ABOUT US

OUR STORY

How can we begin to describe a journey that has been… well, indescribable? It started innocently enough. Two boyhood friends had the idea to give wings and fingers a shot at the big time – promoting them from appetizers to entrees. So Zach and Tony rubbed two nickels together and opened a restaurant in the college town of Statesboro, GA. The food was great. And the response was even greater. Before long, there was so much demand for Zaxby’s restaurants, they had to franchise just to keep up. Besides, in their heart of hearts, they wanted to help other people own their own business too. They set up their headquarters in Athens, GA and began serving their franchisee family with the same attitude that had made them a hit with customers. The rest, as they say, is Hiztory.

OUR VIBE

Our table is diverse, inclusive, authentic, and inviting.All of those who sit here are proud to be part of feeding futures,nurturing souls, & sustaining the mission of creating encore experience that enrich lives one person at a time.

The Zaxby’s values tell us that when we work hard and pursue greatness while focusing on a culture of service, we build stronger foundations, families, networks, businesses, and communities.

That is the work, and heart, of Zaxby’s. Yes, we cook indescribably great chicken— that’s a given and a promise. But through a love of bringing people together over our food, we strive to impact our communities through opportunity, growth, and experience.

While we consistently evolve our “roadmap,” we know the promise is in reaching the destination. We are on our way to fulfilling that vision, so sit down and stay awhile. We’re so glad you’re here.

LEADERSHIP TEAM

ZACH MCLEROY 

FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Zach McLeroy, CEO, and founder of Zaxby’s, has grown a billion-dollar franchise through hard work, resiliency, and determination that all began with a dream and an opportunity in 1990.

Over the past 30 years, he has built the Zaxby’s brand into more than just a quick-service chicken chain. He has found the secret to success is serving our communities quality food, providing team members opportunity, creating a definable culture of service, and collaborating with strategic partners to grow the brand to new heights.

Under Zach’s leadership, Zaxby’s has been recognized in numerous publications and trades throughout the years. Most recently, Forbes listed Zaxby’s as one of its Best Large Employers in 2021 as well as Dealmakers of the Year 2021 by Franchise Times for our new partnership with Goldman Sachs.

Today, he oversees all business functions through a strong leadership team, collaborates with our partners at Goldman Sachs, and continues to cast vision for Zaxby’s bright future.

BERNARD ACOCA

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Bernard joined Zaxby’s in January 2022 as the company’s first incoming CEO. Bernard brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the QSR industry. He most recently served as CEO and President of El Pollo Loco and led the brand through a transformation that included digital e-commerce and streamlining drive-thru and back-of-the-house operations. He also successfully doubled down on brand positioning with a new contemporary restaurant design in preparation for aggressive franchise expansion domestically.

Prior to becoming the CEO and President of El Pollo Loco, he spent seven years at Starbucks as a member of its leadership team, as the Senior Vice President, Marketing & Category for the Americas and as President of Teavana. He also served as Chief Marketing Officer for the Americas for L’Oréal and spent ten years at Yum! Brands.

He values and is committed to servant leadership, culture, as well as creativity and innovation when it comes to leading brands towards sustainable growth. 

BLAKE BAILEY

CFO

Blake has been with Zaxby’s since 2000 when there were only 85 locations. Since then, Blake has been instrumental in helping build Zaxby’s financial infrastructure to support a 900+ franchise operation.

As Chief Financial Officer, Blake collaborates with fellow Zaxby’s leaders to develop future financial strategies.

He is a graduate of Old Dominion University and serves on the board of Downtown Ministries, Inc., in Athens.

MIKE NETTLES

CHIEF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

Mike Nettles joined the Zaxby’s brand in 2021 as our Interim Chief Digital and Technology Officer where he has big plans to personalize our digital offerings and create harmony by using technology to streamline our processes and create a seamless technological experience for all of our guests.

Before joining Zaxby’s, Mike led IT teams for various brands including Papa John’s and Panera Bread. He began his career during his junior year of college when he was recruited to join a start-up called Babbage’s—known today as Game Stop where he developed and designed their integrated POS and warehouse management system from scratch.

KEITH ANDERKIN

chief Supply Chain officer

Keith began as Zaxby’s VP of Supply Chain and Quality Assurance in June 2020 and became the brand’s very first Chief Supply Chain Officer in September 2021. With over 25 years working in the restaurant industry with brands like Arby’s and Long John Silvers, Keith excels in fostering and maintaining relationships with vendors and franchisees.

At Zaxby’s, Keith and his team are focused on fulfilling the brand’s strategic goals in category management and new store development. Keith is held accountable for the long-term sourcing strategy for Zaxby’s.

Keith is originally from Lexington, KY and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky.

BRENDA TRICKEY

GENERAL COUNSEL

Brenda became Zaxby’s first-ever in-house General Counsel in 2021. Brenda’s servant-led heart and exceptional experience at other culture-driven organizations such as Marriott International and Popeye’s made her a perfect fit as Zaxby’s continues to grow.

Brenda is excited to build a best-in-class in-house legal department at Zaxby’s that proactively anticipates the company’s needs and establishes processes and procedures to ensure legal matters, both big and small, are handled efficiently and expediently.

Brenda has a B.A. in political science from North Carolina State University and a Juris Doctor with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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