Athens, Ga. — Zaxby’s, the premium quick-service restaurant brand founded in Athens, Ga., has hired industry franchising veteran Mike Mettler as its new chief development officer, while Mike Nettles, interim chief digital & technology officer, has been elevated to the position long term.
“Franchising growth requires four things. A strong business model, a solid culture, passionate franchise owners and strategic areas to develop — Zaxby’s has them all,” says Mettler.
Adds Nettles: “Zaxby’s has had a great ride thus far, but digital accessibility will be our ‘secret sauce’ for the next phase of our fantastic growth story.”
“These are seasoned executives who have achieved great success within some of the most recognizable brands in our industry,” says CEO Bernard Acoca. “With development and digital strategies central to our growth, I am confident that both are the right people to move our brand into the next phase.”
Mettler joins Zaxby’s from Orangetheory Fitness where he has spent the past 4 years leading franchise development, serving as chief development officer for the last 3. Prior roles include 7 years in senior franchise development for Dairy Queen and 4 years for Domino’s Pizza.
Nettles joined the brand in 2021 with a focus on developing a strong digital infrastructure that improves guest experience. He is leading the development and design of the new mobile app, loyalty program and e-commerce platform that are set to launch in summer 2022.
Prior to Zaxby’s, Nettles spent 30 years in the retail and hospitality sectors, holding leadership positions at Papa John’s and Panera Bread where he was responsible for leading the technical design, development and implementation of digital and in-store assets.
Founded in 1990, Zaxby’s is committed to serving delicious chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads in a fun, offbeat atmosphere where customers are considered friends. Zaxby’s has grown to more than 900 locations in 18 states and is headquartered in Athens, Ga. For more information, visit www.zaxbys.com or www.zaxbysfranchising.com.