Zaxby’s

KENTUCKY

A decade ago Steve Brewer (left) quit his job in chemical sales to be closer to home. Now he's found balance — and $12M in annual sales.
Source: Zaxby's
A decade ago Steve Brewer (left) quit his job in chemical sales to be closer to home. Now he's found balance — and $12M in annual sales.
Description: Quick, casual dining restaurants
Owner: Steve Brewer
Years in business: 10
No. of franchises owned: 5
Start-up costs: $284,000 to $684,300
Franchisor fees: $35,000; royalties 6% of sales; marketing fee 1% of sales
2015 revenue, 2016 projection: 12 million; $15 million
2016 projected annual growth rate: 15%

Ten years ago Steve Brewer was in chemical sales for a small company and traveling for business every week. "My kids were young, and I was missing out on their lives," he recalled. When a friend mentioned he was looking into buying a quick, casual restaurant franchise called Zaxby's, Brewer was intrigued. He liked the idea of being his own boss and the flexibility it would allow.

Started by boyhood friends Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley in 1990 as a single restaurant in Statesboro, Georgia, Zaxby's has since grown to more than 700 franchised locations in 16 states, mostly in the South.

Additional franchisee resources

After researching the company, Brewer met with the owners, and he was immediately sold. "I liked their character, business knowledge and leadership qualities," he said. "Plus, I was impressed with their food safety guidelines, which are tighter than the industry standards. They're very particular about who they do business with."

Brewer owns four locations in the Louisville, Kentucky, metro area that bring in $12 million in annual sales. An additional restaurant is now under construction. He admits it was tough learning the restaurant business while also running one, and still struggles with rising labor and health-care costs. But he also feels his hard work and perseverance have paid off handsomely.

"Running this business has changed my life completely for the better," Brewer said. "If I want to run over to see a school play in the middle of the day, I can. I love what I do."

"Running this business has changed my life completely for the better. If I want to run over to see a school play in the middle of the day, I can. I love what I do." -Steve Brewer

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