A hot new concept typically fosters considerable talk among restaurateurs scouting for the next big thing—i.e., virtually anyone in the business. But internet communications promise to change the dynamic, just as social media and other forms of digital connection have altered the speed and tone of the consumer grapevine. You no longer need to keep an ear to the ground at industry events; a mouse in hand seems to work much better.
So what concepts are getting the hot word of mouse today?
Here are a few that we’ve seen snagging some attention online: PDQ, PizzaRev, Red Door, Maison Keyser. Here are a few points about each.
PDQ: One of a growing number of acronym-named concepts (see our story on LYFE Kichen), this one says its birth certificate actually reads People Dedicated to Quality. It’s another fast-casual upstart that’s trying to replicate within its sector what Chipotle did in Tex-Mex. PDQ’s specialty is the chicken tender, offered with dipping sauces for the purist, or as a sandwich or salad topping. Hand-cut fries and milkshakes are also pillars of the menu, and there are a few off-beat signatures, like blueberry coleslaw.
Although PDQ has been around for some 19 months, it’s been snagging Kim Kardashian-league attention in recent weeks because of the company it’s lately been keeping. The oft-praying Tim Tebow is the latest boldfaced name to be connected with the chain, which could field a helluva touch football team. Former QB Vinny Testaverde is also reported to be a backer. Tampa Bay star Derrick Brooks is also among the celebs who are putting up money.
The roster also includes several All-Stars from the chain restaurant world, including Outback co-founders Bob Basham and Tim Gannon. Like the early Outback, PDQ is growing through joint ventures rather than franchising.Keep reading...