Tampa Zaxby's Hatches Monday, October 19
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Player to Open City's First Zaxby's Restaurant
October 19, 2009 // Franchising.com // TAMPA, Fla. — Zaxby's licensee and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Donnie Abraham, along with his wife Tunisia Abraham, will open the doors to Tampa's first Zaxby's restaurant on Monday. The new Zaxby's, a Southeast favorite for chicken fingers and Buffalo wings, is located at 3864 W. Waters Ave., at Dale Mabry Highway. The restaurant will operate daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
"We are confident Tampa is a great place to expand the Zaxby's brand, and are excited to continue our involvement with this wonderful community," said Donnie, who set firm roots with his family in the Bay area after retiring from the NFL in 2004. "We can't wait to begin serving our delicious, freshly prepared chicken to Tampa."
The new restaurant showcases Zaxby's unique interior design, featuring a bright, open interior décor, complemented by vintage memorabilia and signage. The approximately 3,495-square-foot restaurant will provide comfortable booths and tables, with a seating capacity of 89. Zaxby's also provides drive-thru services to meet the needs of customers on the go.
Donnie 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 Donnie.
The new location is the third for Hillsborough County and the 36th for the Sunshine State. Zaxby's currently operates more than 485 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 10 sauces with names like Wimpy, Tongue Torch, Nuclear and Insane. The menu also offers innovative Zappetizers — Onion Rings, Tater Chips (home-style potato chips), Spicy Fried Mushrooms and Fried White Cheddar Bites, as well as a variety of Party Platterz perfect for any family gathering or special occasion.
Zaxby's also offers four salads, or Zalads: The House, The Blue, The Caesar and The Zensation. All of Zaxby's Zalads offer more chicken, unique ingredients, such as French-fried onions, fresh veggies and juicy tomatoes and are larger than most salads offered elsewhere. Each is prepared with chicken, three kinds of lettuce and a variety of toppings. The Zensation features Chicken Fingerz drizzled with honey sesame glaze, mixed with red cabbage, carrots, various greens, crispy wonton strips, and topped with Asian slaw. The Zensation is served with Citrus Vinaigrette dressing and a tasty veggie egg roll. All Zalads are 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 485 units in 11 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and continues to grow.
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