August 15, 2013 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA, Ga. - Zaxby's Franchising, Inc. (ZFI) today announced it hit a billion dollars in gross sales in the past 12 months. Zaxby’s, a fast-casual chicken franchise based in Athens, Georgia, is a dominant regional brand with a devoted following and 576 units primarily in the Southeast.
“So far, 2013 has been a great year for Zaxby's growth. We ranked fourth in growth for fast-casual chicken franchises, fourteenth in the country for growth in fast-casual franchises overall — and hit a billion dollars,” said Zach McLeroy, Zaxby’s CEO. “For a regional, privately-held, fast-causal chicken franchise restaurant company with only 575 locations this is basically unheard of, really huge.” he added.
“By focusing on smart growth — growth that’s both culturally and financially sustainable — we’ve remained debt-free, while delivering growth quarter after quarter,” stated McLeroy. ZFI’s growth this year included an increase in average unit volume and a strategic westward expansion across the U.S.; recently selling the exclusive rights for the entire state of Utah in a single multi-unit deal.
“What I’m the most proud of is our sustainable cultural growth. We’ve continued to develop and grow our core values of operational excellence, guest focus and developing talent. From our guests having an exceptional dining experience, to the smile they receive at the counter, to our restaurant design — it all comes down to taking the long-term approach with operational excellence, guest focus and training. Ultimately, it’s about enriching the lives of everyone the brand touches,” concluded McLeroy.
An alternative to fast food, Zaxby’s offers its guests prepared-at-order Chicken Fingerz, Traditional or Boneless Wings, sandwiches, Zalads and Zappetizers, along with a variety of nine sauces ranging from Wimpy and Tongue Torch to Nuclear and Insane. Childhood friends Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley hatched the Athens, Ga.-based chain in 1990 to provide a fun, relaxing atmosphere that would keep guests coming back for more. The company ranked number seven in the 2012 Top 10 Excellent Large Fast-Food Chains With 500 Or More U.S. Units Quick-Track study published by Sandelman & Associates. The chain also ranked number five in the nation for total sales and number one in the chicken segment in the 2012 Top 150 Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report published by Technomic. Zaxby’s operates more than 575 locations in 13 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. For more information, please visit zaxbys.com, ZaxbysFranchising.com, facebook.com/zaxbys or follow on Twitter @Zaxbys.
Ogilvy Public Relations, Atlanta