By Molly Cerreta Smith

There’s one thing for certain — there is no shortage of quick-casual, to-go, drive-thru and delivery options to cater to the demand of our busy lives. In a world of hustle and bustle, some “fast” food options are better than others, when it comes to fresh-made options, quality ingredients, customer service and dedication to the community.

PDQ, with three locations in the West, including one in the Paradise Valley area at 4514 East Cactus Road in Phoenix, is short for “People Dedicated to Quality.” PDQ was founded initially in 2011 in Florida by Outback Steakhouse co-founder Bob Basham and MVP Holdings CEO Nick Reader, who remain the two principal owners of PDQ. Beloved throughout the Southeast and now beyond for its hand-breaded chicken tenders, PDQ brought its fresh-made daily salads, sandwiches, bowls and hand-spun milkshakes to Phoenix in 2017.

Rather than offer fast food, PDQ offers fresh food fast, according to Kristy Haase, operating director of the PDQ Paradise Valley, who opened all three PDQ locations in the West. “We like to serve quality food to the people in our community, she says. “We want your family to eat what our family eats — fresh ingredients, made-to-order sandwiches and salads, hand-breaded tenders, and hand-spun shakes.”

She adds that PDQ values people and quality — and the company is an active member in its community. “From sponsoring high school football teams, elementary reading programs, and family fun nights at the restaurant, we pride ourselves in being able to give back to the community,” Haase adds. Since its inception in the valley, PDQ has partnered with community organizations in Phoenix including the Brittany Spaniel Rescue, Scottsdale YMCA, Autism Walk – SARRC, PV High Football, Horizon Choir and Horizon Baseball; Hidden in the Hills Elementary Reading Program, Fresh Start Women’s Group, Do Re Mi Choir Group, and Thrive Foster Program. Currently, the Paradise Valley location has a donation tree up for the latter organization, where people can select a tag off of the tree and purchase the gift to benefit a family in need.

In addition to supporting its community and providing its customers with excellent service and quality foods, PDQ puts stock in its staff. “I love working with PDQ, says Haase. “They truly value input and are open to opinion and change. The organization has simple objectives and they put people and quality first. I joined PDQ because of the food and stayed because of the people. We like to have fun and we are proud of what we serve.” In fact PDQ’s commitment to their staff is based on the belief that their greatest success is their people.

PDQ-Arizona has a fully staffed kitchen, where each menu item is made-to-order each day from the never-frozen 100 percent fresh hand-breaded chicken tenders to the fresh salads, sandwiches and more. The ingredients have no added steroids, no added hormones and “no nonsense — just delicious food that makes you feel good.” The restaurant’s “feel-good guarantee” is one families and busy people on the go can feel good about when making a quick-meal decision any day.

4514 E. Cactus Rd.