Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine lists Zaxby's as a top Multi-Friendly brand!
As Zaxby’s Franchising Inc. continues to grow, so do its philanthropic efforts. On Tuesday, April 15, Zaxby’s sponsored Athens, Georgia–based Downtown Academy’s Legacy of Hope fundraising dinner, which raises funds to support inner city education. Downtown Academy is the educational arm of Downtown Ministries, a nonprofit organization that engages youth and their families in inner city Athens, Georgia.
At the reception attended by 340 guests, Zaxby’s donated $200,000, which was presented to Downtown Academy representatives by Zaxby’s chief financial officer, Blake Bailey, and chief operational officer, Robert Baxley. In total, the event raised more than $315,000.
“The generous donations provided by Zaxby’s and other area business leaders were beyond our expectations and have set a precedent for years to come,” says Patrick Ennis, head of Downtown Academy.
The school relies on donations for funding, and the $315,000 will provide scholarships for two full classes of students next year and will also help the school expand to begin offering a second grade class.
In the fall of 2012, Zaxby’s donated $70,000 to help fund the construction of Downtown Academy, now located in the heart of downtown Athens. The school will complete its first school year this June, serving kindergarten and first grade students, and is an integral part of Downtown Ministries’ provision of educational programs, sports, tutoring, Trail Life, and training resources for the Athens community.
“Downtown Academy is a fundamental resource in helping to empower our Athens communities and has a vested interest in developing a bright future for every child,” says Blake Bailey, chief financial officer of Zaxby’s and Downtown Ministries board member. “It is truly humbling to see so many who share our common interest of inspiring others to give back to the community that supports them.”
Attendees of the fundraiser included Athens-Clarke Mayor Nancy Denson; Downtown Falcons coach and director of community outreach, Ben Farnsworth, members of the Ministries’ board of directors, and many Athens business leaders and Zaxby’s licensees.
For a second consecutive year, Zaxby’s has ranked as America’s “Most Craveable Fast Casual” by Technomic, a market research firm specializing in the restaurant industry. The 2014 Consumer’s Choice Awards for Chain Restaurants are based on responses to Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics Program that tracks the performance of 120 restaurants nationally.
“We are continuously looking for new experiences and flavors to provide our guests, but it’s also exciting for us to know that some of our very first menu items are still fan favorites to this day,” says Zach McLeroy, CEO and cofounder of Zaxby’s. “We’re delighted to know our guests have ranked us most craveable for a second year, and will endlessly strive to provide them with exceptional flavors they can’t get anywhere else.”
The Technomic survey asks consumers to rate restaurants on more than 60 attributes, categorizing every aspect of a guest’s experience, from satisfaction to loyalty, into five “Pillars of Excellence.” The 2014 rankings are based on consumer responses from the fourth quarter of 2012 through the third quarter of 2013. Based on those responses, Zaxby’s guests attribute its craveability to its signature chicken and variety of dipping sauces, including its popular Zax Sauce.
Zaxby’s most popular items are its hand-breaded Chicken Fingerz and Traditional or Boneless Wings, smothered in a choice of nine sauces with names like Wimpy, Tongue Torch, Nuclear, and Insane. Zaxby’s menu also offers innovative Zappetizers, prepared-at-order Zalads, and recently introduced a new line of milkshakes including the popular Birthday Cake and Banana Pudding Milkshakes and the new Chocolate Cookie Milkshake.
Zaxby’s currently operates more than 600 locations in 15 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.