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Business Observer Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021 1 month ago

Locally based restaurant chain debuts first international store

PDQ, via a deal with a Dubai-based investment firm, has opened a location in Kazakhstan.

TAMPA — To quote Borat Sagdiyev, actor Sacha Baron Cohen’s infamous Kazakhstani journalist character, Tampa-based fast-casual restaurant chain PDQ has struck a “very nice” deal that's resulted in the company opening its first-ever location outside the United States — with more to come.

Wikimedia/Michael Bulcik. Sacha Baron Cohen in character as Borat Sagdiyev. The government of Kazakhstan at first opposed the 2006 "Borat" film but now says it and its 2020 sequel have help boost tourism to the country.

According to a news release, PDQ signed a franchise agreement with Eastern Investment Co., based in Dubai, that gives EIC the rights to own, operate and open PDQ restaurants across 40 countries in the Middle East and northern Africa. EIC’s first eatery debuted Sept. 30 at the Mega Center mall in Almaty, Kazakhstan; however, it operates under the PQ (People for Quality) trademark, rather than PDQ, which stands for People Dedicated to Quality.

“This is an exciting time for our brand as we have signed our first international Master Franchise with some incredible partners,” PDQ CEO and co-founder Nick Reader states in the release. “Our team of People Dedicated to Quality is looking forward to introducing our brand to the region as we have seen the enormous growth in the fast-casual space in that area.”

Courtesy. PDQ is building a website for its Kazakhstani customers.

EIC, the release states, plans to open at least 15 PDQ restaurants over the next five years. The firm has a robust track record of success with U.S. restaurant brands, having opened and operated more than 1,500 franchise locations across 15 counties.

“We are very excited to announce the opening of the first PDQ location in Almaty, Kazakhstan, as a first of many more with our amazing business partners at the PDQ team,” EIC CEO Emam Anwar states in the release. “We are proud of the unparalleled support we have been receiving from our partners at the PDQ team, making us want to accelerate both a local and regional execution plan.”

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