Zaxby’s unexpected closing in Salem leaves many questions unanswered

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The Zaxby’s location at 903 W. Main Street in Salem abruptly closed recently, leaving a lot of questions – and its employees without a final paycheck. The first thing that went through Brian Hall’s head when he heard the news was a sigh of relief.

Relief because “the restaurant, unfortunately, did not meet the proper standards to serve the community. It got so bad that several employees created a petition to get rid of the owner.”

Hall, a former restaurant employee, quit in June and says he has yet to receive his final paycheck. He added, “when I mentioned that I need my check to pay my bills, I was told to contact corporate, and they would take care of it. That was several weeks ago. I’ve yet to hear anything since.”

At the time of the closing, Zaxby’s had roughly 20 part-time employees. They were all told to pick up their final paycheck on July 31 at the Roanoke location on Ordway Drive. When they showed up, they found that building to be closed too.

A sign that reads “closed for renovations” can be found on the front door in Salem. Because the property was rented, its future use will be determined by other parties.

Cinae Morgan, a longtime supporter of the Salem Zaxby’s, expressed her thoughts to family and friends after learning of the restaurant’s closing. “All things considered, I wasn’t really that surprised. I knew once they stopped accepting customer coupons that would be another problem they had to deal with. There were some great employees there who really took pride in their jobs. That wasn’t the case for everyone though,” she said.

Franchisee Tom Noelke has said a court trustee will be handling payments to creditors and the business’s assets.

Zaxby’s sent the following statement to the Salem Times Register: “We at Zaxby’s Franchising LLC recently learned that the owner of the Zaxby’s restaurant in Salem made the decision to close the location. This is an unfortunate situation, and we are working to gather more information regarding the closings. Because these restaurants are owned and operated by VaZax Dining, LLC, an independent licensee of Zaxby’s Franchising LLC, some information is not available to us. We are troubled to receive reports that some employees have not been paid and have asked the licensee of these locations to maintain and coordinate communication with his employees to resolve the situation.”