Staying true to its longstanding tagline, Zaxby’s announces an “indescribably good” promotion of Stephanie P. Gamble (née Struble) to vice president of brand development for Zaxby’s Franchising, Inc. (ZFI). Gamble has played an integral role in the development of many of Zaxby’s award-winning signature menu items that have added to the brand’s success. In her newly appointed position, Gamble will oversee the strategies and developments of the menu, systems and applications of the Zaxby’s brand.
“We are continuously working to develop new menu items, programs and initiatives that enhance our guest’s experience,” said Robert E. Baxley, Zaxby’s chief operating officer. “Stephanie’s diligent work and dedication have had a significant impact on our brand’s craveability. We are proud of Stephanie’s accomplishments and believe her future contributions to the brand’s success will only continue through our growth.”
During the past 15 years with the company, Gamble has been instrumental in the development of several brand successes. As the Food & Paper Division director in 2002, Gamble founded ZFI’s Research & Development department, leading to the development and implementation of Zaxby’s Party Platterz program, Meal Dealz, many of its menu items, including the Nibbler, and Boneless Wings, creation of the Zalad line, as well as Zaxby’s award-winning Milkshake program. Most recently, Stephanie served as senior director of brand development, where she was responsible for overseeing the development and testing of new and improved products, procedures and programs for the restaurant system. She leads a multi-disciplinary team responsible for creating new menu items, system resources, tools and applications that enhance the guest experience and support operational efficiencies for the entire Zaxby’s system.
“Stephanie’s greatest strengths are her integrity and loyalty to our brand. She has developed a winning team by surrounding herself with talent that rivals companies twice our size,” added Baxley. “She has continually volunteered her leadership in many projects and worked tirelessly with her peers to help forge our strategic plan.”
Gamble has been working with the Zaxby’s brand since 1996, when she began as a cashier in Greenville, S.C., while attending Furman University. She was promoted to a management role in 1997 after transferring to the University of Georgia, and was hired by ZFI as a Training and Testing coordinator after earning her bachelor’s degree in 2000. She has gone on to hold a number of positions of increasing responsibility.
Gamble serves on the 2013 COEX planning committee with the International Food Manufacturers Association (IFMA). She has served as chair of the Foodservice Division of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and regularly promotes the Zaxby’s brand and the discipline of product development at industry conferences, and through speeches and professional association presentations.
An alternative to fast food, Zaxby’s offers its guests prepared-at-order Chicken Fingerz, Jumbo Buffalo Wings, sandwiches, Zalads and Zappetizers, along with a variety of nine sauces ranging from Wimpy and Tongue Torch to Nuclear and Insane. Childhood friends Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley hatched the Athens, Ga.-based chain in 1990 to provide a fun, relaxing atmosphere that would keep guests coming back for more. The company ranked number seven in the 2012 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 number five in the nation for total sales and number one in the chicken segment in the 2012 Top 150 Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report published by Technomic. Zaxby’s operates more than 560 locations in 13 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.