Outback co-founder launches quick-service chicken concept

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.

Contact Alan Snel at [email protected] [3].
Follow him on Twitter: @AlanSnelNRN [4]