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A Popular Chicken Chain Just Abruptly Closed 8 Restaurants

PDQ consumers may have to find a new place to cure their chicken cravings in light of the closures.
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

Between national brands like Chick-fil-A and regional darlings like Bojangles, America has no shortage of great chicken eateries. However, some consumers may have to find a new place to cure their poultry cravings this year after one popular chicken chain abruptly closed a string of locations.

PDQ (People Dedicated to Quality)—a regional fast-food chain that specializes in hand-breaded chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches, and hand-spun milkshakes—has shuttered eight of its restaurants across South Carolina and North Carolina. The company confirmed the closures in a statement this week to CBS 17, a local media outlet in North Carolina.

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"This difficult decision comes after careful consideration and evaluation of market conditions," the statement read.

pdq restaurant
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North Carolina was home to six of the shuttered PDQ locations, which were located in Raleigh, Durham, Winston-Salem, Cary, Hickory, and Wake Forest. The other two were located in the South Carolina cities of Greenville and Columbia. All of those locations have already been removed from PDQ's website.

Shuttering eight restaurants would be a pretty significant development for any restaurant chain regardless of its footprint. But for a brand like PDQ, which currently lists 61 operating locations on its website, the closures take an especially notable bite out of its total unit count.

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There are only four remaining PDQ stores in North Carolina after the closures. Meanwhile, South Carolina no longer has any PDQ restaurants.

The chain told CBS 17 that an executive visited the restaurant teams from the closing locations over the prior week. The company is offering severance to all of the impacted workers and trying to help them find new jobs, according to the media outlet.

"PDQ's team members have been an integral part of the PDQ family, and the team is committed to supporting them during this transition," the company's statement read. "PDQ would also like to thank its loyal guests who have supported the brand over the years and will miss the relationships that have been built."

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PDQ did not immediately to our queries for further comment on why the eight locations were shuttered and whether any additional closures are possible.

The chicken chain isn't the only major restaurant brand that has recently trimmed down its store count. Denny's CFO Robert Verostek revealed during a Feb. 15 earnings call with investors that they shuttered 57 locations last year as the chain continued to struggle with inflation.

Verostek added that Denny's is "continuing to work through some additional closures" in 2024, but didn't say exactly how many more restaurants may be shuttered.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe