Piccadilly Restaurants, an icon of fresh-cooked, Southern-style comfort food, marks its 75th anniversary in February. During the month, the company will celebrate the Piccadilly family—generations of guests served over the years, as well as the dedicated staff members who prepare meals.
The anniversary coincides with rising demand for take-out orders. Companywide, take-out now accounts for more than a third of total sales, a trend that has fueled the company’s latest innovation, Piccadilly To Go, smaller locations that offer the restaurant’s full menu, though without seating.
“This is one of the sharpest trends we’ve ever seen. Families are just as busy as ever, but they want the quality and freshness of a home-cooked meal,” says Piccadilly CEO Azam Malik. “Many of those families are finding what they want with take-out from Piccadilly.”
Indeed, Piccadilly’s founding in 1944 was based on guests’ changing preferences. Tandy Hamilton started with a single, cafeteria-style restaurant in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which was already a bustling hub for the nation’s oil and gas industry, and a crucial site for war-time military production.
“Tandy’s idea was serving liberal portions at the highest quality for fair prices,” says Malik. “That sounds common sense these days, but his ability to put all that together in a family-based atmosphere was well ahead of its time.”
This summer, Piccadilly is scheduled to open a new prototype location in Denham Springs, just east of Baton Rouge. The menu will be a mix of traditional specialties and new items, including healthy baked fish entrees and more exotic dishes like chicken with mango habanero salsa.