Industry News | April 3, 2008

Zaxby's Adds Asian Salad to Menu Lineup

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Zaxby’s is adding the Asian-inspired Zensation Zalad to its lineup this spring. The Zensation Zalad is available for a limited time at most Zaxby’s locations until June 30.

The Zensation Zalad features the chain’s Chicken Fingerz drizzled with a honey sesame glaze and mixed with red cabbage, carrots, fresh greens, and crispy wonton strips, then topped with Asian slaw and served with citrus vinaigrette dressing. Additionally, the salad is coupled with a tasty veggie egg roll. All salads at Zaxby’s are assembled at the time the order is placed, versus being pre-made and stored in a cooler.

“We’ve received tremendous positive response from our guests about the Zalad line since we first launched it nearly four years ago,” said Zach McLeroy, Zaxby’s co-founder and CEO. “The Zensation Zalad will build on that success with its assortment of unique ingredients and intriguing flavor combinations for which Zaxby’s is known.”

First offered last spring, the Zensation Zalad was tested in the chain’s Greenville, South Carolina market. It was quickly a success and became one of the top salad performers, accounting for nearly a third of daily Zalad sales. “The response from guests during our test of the Zensation Zalad was fanatical, so we decided to roll it out to the entire system,” said Stephanie Struble, Zaxby’s director of research and development. “Zaxby’s is committed to offering the most delicious, high-quality food, while also offering great value to our devoted customer following, and the Zensation Zalad accomplishes just that.”

To help promote the new offering, Zaxby’s has enlisted the talent of four new celebrities for the next installment of its well-received celebrity “indescribably good” advertising campaign that was rolled out last fall. Cameras captured amusing, unscripted responses from Lorenzo Lamas, Reginald VelJohnson, Laurie Hickson-Smith, and Keri Strug.

Aside from their likable personalities, the chain selected these stars because of their diverse appeal. Hickson-Smith is a designer best known for being the “Southern belle” on TLC’s popular home design series, “Trading Spaces,” and Lamas is a veteran soap opera and movie actor best known for his starring role on the popular ’80s primetime soap, “Falcon Crest.” VelJohnson is most well-known for his role as Carl Winslow on the popular sitcom “Family Matters;” and Strug is a winner of multiple medals in gymnastics for the United States at two different Olympic Games.

In addition to the Zensation, Zaxby’s has four other freshly prepared Zalads: The House, The Caesar, The Blue and The Chicken Salad Zalad. Each of these Zalads offer more chicken and unique ingredients, such as French-fried onions, and are larger than most salads offered elsewhere. The House, The Blue and The Caesar include grilled or fried chicken, three kinds of lettuce, shredded cheese, fresh veggies and juicy tomatoes. Customers have a choice of buffaloed or blackened chicken when ordering The Blue. The Chicken Salad Zalad is made with chunks of white chicken breast and celery mixed with Zaxby’s flavorful Ranch dressing.

Zaxby’s has more than 420 restaurants operating in 12 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.