Real estate strategy expert brings proven success to leverage expansion
Athens, GA (RestaurantNews.com) Zaxby’s, the premium fast-casual chicken chain known for its chicken fingers, wings and signature sauces, has hired Vanessa Fox as chief development officer (CDO). Fox was formerly senior vice president, CDO at Jack in the Box. As Zaxby’s first CDO in its 30- year history, Fox will report directly to co-founders Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley.
“Our brand is experiencing its best unit-level performance in many years, and we know Vanessa will build on that,” said McLeroy, Zaxby’s CEO and co-founder. “She has a clear passion for building trust and credibility in the licensee community, which is something that we have always highly valued.”
At Jack in the Box, Fox worked with business stakeholders to build, maintain and execute the company’s real estate strategy. Prior to that, she worked with Jack in the Box and Qdoba on restaurant development including construction, architecture and design as well as facility management.
In her role at Zaxby’s, Fox will manage the Franchise Licensing and Development teams and foster continuity with design and construction. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA in addition to her culinary certificate from the San Diego Culinary Institute.
“I am thrilled to join Zaxby’s and strategically lead its growth plans,” Fox said. “I seek to build highly functioning and diversified teams to tackle projects and can’t wait to get to know Zaxby’s team members and learn about their goals, skills and aspirations.”
With a strong group of “legacy licensees,” multi-unit owners who have been with the brand since its inception, Zaxby’s is positioned for expansion. Zaxby’s leadership believes Fox’s expertise will help the brand continue developing in current markets and position it in new ones.
“Vanessa will be an asset to our team as she capitalizes on market growth opportunities and operational improvements,” said Townley, Zaxby’s chief strategy officer and co-founder. “We look forward to working with her to help manage the complexities of our comprehensive remodel program.”
Zaxby’s recently hired Keith Anderkin as vice president of supply chain and quality assurance and Alan Ludloff as vice president of brand marketing. These new executives will collaborate closely with Fox to position Zaxby’s for unprecedented growth.
Founded by childhood friends Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley in 1990, Zaxby’s is committed to serving delicious chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads in a fun, offbeat atmosphere where customers are considered friends. Zaxby’s has grown to more than 900 locations in 17 states and is headquartered in Athens, Georgia. For more information, visit zaxbys.com or zaxbysfranchising.com.