Zaxby's announces entry into Arizona with new franchise signing in Phoenix

Sample article from our Foodservice Industry

August 30, 2023 (press release) –

Popular QSR grows with new development deal

Zaxby’s, the rapidly growing Georgia-based QSR franchise, now with over 930 locations, is thrilled to announce a recent franchise signing that will lead the company into a new frontier out west in Phoenix. This expansion marks Arizona as the 21st state for the brand.

“This is such an exciting time for us,” says Bert Lane, Zaxby’s Vice President of Development. “Not only are we seeing growth in our tried-and-true Mid-Atlantic states and Southeast, but we’re thrilled to expand our footprint in the western part of the United States.”

Zaxby’s is renowned for its exceptionally delicious chicken, but their commitment goes beyond just food. They collaborate with franchise owners who share a dedication to hard work, a service-oriented culture, and a passion for community development.

Lane emphasizes, “Our robust franchise model appeals to driven entrepreneurs. We not only equip our franchise partners for their business journey, but have also consistently endeavored to preserve the brand's unique character. It's crucial for us to collaborate with individuals who uphold the lofty standards we've established.”

This year alone Zaxby’s has sold 51 new locations and is on pace to surpass 950 new units by the end of the fiscal year. Many new franchisees are taking advantage of Zaxby’s robust incentive program that capitalizes on the brand’s aggressive development and expansion plan. That plan includes Select Market Incentives (SMI) like discounts on the standard royalty of 6%, allowing franchisees the ability to ramp up marketing to drive sales performance in their new markets. The plan calls for no royalties paid in the first year, a half-price 3% royalty in the second year, and a 6% royalty in year three. Additionally, Zaxby’s is refunding the full license fee of $35,000 upon store opening per schedule.

Taking full advantage of the new incentives are husband and wife entrepreneurs Brian and Jessica Nelson, opening the new territory in Phoenix. They plan on developing six locations in the next five years in the East Valley of Phoenix, which encompasses the Queen Creek, Chandler, Gilbert, and Mesa areas. Current plans call for the first store to open in the fall of 2024, with the second in the spring of 2025, and four more locations by 2027. Both Brian and Jessica have extensive histories in the restaurant industry, are longtime fans of Zaxby’s food, and feel ready to take on this challenge.

"We are looking for our next venture to pour our heart, soul, knowledge, and resources into,” said Jessica. “Zaxby's has a high standard of excellence, which is important to us, while a lot of businesses seem to be compromising or lessening their standards. It is literally the only casual dining establishment I will eat at due to the quality and freshness of ingredients — big, longtime fan! I also love the consistency in product quality across locations. Two words: Zax Sauce.”

The Nelsons’ primary objective is to make Zaxby's the Go-To location for delicious, quality food as well as providing an efficient, welcoming, and memorable experience for their customers in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona. 

About Zaxby’s  

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Athens, Georgia, Zaxby's is a quick-service restaurant franchise. For 30 years, Zaxby’s has filled its table with people who share the vision of “enriching lives”. The brand is committed to serving made-to-order, “indescribably good” chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches, and salads in an exceptionally comfortable and friendly atmosphere. Zaxby’s has grown to more than 900 locations in 17 states and has plans to open hundreds more restaurants across the United States in the next five years. As of 2021, Zaxby’s earned its designation as a five-star VetFran partner, highlighting the brand’s commitment to support and incentivize franchise ownership among veterans.

For more information about bringing Zaxby’s to your community, visit To explore menu options and Zaxby’s unbeatable culture, visit  

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