This week, Zaxby’s Franchising Inc., which operates or franchises more than 650 restaurants, announced and opened a new restaurant and kitchen design concept with its newest location in Easley, South Carolina.

Inspired by Southern farmhouses and two years in the making, the new design reflects the cozy and comfortable qualities the prepared-at-order chicken restaurant is known for by its fanatical following. Some of the unique designer touches include color-washed tin paneling, distressed brick façade, and open wood-beam ceilings. The fast-casual restaurant will deliver an improved guest experience with an expanded open kitchen, a dual drive thru, and new ordering system, which will help decrease order times.

“Our priority in creating this new design was providing a next-level customer dining experience,” says chief operating officer Robert Baxley. “From the more flexible seating areas to the open kitchen and enhanced ordering system, every moment of the guest experience has been considered and refined.”

While the redesigned interior focuses on guests’ comfort, the newly expanded open kitchen is designed for performance. The open design highlights the brand’s reliance on fresh ingredients and allows guests to see their orders being prepared on the hot and cold centerline production table.

This Zaxby’s location will also incorporate conversational ordering in order to mirror the natural way guests order their meals. In addition, dynamic ordering has been implemented to help relieve bottlenecks that occur with large orders by sending items to the various prep stations immediately.

Kitchen roles and training have been adjusted to focus on single station mastery for greater consistency and reduced product hold times. For example, a dedicated expeditor will be on hand to ensure order accuracy and quality. This operational platform is a hybrid of those found in other fast-casual and casual-dining brands. This unique combination, coupled with a prepared-to-order menu, will give this location the speed of a quick-service restaurant and the food quality of casual dining or beyond.

The two drive-thru lanes will benefit from this new operational platform. Each individual window has its own service area and is served by its own Coca-Cola Freestyle machine. “We expect to see up to a 30 percent increase in sales as a result of two full drive-thru lanes,” Baxley says.  

For in-restaurant dining, guests enjoy a variety of seating environments, ranging from bar stools at the counter to a large communal farm table in the center. There are also large, quiet booths for family dining not typically found in a fast-casual restaurant.

Design, Fast Casual, News, Ordering, Restaurant Operations, Zaxby's