March 19, 2009 // Franchising.com // Bartow, Fla. — Zaxby's licensee David Abbott and his business partner Brian Astuto, will open the doors to Bartow's first Zaxby's restaurant this Monday. The new Zaxby's, a Southeast favorite for chicken fingers and Buffalo wings, is located at 590 N. Broadway Ave., just south of the Highway 98 and Highway 60 intersection. The restaurant will operate from 10:45 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
"We are excited to offer Zaxby's to Bartow residents," said Abbott, who also owns the Zaxby's locations in Mulberry and Lakeland. "We look forward to introducing Zaxby's signature service and prepared-at-order menu items, and we think the community will embrace the concept and experience." The new restaurant showcases Zaxby's unique interior design, featuring a bright, open interior décor, complemented by vintage memorabilia and signage. The approximately 3,500-square-foot restaurant will provide comfortable booths and tables, with a seating capacity of 82. Zaxby's also provides drive-thru services to meet the needs of customers on the go.
Abbott believes the restaurant — from the atmosphere to the service — will exceed community expectations. "We've assembled a great team of over 40 associates who, we are confident, will deliver on the Zaxby's mission to 'consistently create encore experiences that enrich lives one person at a time,'" said Abbott.
The new Zaxby's is the first for Bartow, the third for Polk County and the 34th for the Sunshine State. Zaxby's footprint includes more than 465 locations in 11 states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. An alternative to fast food, Zaxby's offers prepared-at-order chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads. Zaxby's most popular items are its hand-breaded Chicken Fingerz and Jumbo Buffalo Wings, smothered in a choice of nine sauces with names like Wimpy, Tongue Torch, Nuclear and Insane. The menu also offers innovative Zappetizers — Onion Rings, Tater Chips (home-style potato chips) and Spicy Fried Mushrooms, as well as a variety of Party Platterz perfect for any family gathering or special occasion.
Zaxby's also offers three salads, or Zalads: The House, The Blue and The Caesar. All are prepared at order, with grilled or fried chicken, three kinds of lettuce, shredded cheese, fresh veggies and juicy tomatoes. Customers have a choice of buffaloed or blackened chicken when ordering The Blue. All of Zaxby's Zalads offer more chicken and unique ingredients, such as French-fried onions, and are larger than most salads offered elsewhere. Each Zalad is assembled at the time the order is placed, versus being pre-made and stored in a cooler.
Zaxby's is a "quick-casual" restaurant chain headquartered in Athens, Ga. Zaxby's opened its first restaurant in Statesboro, Ga., in March 1990, and by July 2001 opened its 100th location in Jacksonville, Fla. Zaxby's celebrated its 200th restaurant opening in its hometown of Athens, Ga., in May 2004, and in December 2005 observed its 300th opening in Dallas, Ga. In October 2007 Zaxby's opened its 400th location in Macon, Ga.
Zaxby's founders Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley looked around their community and saw plenty of fast food or sit-down dining options, but felt something was missing. They decided to provide the most delicious chicken fingers and Buffalo wings in town. That hatched a simple idea to create a fun atmosphere where food quality is of the utmost importance. In 1990, they opened the first Zaxby's in Statesboro, Ga. The concept, one of the early "quick-casual" restaurants, proved successful.
McLeroy and Townley opened four more restaurants, and in 1994, they began to franchise the brand. The food and service was so popular, the Athens, Ga.-based chain has boomed to more than 465 units in 11 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and continues to grow.