Zaxby’s Announces Strategic Investment From Affiliates of Goldman Sachs

Tony Townley, Zaxby's chief strategy officer and co-founder with Zach McLeroy, Zaxby's CEO and co-founder
Tony Townley, Zaxby’s chief strategy officer and co-founder with Zach McLeroy, Zaxby’s CEO and co-founder

Investment will accelerate Zaxby’s growth in existing and new markets

Zaxby's Announces Strategic Investment From Affiliates of Goldman SachsAthens, GA  (  Zaxby’s Operating Company L.P. (Zaxby’s) and its subsidiaries announced today that investment funds managed by the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division (Goldman Sachs) will acquire a significant stake in the company. The partnership will support accelerated growth for Zaxby’s as well as expansion into new sales channels with a guest-focused strategy. The deal is expected to be finalized by year end 2020.

Zaxby’s, the fast-casual chain known for its chicken fingers, wings, and signature sauces, operates primarily in the Southeastern United States, with more than 900 restaurants in 17 states. Zaxby’s has delivered industry-leading comparable sales performance for three consecutive years, and there is unprecedented demand from franchisees to grow.

“I look forward to working with the team at Goldman Sachs to continue building the brand I founded 30 years ago in Statesboro, GA. This partnership symbolizes the strength of our Company and their involvement will accelerate our growth and expansion into a national brand,” said Zach McLeroy, Zaxby’s co-founder and CEO. 

Zaxby’s will leverage Goldman Sachs’ vast resources to accelerate profitable growth for the brand and franchisees while keeping guests in the forefront.

“Zaxby’s is a fantastic company with a founder-led culture, loyal customers, and talented employees. We are excited to partner with the management team to provide long-term capital for their next phase of expansion,” said Nicole Agnew, managing director in the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division. “We are confident we can grow the brand while remaining authentic to what people love about the restaurants.”

“I am excited to have a firm like Goldman Sachs joining the Zaxby’s family. This new partnership is a testament to what our employees and franchisees have helped us create thus far. Goldman Sachs’ knowledge and resources will help continue to build upon the strong foundation we have laid out,” said Tony Townley, Zaxby’s co-founder.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Stephens Inc. served as financial advisors to Zaxby’s. King & Spalding LLP and Fortson, Bentley and Griffin, P.A. served as legal advisors to Zaxby’s. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal advisor and Goldman Sachs served as financial advisor to Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking.

About Zaxby’s

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 is headquartered in Athens, GA and has grown to more than 900 locations in 17 states. For more information, visit or

About Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division

Founded in 1869, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division (MBD) is the primary center for the firm’s long-term principal investing activity. MBD is one of the leading private capital investors in the world with investments across private equity, infrastructure, private debt, growth equity and real estate. 

Media Contact:
Laura Mansfield, APR