Outback Co-Founder Launches Quick-Service Chicken Concept

Staff Writer
PDQ, or Pretty Darn Quick, will open first unit in October
PDQ, or Pretty Darn Quick, will open first unit in October

PDQ, or Pretty Darn Quick, will open first unit in October

Outback Steakhouse co-founder Bob Basham is launching a quick-service chicken sandwich and salad chain called PDQ — which stands for “Pretty Darn Quick” — with plans to open eight to 10 restaurants in Tampa Bay, Fla., and Raleigh and Charlotte, N. C.

Basham is partnering with Nick Reader, chief executive of Tampa-based MVP Holdings, to open the first restaurant in Tampa, Fla., on Oct. 31. Basham co-founded the Outback Steakhouse chain with Chris Sullivan.

PDQ will serve chicken sandwiches from $3.85 to $3.95, chicken tenders, chicken sandwich and salad combo deals for $6.95, and shakes, Steve Erickson, PDQ president and a former Outback Steakhouse senior vice president of operations, told Nation’s Restaurant News Thursday.

PDQ combines quick-service and fast-casual qualities. Customers order at a counter and either receive food at their table or are called to pick it up, similar to Panera Bread, Erickson said.

“We’re blending the QSR and fast-casual to make it an 'In N Out with chicken' experience,” he said.

PDQ will include drive-thru ordering, but a live employee will greet those customers, Erickson added.

The restaurant has hired a California-based design group to craft its first location, which will measure between 3,500 to 3,800 square feet.

“It’s more of a market feel, with yellows and reds and booths. Think of a market that you like to go to and sit anywhere you want to sit,” Erickson said.

Quick-service chicken chains Chick-fil-A, KFC, Church’s, Popeyes and Pollo Tropical also operate in the Tampa Bay area.

— Alan Snel

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