Bernard Acoca is the chief executive officer of Zaxby’s Chicken, a restaurant chain with over 3,000 locations across the United States. After losing his father to cancer in 1998 at the age of fifteen, the Zaxby’s CEO began working at Zaxby’s as an assistant manager in 1999. With his infectious passion for people and food, he rose quickly through the ranks and was named CEO in 2009.
Today he manages more than 1,100 associates and oversees a $767 million franchise operation that covers 41 states and 18 countries around the world. He has helped guide Zaxby’s Chicken from its humble beginnings to being recognized by Fortune as one of only 10 franchise restaurants to be a global powerhouse. In 2011, he was the youngest recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Southeast Georgia, and in 2013 he won Franchise Times magazine’s Top 100 Independent Leaders award.
Zaxby’s CEO Acoca lives in Savannah, Georgia with his wife Rachel, their son Eden and daughter Joelle.
Bernard Acoca focuses on two priorities: to enhance guest experience and to achieve a greater level of growth for both company-owned and franchise locations. In an effort to achieve the desired outcome, Acoca is constantly seeking out new opportunities to get closer to his customers. He has spent time in each of his restaurants touring the facilities and working in the kitchens. Furthermore, he has been known to ride along with local law enforcement on their route through Zaxby’s drive-thru lanes at all hours of the day and night.
Bernard Acoca believes in providing a positive work environment for his team members by encouraging them to reach their goals and be the best they can be. He strives to be a leader worthy of his employees’ respect by giving them incentives based on customer satisfaction scores and other performance metrics, such as associate retention rates, sales productivity and cost control. Refer to this article for related information.