Second-generation licensees build on family legacy

ATHENS, Ga. — Oct. 6, 2020 — Zaxby’s, the fast-casual chain known for its chicken fingers, wings and signature sauces, announces a new restaurant in Gray, replacing the previous location. Located at 166 West Clinton Street, the new Zaxby’s is owned and operated by Avants Management Group, a second-generation family of licensees with 26 locations. The new Zaxby’s in Gray is scheduled to open for dine-in, drive-thru, delivery and curbside pick-up on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

“Our dad became a licensee when I was 10 years old,” said Melissa Crowe, licensee and vice president of Avants Management Group.  “I’ve seen the brand grow and transform into the national powerhouse that it has become. I knew that it was always something I wanted to be involved in because I believed in the product and culture.”

The Gray Zaxby’s features a 3,652 square-foot farmhouse style design and will be able to seat about 70 people when the dining room is fully opened. Until then, customers may use the drive-thru or order online via or the Zaxby’s app.

An alternative to fast food, Zaxby’s offers fresh, prepared-at-order, hand-breaded Chicken Fingerz and Wings made in a variety of nine sauces. The menu also features four Zalads, eight sandwiches and complementary Shareables including Fried White Cheddar Bites, Tater Chips and Spicy Fried Mushrooms.

Crowe and her sister MaryStuart Hulsey now manage the licensee group that their father, Gary Avants, started in 1997. The Gray restaurant was the second that he ever bought and the duo plan to continue his legacy. They have additional plans for remodels in the pipeline for 2021.

“Our family business works best when our family values and vision are parallel with our business values and vision,” Crowe said. “Our success comes from treating people fairly and respectfully. We look forward to growing our team at the new Gray location to serve the community.”

The new restaurant on West Clinton Street will create jobs for approximately 50 people. Those interested in applying may do so online at and click “Join Our Team.”




Founded in 1990, Zaxby's is still led by founder Zach McLeroy. The brand is committed to serving delicious chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads in a fun, offbeat atmosphere where customers are considered friends. Zaxby's iconic Signature Sandwich won Thrillist's 2021 Fasties Award for Best Fried Chicken Sandwich. Zaxby's has grown to more than 900 locations in 17 states and is headquartered in Athens, Georgia. For more information, visit or


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