BRANDON — The founders of the PDQ chicken chain are starting a restaurant concept called Wow! That's Fresh.
Look for customers to shorten it to WTF.
The restaurant, at 1426 W Brandon Blvd., will serve burgers, salads and pizzas. Construction started this week, with an opening date expected for late September or October.
The restaurant is being developed by Outback Steakhouse co-founder Bob Basham and Nick Reader, former CFO of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The partners also own Lee Roy Selmon's restaurants and Glory Days Grill in New Tampa.
Bill Kadow is the restaurant's president. He was vice president of operations at Carrabba's Italian Grill, another chain run by Outback, now publicly traded Bloomin' Brands.
PDQ opened in 2011 in South Tampa and has expanded to 22 restaurants, most of them in Florida and North Carolina. Several other locations are in the works. The name stands for People Dedicated to Quality, though many diners dub it "pretty darn quick."
Officials chose Brandon for Wow! That's Fresh because of its large residential and business base seeking fresh, fast-casual restaurants. If successful, the concept could expand.
"Just like PDQ, we're going to build the first one and see how it's received and come up with a game plan,'' Basham said. "We're not going to get ahead of ourselves.''
The 4,000-square-foot restaurant will have a drive-through and a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, features similar to a PDQ. Wow! That's Fresh's initials could help with name recognition.
"The hardest part is coming up with a name that's easy to remember,'' Basham said. "If it helps young people remember it, then that's okay.''