Turk File

Around Town: Zaxby's eyes Verot location

by Leslie Turk

Georgia-based fried chicken chain would go up against Raising Cane's, Chick-fil-A and others (like the Popeyes near its proposed location).

Zaxby's hopes to enter the Lafayette market with a 3,800-square-foot restaurant at 2817 Verot School Road. The 60-seat restaurant is slated to be constructed near the Popeyes at 2805 Verot School Road and will seat about 60, according to city records. The project has not yet been permitted.

ABiz reached out to a Zaxby's rep for additional information on the project, including whether a local franchisee is involved. She said she would get back to us.

Billing itself a fast-food alternative, Zaxby's offers chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads. Its most popular items are the hand-breaded chicken "Fingerz" and traditional or boneless wings, available in a choice of nine sauces with names like Wimpy, Tongue Torch, Nuclear and Insane. The menu also offers appetizers like spicy fried mushrooms and fried white cheddar bites, as well as a variety of party "Platterz" for special occasions. Zaxby's also offers four "Zalads": a house, blue cheese, Caesar and its newest addition, a cobb (like The IND, it goes a little overboard with plays on its Z). Additionally, Zaxby's has a new line of premium milkshakes, including the popular birthday cake and banana puddin-flavored milkshakes.

Photo by Kari Walker

Georgia-based fried chicken chain Zaxby's has property under contract on Verot School Road, near another fried chicken outlet, Popeyes. If all goes as planned, the Verot location would represent Zaxby's entry into the Lafayette market.

According to its website, Zaxby's has Louisiana locations in Ruston and West Monroe and operates more than 600 locations in 14 other states - Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

According to the company's website, childhood friends Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley hatched the Athens, Ga.-based chain in 1990 to provide a fun, relaxing atmosphere. The company ranked No. 7 in the 2011 Top 10 Excellent Large Fast-Food Chains With 500 Or More U.S. Units Quick-Track study published by Sandelman & Associates. The chain also ranked No. 1 in the chicken segment in the 2012 Top 150 Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report published by Technomic.