Zaxby’s announced the expansion of its presence in the Midwest with the opening of three new locations under the leadership of new franchise owner Manish Malhotra.

The new restaurants are set to open in Vincennes, Indiana; Henderson, Kentucky; and Madisonville, Kentucky. With this development, Zaxby’s surpasses the milestone of 930 locations, continuing its upward trajectory in growth.

Malhotra utilized the incentive program offered by Zaxby’s to facilitate the opening of his new locations, a strategic move that aligns with his growth-oriented mindset.

“Franchising has been a journey of discovery,” says Malhotra. “Every day brings new learning opportunities and the chance to push the boundaries of growth. I’m thrilled to be part of the Zaxby’s brand, which values innovation and franchisee success.”

The Zaxby’s incentive program, which capitalizes on the brand’s aggressive development and expansion plan, includes Select Market Incentives (SMI) like discounts on the standard royalty of 6 percent, allowing franchisees the ability to ramp up marketing to drive sales performance in their new markets. The plan calls for no royalties paid in the first year, a half-price 3% royalty in the second year, and a 6 percent royalty in year three. Additionally, Zaxby’s is refunding the full license fee of $35,000 upon store opening per schedule.

“The expansion of our franchise network is always exciting,” remarks Bert Lane, Vice President of Development at Zaxby’s. “It’s a pleasure to bring new franchise owners into the fold, and it’s particularly gratifying to see Manish and his family join us, given our longstanding friendship. Manish’s commitment and expertise are invaluable to Zaxby’s, and I eagerly anticipate his continued success and growth with our brand.”

Manish Malhotra brings a wealth of experience to the Zaxby’s family, with a diverse background in the hospitality and franchise industry. Originally from India, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel management, Malhotra furthered his studies in Australia before embarking on a successful career with Marriott International. His journey led him to the United States, where he continued to build his expertise in hospitality with Marriott in Hilton Head and later in Evansville, Indiana.

The turning point in Malhotra’s career came when he was introduced to the franchise sector through an encounter with an Arby’s owner during his tenure at Marriott. Inspired by the possibilities, he transitioned to Arby’s corporate, climbing the ranks from store manager to area supervisor and eventually director. His foray into franchise ownership began in 2015 when he purchased his first Arby’s franchise, not long after he left the corporate side.

Today, Malhotra’s entrepreneurial spirit has led him to own and operate multiple franchise concepts. His approach to franchising has been marked by continuous learning and an aggressive growth mode, which has fueled his impressive success in less than a decade.

Malhotra looks forward to the launch of his new Zaxby’s locations, set to break ground by November 2024.

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