PDQ and Best Buddies Jobs Program Here on the Suncoast and Beyond
Back in April, we announced that PDQ is dedicated to hiring Best Buddies employees in all 45 of their Florida locations and they have hired six to date. PDQ is a long-time supporter of the Best Buddies Jobs program which supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The company has recently launched several initiatives to support this amazing organization.
The Best Buddies Jobs program secures employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), allowing them to earn an income, pay taxes, and continuously and independently support themselves. Through the Jobs program, Best Buddies develops partnerships with employers, assists with the hiring process and provides ongoing support to the employee and employer. Many businesses have seen the benefits of hiring individuals with IDD, such as gaining dependable, motivated employees; promoting an inclusive and diverse workforce; and improving customer satisfaction.
PDQ also serves as the official Chicken Tender of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has teamed up with Best Buddies to offer a discount on the new Best Buddies Specialty License Plate featuring Buccaneers quarterback and Best Buddies Global Ambassador Tom Brady. Pre-order your plate here and enter code PDQ at checkout to receive $12 off your initial purchase voucher. Pre-sale vouchers are available to Floridians in all counties and can be purchased online. Vouchers can also be purchased by visiting any county tax collector office or license plate agency. When customers purchase or renew the specialty license plate, $25 goes directly to Best Buddies to further expand the impact of its four mission pillars – one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living – for individuals with IDD.
Q: You have a lot of amazing recognition going on this year and opportunities PDQ is involved in. What is your biggest goal when looking forward to the next year?
A: Our goal is to always make sure we are delighting our guests’ cravings, and the focus on quality, hospitality, and the guest experience is at the forefront of this. Our people are the most important part of our business and we believe the more you invest in them and empower them, the better your guests’ experience will be.
Q: You have a huge community presence on many fronts. Why do you feel this is important to be so involved in the communities you have restaurants in?
A. For us as a brand, People Dedicated to Quality also means People Dedicated to Community, and we think of every one of our restaurants as your local PDQ. It is so important for us to give back to those people and organizations around each of our locations.
Q. How did the pandemic shift your business vision and execution? Have you seen things return to “normal” fully yet?
A. The pandemic has been challenging for businesses on so many levels. We decided to double down on our People, and really put the focus on them. This has included continuing our scholarship program, introducing COVID and retention bonuses, and adding other initiatives like a wellness program. COVID-19 provided us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change things immediately and we seized it to make much-needed changes. We made some important personnel decisions and then went to work on a plan to maximize sales and profits, with an increased focus on our people and culture. The changes also included a new labor menu and a reduced menu.
Q: Can you provide just a little bit more background on why you choose to support Best Buddies International on such a big scale?
A. Inclusion is one of our core values as a brand, and we were excited to expand our partnership with Best Buddies and the incredible work they do with so many individuals and families. This relationship began more than eight years ago when Sam Piazza joined our PDQ team in Tampa, and we look forward to welcoming many more team members that are People Dedicated to Quality through this initiative. Thanks to the generosity of our guests and our internal teams, the recent campaign allowed us the opportunity to raise $35,000 in much-needed funds for Sam, as well as other current and future PDQ team members through Best Buddies.
Q: What is one thing you would tell other businesses about supporting this organization themselves?
A. The work that Best Buddies does to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities is incredible and is truly life-changing because of the opportunities and support they provide. We would encourage all businesses to reach out to learn more about how they and their teams can get involved with this amazing organization.
Q: Would you please let readers know the best way they can support PDQ and Best Buddies International? Readers can visit the Best Buddies website at Best Buddies website to learn more about how they can help.
ABOUT BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL
Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to nearly 2,900 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide.
Today, Best Buddies’ nine formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies®, Jobs, Ambassadors, Promoters and Inclusive Living— engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 56 countries, positively impacting the lives of more than 690,000 people with and without disabilities around the world. In many cases, as a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit website Facebook or Instagram.
Founded in 2011, award-winning PDQ – “People Dedicated to Quality” – offers chef-driven recipes and mindful ingredients typically found in a fine casual restaurant with the value, speed, and convenience of the fast food and fast-casual segment. Outback Steakhouse co-founder Bob Basham and MVP Holdings CEO Nick Reader are the two principal owners of PDQ. Beloved throughout the Southeast and now beyond for its famous hand-breaded chicken tenders and signature sauces, PDQ also crafts delicious sandwiches and salads fresh in-store, every day. PDQ is committed to creating deep roots in its local communities and has given over $6 million in dollars and in-kind donations to local charities, schools, and organizations since its inception. On October 30, 2011, the original PDQ restaurant opened its doors in Tampa (FL) and the concept now has locations throughout Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina. For more information, visit the website.
Photos courtesy of PDQ
Best Buddies, Chicken, community, development, Developmental disabilities, employees, Frienships, Giving back, Inclusion, inclusive living, Integrated employment, leadership, PDQ, Specialty License Plate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady