Noted fast-food chain Pal’s Sudden Service is one of a handful of global companies highlighted in Bill Taylor’s new book, Simply Brilliant, slated for release September 20. The co-founder of Fast Company, a publication focused typically on Silicon Valley innovators, says Pal’s is an example of a great organization doing ordinary things in extraordinary ways.
“If you are hungry for evidence that it is possible to do extraordinary things in some pretty ordinary settings, then pull into a Pal’s Sudden Service,” notes Taylor. “Its fanatical devotion to speed and accuracy makes the company an extraordinary example of excellence.”
“We’ve learned that if we chase perfection every day we can find excellence,” explains Pal’s Chief Executive Officer, Thom Crosby. “We are honored by the recognition of Bill Taylor’s new book. What really excites us is delighting our customers.”
Taylor scanned the globe for examples of extraordinary companies outside his normal topic of high technology. He found examples in England at a bank; in New York at a charity to find homes for the homeless; in Miami Beach at a parking garage; and in Alaska at a healthcare organization. “Pal’s stood above the rest in its relentless pursuit of sharing its secrets to success with its store operators, employees and other companies—including its competitors.”
Taylor noted that after Pal’s became the first restaurant company to earn the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Baldrige National Quality Award, it established the Pal’s Business Excellence Institute (BEI). The Kingsport-based organization offers regular seminars to any organization on Pal’s Performance Excellence Model. National fast food competitors regularly attend the seminars in hopes of replicating Pal’s success.
“The company’s discipline for training then certifying and re-certifying its employees on everything from preparing Frenchie Fries to making a milkshake is the true secret to Pal’s performance,” Taylor says. “Pal’s is four times faster at the drive-through than its nearest national competitor in service speed. It is 10 times more accurate than its nearest national competitor in order accuracy. That make’s Pal’s not just extraordinary, but a national treasure of customer service.”
“Customers don’t visit a Pal’s to spend time with us,” Crosby crosby. “They want us to make their lives a little easier. Our customers know what they want. They order their food and we give them the confidence that when we hand them that bag of great-tasting food, everything is just as you asked for it. You hit the accelerator and you’re on your way.”
To be released by Penguin Random House, Simply Brilliant will be available at bookstores and online for purchase
With 29 locations in Tennessee and Virginia, Pal’s is known for its refreshing 32-ounce Big Tea, Big Pal hamburger, hot dogs, Frenchie Fries, and Cheddar Rounds. Pal’s menu offers items for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as milkshakes. Founded in 1956 by Pal Barger, the Kingsport, Tennessee-based company is celebrating its 60th year of customer service and quality, quick service.
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