (Blades, 2009). Britannica (2007) describes food as the oldest global carrier of culture. Restaurants not only affect eating habits, but they also influence the traditions and customs in countries where they are located in as well as the residents in such countries.

Individualism relates to how each employee in an organization is appointed separate responsibilities (Parker, 1998).During my observation I noticed that each staff was given a separate task to undertake. Some were to attend to the customers at the till, some were to serve and some were to clean after. Collectivism on the other hand, analyses how staffs were united in working together and achieving the same aim which is satisfying the costumers and making profit at the same time. This is seen as the staffs carries out their duties or responsibilities. As regards to collectivism, people work together to achieve a common aim.

The strength of the work force is based on equal employment opportunity policy which takes every applicant application as separate entity and is employed based on qualification and not race. In relation to the masculinity and femininity theory discussed by Hofstede(1984) which relates to gender segmentation amongst other thing in relation to jobs given and scale of preferences in an organisation. Globalization has brought about breaking down physical and mental barriers in businesses today bringing about gender equality. This is evident when looking around in the restaurants were the male and female staff have equal responsibilities despite their race or gender.

As the world has become a single legal entity, there is also the acceptance of a common Language which is 'English'. Globalisation has brought about easy flow of communication between the staff and customers (Trompennars, 1994). This is evident in Nando's as staff and costumers communicate in English even though it is not their first language. In relation to this, an observation i made was when a Pakistani man in front of me while ordering his food, I noticed that he couldn't speak in English but he tried to communicate in the best way possible. This shows how global English is as a single language has become a generally acceptable norm. The culture barrier has been broken by globalization again if we look at the history of Nando's. Capitalizing on Portuguese hospitality and incorporating in Rosettenville, Johannesburg South Africa. It has over 400 stores over the globe which can only be done by breaking the barriers to international trade

Customers are kings is the saying and they are always right so the restaurant operates in Bradford and has to take into consideration the nature of residents or costumers in the region who are mostly Asian and Pakistanis still preserve their tradition even when it comes to consumables. Nando's specializes in chicken dishes with either lemon or herb, medium, hot or extra hot Peri-Peri marinades but when i asked the lady at the till, i was told that halal meat and chicken was served here because of the majority of the population are from the middle east. This shows that localization and nationalization became the strong factors of integrating global cultures by the creation of exchanging cultures among regions to accept benefits from different cultures (Dahl 2001, Matsuura, 2004; Sundarami 2006). This is a strategy used in order to attract more customers into the restaurant .This is a significant evidence of cultural integration at play.

It is well known that Nandos is a South African franchise, but from its decor, it has inculcated a Portuguese theme that shows integration of Portuguese culture. As i observed the restaurant,i noticed wooden like figures on the walls with different inscription as like in the pre-colonial times. I also notice the menus the bottles that were used for the sauces made, the inscription of walls and bathroom door, i noticed a similar patter and out of curiosity i asked a staff on the theme of the decor and i was told it was a contemporary Portuguese decor. This has shown that despite the cultural diversities, globalisation has made it possible for several environments to adapt to other cultures and traditions while still preserving their origin.

In conclusion, despite the differences in ethnicities and culture, globalisation has brought about the world becoming a single global entity whereby various foreign cultures are being integrated into one (Robertson, 2000) .Globalisation involves the transfer and integration of cultural beliefs over international boundaries

these days people, food, knowledge, images, mode of dressing and beliefs readily flow across territorial boundaries. This suggests that globalization involves the transfer of. But with regards to this essay, it has shown how easily one can adopt the culture of American food in a global community. How the concept of cultural globalization is being exerted in different forms. It has been able to establish the interrelatedness of globalization to every culture, how having access to exploring other peoples cultures such as food brings people together. However, McDonald's restaurant clearly highlights that the world is fast becoming unified. Globalization is therefore turning the human community into a single entity that transcends communities of nations and other identity group makes the world a single place (Swimme, 1984).