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Inside Bulloch Business with DeWayne Grice - Zaxby's opening second location in the Boro

Inside Bulloch Business with DeWayne Grice - Zaxby's opening second location in the Boro

Inside Bulloch Business with DeWayne Grice - Zaxby's opening second location in the Boro

DeWayne Grice


        My dad told me that the best way to prevent ruining any relationship, especially a business relationship, is to never forget who brought you to the dance.
        Nearly 25 years ago, childhood friends Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley pooled their savings together and opened Zax's beside Henry's barber shop, in an 800-square-foot building in Statesboro. They believed their chicken recipe was fresher and better than what the local restaurants were serving at the time. When you complimented the chicken with their special sauce it created an immediate addiction.
        Like many of you reading this, I remember the first time I tried it on a hot summer night, sitting on the deck thinking these guys just might be on to something. That was the beginning of what we now know as one of the fastest growing chains in America, Zaxby's.
        According to the "Franchise Times" Zaxby's system sales grew 16.6 percent last year, based on the Franchise Times Top 200 ranking of the largest franchise systems and crossed the $1 billion in sales threshold. With more than 600 locations, Zaxby's is quickly approaching its goal of having a national franchise with restaurants from coast to coast.
        On the wall in every one of these restaurants you will find a tribute to the original Zax's and to Statesboro, who opened our arms (and wallets) to these two budding entrepreneurs.
        When you log on to their website or sit down at a table in any of these 600 locations you can read their story, which each of us who have lived it has made it our story, too.
        Zaxby's fan and Statesboro native, Tonya Carter summed it up best saying, "I tell all my out of town friends about how Zaxby's started. I guess us Statesboro people feel like Zaxby's is our baby."
        Indeed we do. In fact, nothing makes you prouder (and annoys the staff more) than walking up to the counter, while traveling far away from the Boro, with the table top history card in your hand and sharing how you were part of the story - hailing from the home of the first Zaxby's. I am certain, Jeff Foxworthy will add this to his infamous, "you might be a redneck if" saying soon.
        In preparation for their 25th anniversary, Zach and Tony are coming home so to speak. They have acquired property at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Chandler Road, just a few hundred yards on the other side of Henry's barber shop from where it all began, to build a second Zaxby's in the Boro.
        They have not released the design concept for this Zaxby's, nor have they released any information as to whether the design will include elements of the original Zax's, a gift shop or any other shrine for the Zaxby faithful to create a pilgrimage.
        We will keep you posted on the plans as they are made available to us. Thanks to Zach and Tony for not forgetting who brought them to the dance. It is a little harder for Tony to forget, since he is a GSC(U) alum and married a Statesboro girl. This exposure gives prospective visitors from all over the country one more reason to love our city.

        Please email DeWayne at dgrice@statesboroherald.com or give him a call at (912) 489-9499.

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