By Nick Nahas

In March 2003, Matt Wortman made his dreams come true when he bought his first Zaxby’s chain restaurant in Valrico. On April 3rd of this year, he expanded, building off the success of his first store. The current Valrico resident opened his second restaurant in Gibsonton, in the Riverview 14 Shopping and Entertainment Center, near the Goodrich GDX movie theater.

Wortman became interested in owning a Zaxby’s chain when he worked for the company while he was in college in Georgia, he said. He made an offhand comment to his mom about one day wanting to own a Zaxby’s. He said his family was very supportive and helped make his dream become a reality.

He moved to Valrico in 2002 and went into business with his mom, and together, they purchased their first restaurant. The family-owned business has had success, which led to the opening of the second store 14 years later. Wortman said his father, Robert, who previously owned his own business, has been a big help giving him advice. Wortman has bought the rights for two more restaurants, but plans to open only one more restaurant in Hillsborough County. He wants people to know what his restaurant has to offer. “We try to put love and care into our restaurant like a family would, and we just want to do the best for all the guests that come in and want to enjoy the excellent food that we provide,” Wortman said.

Wortman is focused on making his Zaxby’s restaurant a desirable place for families to eat, along with great customer service. “I expect great customer service, excellent food and any complaints to be solved immediately if somebody has a bad experience,” Wortman said. “I want the management team to do the best that they can to correct the mistakes that were made.”

Zaxby’s is a fast-food restaurant that specializes in chicken wings, chicken fingers, sandwiches, salads and more. It also offers special dipping sauces and catering is available as well. It primarily operates in the south with more than 800 locations.

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Nick Nahas
Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.