Ones To Watch: PDQ

The letters in the name PDQ have two different meanings. First and foremost, they stand for “people dedicated to quality,” says PDQ principal Nick Reader. They also stand for “pretty darn quick,” as the concept is a fast casual that focuses on speedy delivery.

“Our people are what we pride ourselves on most,” says Reader, a former CFO for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who founded PDQ with Bob Basham, cofounder of Outback Steakhouse.

PDQ: Not Your Typical Chicken Concept

When fast-casual concept PDQ first opened its doors in the fall of 2011 with a new approach to the chicken category, owners Bob Basham and Nick Reader weren’t sure what to expect. They knew the brand’s contemporary design, commitment to quality, and emphasis on customer service were strong brand differentiators, but they wondered if consumers would respond favorably to this variation, which was designed around a brand with chicken tenders as the core menu item.

Two years and 20 stores later, they’re confident the deviation has paid off.