Zaxby’s announced today that it signed a multi-unit development agreement with Hoozax Foods, Inc. to open 32 Zaxby’s restaurants in the Norfolk and Richmond, Virginia, areas within the next seven years.
Based in Suwanee, Georgia, Hoozax Foods, Inc., is led by Duane Hoover and son Carl Hoover, successful entrepreneurs with past experience in multi-unit franchises. The partnership will make Hoozax Foods, Inc. one of Zaxby’s largest franchisees.
Duane Hoover has more than 40 years’ experience in franchising, having been one of the first Wendy’s franchisees in the early 1970s. He owned nearly 100 Wendy’s locations at one time.
“I became involved with Wendy’s during the early years of Dave Thomas’ leadership and had the good fortune of experiencing the brand’s growth. I think Zaxby’s is poised for that same explosive growth,” Hoover says. “I’ve been in this business a long time and understand what works for a brand.”
“Duane shares Zaxby’s vision for the brand and brings with him added knowledge of the industry that will fuel our continued expansion plans,” says CEO and co-founder Zach McLeroy, who notes Hoover believes the key to success as a franchisee is finding a brand that is committed to excellence in every aspect of operations.
“I was drawn by the spirit of dedication the Zaxby’s team has. They strive to provide the best food, served by the best people,” Hoover says. “Zaxby’s has a great formula, strong leadership and a dynamic licensee community that helps them achieve unparalleled success in their category.”
There are three Zaxby’s locations in Virginia, one each in Roanoke, Salem, and Williamsburg. Hoover plans to develop 15 restaurants in the Richmond area and 17 restaurants in the Tidewater region comprised of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Newport News.
Hoover and his family have been long-time guests of the popular southeast chicken chain and are counting down the days until their first location opens.
“It’s a pivotal time for the brand and we are thrilled to begin this partnership,” Hoover says. “We can’t wait to start selling some chicken.”