Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
2001 Award Recipient – Small Business Category

Pal’s Sudden Service

Highest Official:
Thomas A. Crosby
Web Site:

Pal’s Sudden Service is a privately owned quick-service restaurant company with 29 locations in northeastern Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia. Pal’s has about 1,200 employees and all but 3 employees work within the stores. Pal’s competes directly with national fast food chains. It offers a menu of hamburgers, hot dogs, frenchie fries, chipped ham, chicken, milk shakes, and beverages as well as breakfast biscuits with country ham, sausage, and gravy.

Quality and Performance Achievements:

  • 95 percent customer satisfaction score.
  • Service times 4 times faster than its competitors.
  • 1 complaint in every 3,500 orders.
  • A benchmark in service hospitality.
  • Half the industry turnover.
  • Many consecutive years of same store sales growth.
  • The first of only 2 restaurant companies to ever win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. (Note: The second Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner was a 9-year client of Pal’s Business Excellence Institute.)
  • Case studies have been done on Pal’s Sudden Service world class practices by Harvard Business school and other universities.