October 24, 2013 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA - Zaxby’s Franchising, Inc. (ZFI) today announced its expansion into another new state with a multi-unit restaurant agreement. Veteran ZFI multi-unit franchisees Ben Williams Sr. and Bill McGeary, joined by Ben Williams Jr., have signed a deal that gives them exclusive rights to northeast Oklahoma, including the DMA of Tulsa. This deal is the second new state / multi-unit deal in the past 60 days for Zaxby’s, the Athens, Ga.-based, fast-casual restaurant brand — signaling its successful nationwide expansion.
Ben Williams Sr. and Bill McGeary currently own and operate Zaxby’s stores in the states of Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi. Bill Williams Jr., who is Ben Williams Sr.’s son, will be a new partner in the Oklahoma deal. Three Oklahoma stores are scheduled to open within the next 18 months and additional stores are slated, but an exact number has not been determined. Williams Sr. and Bill McGeary both started at the Zaxby’s corporate office and have more than 25 years of restaurant operations, finance and business development experience between them. "Zaxby’s has grown, and we’ve grown with them," stated Williams. Zaxby’s has strong track record for creating multi-unit success for their franchisees. More than 63 percent of all Zaxby’s franchisees have more than one unit, while nationally only 36.3 percent of all franchisees have more than one unit according to FRANdata.
"After opening with one store in 1999, we are now in four states and growing. That’s a testament to how Zaxby’s looks out for their franchisees. We are really one big happy family," continued Williams. Zaxby’s franchisees’ satisfaction is highlighted by the fact that 62 percent of all new Zaxby’s franchisee agreements signed in 2013 are with existing operators. "We’re proud to be growing and entering a new state, but it feels even better that I’m now able to make that second generation business deal with Ben Jr. now coming aboard," concluded Williams.
"Ben and Bill have been with Zaxby’s for more than 15 years. Both started at the corporate office and then went on to open multiple stores together. Now they’re helping us expand into a new state — and nationally. They’re a paradigm, showing that motor driving our national expansion is really fueled
by the success of Zaxby’s franchisees," said Zaxby’s CEO Zach McLeroy. Zaxby’s national expansion campaign includes hitting a billion dollars in sales and expanding into two new states, all within the past 60 days.
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. Zaxby’s ranked number one in the chicken segment and number five in the nation for total sales by Technomic in the 2012 Top 150 Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report. Consumers ranked Zaxby’s as the Most Craveable Fast Casual in America, in Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics program, and the chain was listed as one of the 12 Best Franchise Deals in 2013 by QSR Magazine. In honor of the thousands of children the restaurant chain serves every year, Zaxby’s is a proud supporter of Make-A-Wish®. The company operates more than 580 locations in 13 states, including 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