Dayton Arby’s sold: What does this mean for your beloved curly fries?

Franchise owners had operated Dayton-area restaurants for more than 5 decades


All 29 Arby’s locations in the Dayton area have been sold, and the nearly 1,000 workers at those restaurants have a new corporate employer.

AES Restaurant Group LLC, an Arby’s franchisee based in Carmel, Indiana announced Feb. 14 that it has acquired 29 Miami Valley restaurants from GZK, Inc., headquartered in West Carrollton. GZK had operated Arby’s restaurants in the Dayton area for more than five decades. With the purchase, AES now operates 46 Arby’s restaurants across Indiana, Ohio and Georgia.

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A GZK spokeswoman referred questions to AES Restaurant Group President and CEO John Wade, who told this news outlet that the deal has been a long time in the making, and makes sense from a geographic standpoint — the Dayton market is only two hours away from AES Restaurant Group’s headquarters.

“We’ve always thought that the Dayton market was a prime Arby’s market, and we have pursued this for years,” Wade said. Working with GZK owner Neil Kaufman, Wade said, “We were finally able to put together a deal that was advantageous for all of us.”

Details of the transaction were not disclosed. All GZK employees have been hired by AES, including office support staff and members of the maintenance department, Wade said in a release.

“The same people who have been taking care of Dayton-area Arby’s customers for years will continue to do so,” Wade said. “We’ll be bringing some freshness to the restaurants, and will sharpen things up.”

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After merging the two companies and its operations, AES will launch a remodeling project this summer for Dayton-area restaurants. The renovated restaurants will feature design elements such as wood tones, white brick, subway tiles, stainless steel finishes, and upgraded lighting and landscaping that will deliver an upgraded guest experience, AES officials said in a release.

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GZK also had operated a dozen Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken locations until 2014, when it sold the franchise restaurants to Far Hills Development LLC.

Arby’s, founded in 1964, is the second-largest sandwich restaurant brand in the world with more than 3,400 restaurants in seven countries.



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