I first fell in love with PDQ when my best friend brought me to the one in Tampa by her house. How could you not love super tasty chicken tenders, fresh cut fries, and yummy milkshakes? After that very first visit PDQ became one of my must stop places whenever I was in Tampa.
So what is PDQ exactly? PDQ, which stands for People Dedicated to Quality, is a fast casual restaurant specializing in fresh hand-battered chicken tenders, made-to-order sandwiches, daily cut fries, hand-spun milkshakes and fresh salads. Outback Steakhouse co-founder Bob Basham and MVP Holdings CEO Nick Reader are the two principal owners of PDQ. The partners spent more than two years developing the concept behind the brand and the quality of the food and establishments. On October 30, 2011, the original PDQ restaurant opened its doors across from Plant High School in Tampa, Florida. PDQ now has locations in seven states.
Fast forward to earlier this year when we finally got our own PDQ here in the Central Florida area. I was so excited! At first I was bummed that it was in Sanford, which isn’t exactly close to my house, but after going there on the very first day they were open I realized that PDQ being in Sanford was probably a good thing – for my waistline at least.
Last month myself, along with a few of my fellow Central Florida Lady Bloggers, were treated to a behind the scenes tour of PDQ Sanford and an amazing lunch. Catering manager Marcia Harrison was our hostess for the day. During our tour of the PDQ kitchens we learned SO much about how PDQ works. First off they have NO freezers and NO microwaves. That means that everything they serve, right down to their super tasty dipping sauces, is made fresh in house daily.
Their dedication to quality extends to every aspect of your visit. When you place your order it is always with a person, even at the drive through where there is no squackbox – you place your order at the window. To ensure that your meal is fresh it isn’t even started until you start placing your order. If you order fries a fresh batch it dropped just for you. If you order a shake it is hand-spun and not made for a mix. They even make their own lemonade that only has fresh squeezed lemon juice and a simple syrup that they make on site.
During our lunch I ordered “my usual” – a 3 piece tender meal with a drink and fries. I also decided to split a peanut butter chocolate shake with my friend Andrea (good call on our part). After we had all places our orders Marcia brought out some of the items that we hadn’t order so that we could still try them. We got to try their new honey marinated nuggets, blueberry coleslaw, and ALL of their dipping sauces. Every time I go I get at least two sauces because it is so hard to pick just one. My honey mustard is my favorite, but the creamy garlic comes in a close second.
In addition to being a very fresh and dedicated company, PDQ is also very dedicated to the communities they are in. PDQ Family Night Events to raise money for your charity, Charity Cards (or Fundraising Cards), Student Reward Cards, and PDQ Fresh Tours (like we went on). If are are looking for some help with an event or fundraising, definitely make sure to contact your local PDQ.
So if you are in the Orlando area, or any of the 7 states that have PDQs, I strongly suggest that you try them out. One other perk of PDQ and their chicken? They are open on Sunday 🙂