Crosby expects growth to ramp up over the next few years. There are 13 people in the training pipe line with more candidates applying each year.
“As we get larger, we’re able to develop more and more people,” Crosby says. “As we move forward, we’ll keep adding more people to the leadership development process we have going on, and as we grow, we’ll expand that pipe line of capable leaders.”
This system is one reason leadership has remained consistent over the past few decades. Crosby notes the company has only lost eight leaders since he joined in 1981—one for medical reasons, three to retirement, and four who wanted to take a path in a different industry. Pal’s is built by its employees, he says, and it’s “world-class individuals who are going to drive us forward.”
Pal’s growth strategy isn’t the only way the company rebels against industry norms.
When you pull into a Pal’s, you won’t be greeted by a digital menuboard or a speaker. You’ll be greeted with a smiling face to take your order. While the drive-thru only chain may have the looks of a retro restaurant, behind the scenes is a different story, Crosby says.
Instead of dazzling customers with a high-tech ordering experience, the team at Pal’s has kept the customer experience relatively simple.
“Technology wise if you look at us, we're a simple hamburger hot dog chain in the hills of Tennessee and Virginia and we don't utilize technology for order,” Crosby says. “From all that, you think that we're not very technology savvy, but behind the scenes we’re probably I would put our technology head to head with anybody in the industry.”