Bernard Acoca,Zaxby’s CEO

The new Zaxby’s CEO, Bernard Acoca has been a pioneer in the fast-food business for the past three decades. He has been a leader of innovation and growth as he helps to create some of Atlanta’s most notable restaurant chains. Bernard has over 20 years of experience in the food service industry.


Bernard Acoca is more well known for his work in the building of Zaxby’s, a chicken sandwich restaurant with more than 900 locations across 17 states. The company was developed in 1990 and was named by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the fastest-growing franchises worldwide.


He worked for Zaxby’s as the president for almost two decades before stepping down in 2014. He has since helped open several locations, including Zaxby’s Grill, a restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, Chamblee, Perimeter Center, Doraville, and Sandy Springs. Eric Burkhart and Acoca co-founded this restaurant. • Zaxby’s Express – an alternative fast-food operation that offers its customers drive-thru only options.


The Zaxby’s CEO has received many honors and awards throughout his career. His award-winning accomplishments include the 1997 Quote of the Year – For “Growth and Innovation” • 2004 Hot Dog Award – restaurant chain with the most types of hot dogs sold in a single year • 2006 Golden Chain of Achievement Award – for contributing to growth in the food industry.


Bernard Acoca helps to support many organizations through his work. He is the current chairman of Liberty City Neighborhood Development Corp.


The company was ranked 39 on Forbes’s best small company list in 2014.

Acoca served as an Atlanta-based St. Joseph’s Hospital board member from 1996 to 2000. He also served as a board member for the food bank of Metro Atlanta from 2004 to 2007 and currently serves on the Georgia Restaurant Association Foundation, which helps children who need food and assistance. See this article for more information.


More about Acoca on