About Us

join us on the journey of how Barcelos came to be and where we are heading


Our Story

The Legend

Barcelos is named after a quaint Portuguese town that is famous for an ancient legend of the Barcelos rooster.

According to the 17th century legend, a pilgrim seeking food and water in Barcelos, was accused of stealing from a landowner. The pilgrim was sentenced to hang despite his protests of innocence. In a last minute appeal to the judge, who was enjoying a roasted rooster for dinner at the time, the pilgrim boldly stated, “If I am innocent, then that rooster will get up and crow!” Suddenly, a gorgeous scarlet-plumed cockerel rose from the plate, crowing loudly.
The man was acquitted of course!


Today the town’s shops and streets are decorated with colourful ceramic roosters, and it is still a place to have a leisurely and hearty meal or a slow cup of coffee.

The Real Story

While the re-telling of the legend varies, offering different versions, Barcelos Flame Grilled Chicken has written a singularly modern story of its own. As with any journey that starts out with one small step, Barcelos opened its first store in Pretoria, South Africa in 1993. Using recipes mastered by the Portuguese hundreds of years ago, our flame grilled flavours became so popular that we franchised the business in 1998. Since then we have opened outlets in 16 countries including SA, Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan, Canada, UK, Dubai, Oman, Mauritius, Singapore, and soon in Pakistan, India & Qatar

Modern fast-lane-living has left us with little time to enjoy good, old-fashioned traditions and ideals. This is equally true about food and eating habits, therefor we at Barcelos strive continually to find a balance between the traditional, healthy home-style cuisine and the fast lane demands of the modern world. Our fast food restaurants specialise in the traditional way of serving healthy and spicy, flame grilled chicken, prepared as authentically as it was mastered by the ancient Portuguese chefs.

Today, Barcelos, with its roots in culture, tradition and history, offers a relaxed and convenient dining experience for a diverse range of cultures.

The Future

As with most brands, the 
Barcelos identity has undergone some transformations over the years in order to remain a key player in the casual dining/quick service restaurant industry. 

With our fame and flavour rooted firmly in tradition, authentic recipes and friendly service, Barcelos is a forward-thinking company, seeking to grow and establish our brand globally. 

Our ability to satisfy various cultures and tastes is evidence that we have mastered the recipe for success and growth. Join us in our journey as Barcelos expands all over the world to ensure that the legend lives on....


Barcelos - the global exploration continues

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The Secret - As important as the Barcelos Legend is, so is the marinade recipe used for Barcelos Chicken, which is so old its origins cannot be traced. Using the finest quality chickens, Barcelos Chickens are marinated for 24 hours and then flame grilled to absolute perfection