Zaxby’s Franchise succeeds in serving custom orders fast
Posted: February 24, 2013 at 6 a.m.
Zaxby’s defies the notion that diners can’t have their food both fresh and fast. Furthermore, custom orders are encouraged.
Happy to help
Zaxby’s is a national sponsor of the Make-A-Wish foundation and recently granted a dream Disney World excursion to Jesse James Payne of Johnson, a 5-year old with epilepsy.
Zaxby’s in Northwest Arkansas also has partnered with other local and national organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Children’s Safety Center, March of Dimes, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, “Think Pink” Breast Cancer Awareness and Education, Peace at Home Family Shelter, Relay for Life and Toys for Tots.
Conceived during a pick-up basketball game between childhood friends and co-founders Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley, the trendy restaurant chain offers never-frozen chicken cooked to order and served promptly with a smile.
“If you want something left off the meal, like a salad without cheese, it is no problem. We make everything to order,” said marketing coordinator Brittney Hillegass.
Each piece of chicken is prepared on-site with a house marinade, then breaded and cooked to order. Zaxby’s offers nine sauces — wimpy, tongue torch, nuclear, insane, original, barbecue, teriyaki, hot-honey mustard, and sweet and spicy. Each is made from an original Zaxby’s recipe, and the signature Zax sauce is a customer favorite.
In the early days, Zaxby’s made all sauces right in the store. As it grew, the same recipes were kept, but volume now requires that it be bottled and shipped to each store, Hillegass said.
The basketball court conversation took place in Statesboro, Ga., where McLeroy and Townley longed for a place that served top-shelf chicken tenders and wings in a cut-above atmosphere. The concept quickly took hold, and the business franchised in 1994. Currently, more than 500 restaurants are spread across 12 states.
The items that started it all — chicken fingers and wings — remain prominent on the menu. The generously cut chicken fingers can be tucked between slices of Texas toast or roughly chopped and layered atop salads. The wings are available both traditional and boneless. One of the most popular menu items, Wings & Things, offers both wings and chicken fingers served with crinkle-cut fries, Texas toast, celery, ranch dressing and Zax sauce.
Zaxby’s also has gained notoriety for its freshly prepared salads. “Zalad” varieties include Caesar, Bleu cheese with Buffalo Fingerz or blackened chicken, and House Zalad.
The House Zalad combines a liberal serving of mixed greens, red cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, roma tomatoes, fried onions, cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses, breaded or grilled chicken, and a side of Texas toast.
Side items and “Zappetizers” include onion rings, coleslaw, spicy fried mushrooms, fried white cheddar bites and thin-sliced fried potatoes.
The Nibbler — a single chicken finger served in a toasted bun with Zax sauce — is offered at the College Avenue location in Fayetteville and South Thompson Street store in Springdale for 99 cents on Tuesdays. Other promotions limited to these two locations include four Meal Dealz and six cookies for $20 served 5-8 p.m. each Wednesday; and 99-cent kids meals with purchase of a Most Popular item 3-8 p.m. Thursday.
Zaxby’s frequently promotes specials and give-aways through Twitter and Facebook. Zax Mail Club and Kids Club members receive perks such as a free Meal Dealz, free cookies or free Nibblers. More information is available online at zaxbys.com.