Zaxby’s Franchising Inc. announced its continued expansion into the Midwest with a multiunit restaurant agreement that is slated to bring 28 new restaurants to the Oklahoma City metro area. The Athens, Georgia–based fast-casual chicken restaurant has a devoted following throughout the Southeast, and veteran franchisee Sterling Coleman is confident Oklahoma City will be an important foothold for the company’s successful nationwide growth.
As one of America’s fastest growing cities, Oklahoma City caught Coleman’s attention as he was looking to expand his investment in Zaxby’s, one of America’s fastest-growing restaurant chains. Along with the opportunities presented by Oklahoma City’s growth, it allows the St. Louis, Missouri, native to get back to his Midwestern roots. Coleman is confident that the brand’s ideals of superior product, family values, and commitment to the communities it serves will resonate with residents.
“I’m in this business to make a difference,” Coleman says. “This brand is about enriching lives, whether it’s our franchisees, team members, or guests. The Zaxby’s leadership team is passionate about that and it resonates throughout the company.”
The first store, located near the University of Oklahoma in Norman, will begin construction in January 2015 and follows the original Zaxby’s model of opening in a thriving college town supported by a tight-knit community. Over the next eight years, the deal will bring more than 1,200 jobs to the metro area. Oklahoma is an important gateway for the brand as it continues to move across the U.S. Zaxby’s operates more than 650 stores in 15 states, with Oklahoma being the 16th. The restaurant offers prepared-at-order chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches, and salads that have developed a fanatical following.
“Sterling has been with Zaxby’s for more than 10 years, and it is his entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to his employees and the communities he serves that is helping to drive our national expansion,” says Zaxby’s CEO Zach McLeroy. “He is a great ambassador for the brand and truly embodies our company’s culture.”
Coleman owns seven stores in the Greater Atlanta Area and employs more than 300 in his Georgia stores.