Athens, GA (RestaurantNews.com) Zaxby’s is recognizing 25 indescribably good years with a brand-wide celebration in all locations across 16 states now through Jan. 3, 2016. As a result of fan-fueled growth for the past quarter of a century, Zaxby’s is giving back to its loyal following by bringing back the Celebration Special Meal, sponsoring a record number of wishes granted through Make-A-Wish and sponsoring a national college football bowl benefitting first responders.
“We came from humble beginnings and we’ve grown because of our fans,” said Zach McLeroy, CEO and co-founder of Zaxby’s. “With this growth comes a responsibility to give back to our licensees, associates, guests and the communities we serve. We’re honored to be able to give back, whether it’s in the college town of Statesboro where we began, or with national partnerships with Make-A-Wish and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl.”
The end-of-year celebration aligns with the company’s mission statement: consistently create encore experiences that enrich lives, one person at a time. Zaxby’s is spending the remainder of its 25th anniversary year celebrating various partnerships and promotions, including:
- Make-A-Wish – Zaxby’s donated $500,000 in 2015, bringing the total to $1.9 million. The company has sponsored 240 wishes since 2011.
- Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl – For the second year and continuing through 2017, Zaxby’s is honoring first responders through its college football bowl sponsorship.
- Local Community Involvement – The majority of Zaxby’s locations are franchised businesses. These business owners and their employees are connected to their communities in unique ways. You’ll hear some of those stories in the coming months.
In addition, Zaxby’s is known for popular limited time offers, and the new Celebration Special Meal is no exception. The meal offers four Chicken Fingerz, Crinkle Fries, Texas Toast, Zax Sauce and a 32 oz. drink.
To support the Celebration Special Meal as well as Zaxby’s commitment to giving back, the new television spots differ from past brand ads, by featuring Big Z, Zaxby’s mascot, instead of celebrity spokespeople. The spots offer a lighthearted peek into the “Community Appreciation Committee” as they brainstorm ways for Big Z to get involved in his community. Soon, challenges arise when a chicken helps with a pet adoption drive, parks and river cleanup and first responders, so the committee decides that offering the Celebration Special Meal is the best way to start.
“These commercials stay true to Zaxby’s sense of humor, while showing that we take our community involvement seriously now and over the past 25 years,” said Will Riley, senior director of Brand Management and Marketing. “The spots reflect that we’re always thinking of new ways to give back, even though they might not always pan out for poor Big Z.”
“Zaxby’s is here because of you, our guests,” said McLeroy. “We constantly listen and make changes based on your feedback, whether it’s about products, restaurant design, partnerships or customer service. We will keep listening and celebrating for the next 25 years and beyond.”
Enjoying great chicken in an atmosphere where you could be yourself? That’s what childhood friends Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley wanted to achieve when they founded Zaxby’s back in the 1990s. Many years and locations later, Zaxby’s is still delivering on that promise: to serve delicious chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads in a fun, offbeat atmosphere where we welcome customers as friends. As of October 2015, Zaxby’s has grown to more than 700 locations in 16 states and is headquartered in Athens, Georgia. For more information, visit zaxbys.com or zaxbysfranchising.com.
Ashley N. Peden
St. John & Partners