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The 2013 Zaxby’s conference was held this past month in Scottsdale, Arizona. While the hundreds of licensees and corporate Zaxby’s staff celebrated exceeding 1 billion dollars in revenue in a 12 month period for the first time, they did not look to be resting on their accomplishments. They presented information and resources to further their goal to become a nationwide restaurant chain. Zaxby’s has grown to 600 locations in just over 20 years in business.

If you have never traveled to Arizona in November I certainly suggest adding it to your bucket list. We enjoyed every meal outdoors; even our tradeshow, a time when various vendors met with licensees from all over the US, was held al fresco.  The weather could not have been any better. The humidity that we suffer from here in the southeast was nowhere to be found.

I have attended many conferences but none more enjoyable than this one. The days were filled from morning to evening with a great balance of business and fun. Zaxby’s had arranged for a number of options for entertainment including golf, river rafting, and my personal choice, the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. The group included ten teams of six drivers competing on a road race course with high performance go carts. It was a blast! I raced alongside the founders of Zaxby’s and it was entertaining to see them compete as hard on the track as they do in the business world. My group finished in sixth place well outside of bragging rights.

My big take away from this conference was the importance of balancing business and pleasure to create a meaningful conference experience.

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