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Chain Enlists Familiar Television Personalities to Promote New Celebration-Themed Menu Items


ATHENS, Ga. (July 1, 2010) — What started as two guys and a dream back in Statesboro, Ga., in 1990 has now become a successful Southeastern restaurant chain known for its chicken fingers and Buffalo wings. Twenty years later, that one restaurant in Georgia has grown to more than 500 locations in 12 states where 16,000 team members serve freshly prepared food to an average of 250,000 loyal Zaxby’s taste fanatics each day. With its original founders still leading the charge, Zaxby’s credits these brand fanatics for helping to drive impressive, steady growth.

To celebrate its 20th year, Zaxby’s is courting its many fans and encouraging them to document their passion for the brand with its Zaxby’s Fanatic Video Contest at The contest begins July 12 and features Matt, the self-proclaimed reigning top Zaxby’s fanatic who challenges others to prove their love for Zaxby’s. 

 “When Tony Townley and I were opening our first location, we had a real passion for our freshly prepared food and the business we began to build,” said Zach McLeroy, Zaxby’s CEO and co-founder. “Couple that with the passion shown by our guests throughout the years, and it’s no secret why we’ve successfully made it to year 20. We’re anxious to get our fans involved in the celebration and can’t wait to crown the biggest fan in our Zaxby’s Fanatic Contest.”
Twenty winners will be chosen, with the grand prize fanatic receiving $5,000 in cash, along with Zaxby’s gift cards, a Flip video camera, a special plaque denoting their top fanatic status, along with a special T-shirt.

Joining the 20th year celebration are two memorable television personalities whose shows were earning top ratings when Zaxby’s began. Richard Dean Anderson, who starred in “MacGyver,” and John Ratzenberger, who played bar know-it-all Cliff Clavin in “Cheers,” will star in TV spots promoting the chain’s two new limited-time-only menu items. Anderson plugs the new Celebration Special, which contains staple items that put Zaxby’s on the map — Chicken Fingerz, Crinkle Fries and Texas Toast, served with a 32-oz. drink. Ratzenberger promotes the Birthday Cake Milkshake, a festive cake batter-flavored milkshake mixed with multicolored sprinkles and finished off with chocolate whipped topping. The company’s Facebook fans will get a sneak peek of the spots at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 2 —
Additionally, as a thank-you to guests for their loyalty, Zaxby’s is giving its Zax Mail Club members a free Nibbler on their birthday throughout 2010. Club members receive a coupon for the snack-sized sandwich in the mail during the month of their birthday. People can sign up for the club at
One of the first fast-casual restaurants Zaxby’s offers menu items that are prepared at order. Zaxby’s most popular items are its hand-breaded chicken fingers and its jumbo Buffalo wings smothered in a choice of 10 sauces with names like Wimpy, Tongue Torch, Nuclear and Insane. The menu also offers innovative Zappetizers like Spicy Fried Mushrooms and Fried Pickles; freshly prepared Zalads; unique sandwiches; Party Platterz; and Milkshakes.

About Zaxby’s
An alternative to fast food, Zaxby’s offers its guests prepared-at-order Chicken Fingerz, Jumbo Buffalo Wings, sandwiches, Zalads and Zappetizers, along with a variety of 10 sauces ranging from Wimpy and Tongue Torch to Nuclear and Insane. Childhood friends Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley hatched the Athens, Ga.-based chain to provide a fun, relaxing atmosphere that would keep guests coming back for more. Currently celebrating its 20th year, Zaxby’s operates more than 500 locations in 12 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. For more information visit

Media Contact: Nicole Jenkins
  St. John & Partners
  (904) 899-8898 office
  (904) 861-4783 cell  High-resolution stills of the spots are available.