James R. McKenzie
James R. McKenzie, along with Denver T. Hollabaugh Jr. and Robert L. Sirkis, are the brand’s first franchisees inducted into Fazoli’s Hall of Fame.
J.R. is a 1987 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law and was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in July of 1987. After law school, J.R. returned to his hometown of Ashland, Kentucky and formed a partnership with his father and brother, “McKenzie Enterprises.”
In 1989 J.R. and his partners became a franchisee of the Long John Silver’s restaurant brand and opened an LJS in Grayson, Kentucky. At the same time, the parent company of LJS, Jerrico, Inc., was developing the Fazoli’s concept and J.R. and his partners immediately recognized the potential of the fledgling concept.
After Fazoli’s was acquired by Seed Restaurant Group in 1990, McKenzie Enterprises moved quickly and became Fazoli’s first franchisee, opening the first franchised location in Ashland, Kentucky in October 1991, followed by a second location that opened in March of 1993 in nearby Huntington West Virginia.
The McKenzie Enterprises group continued to grow its Fazoli’s portfolio until, at its peak, it owned and operated thirteen Fazoli’s Restaurants in Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia.
J.R. served on the initial Fazoli’s Franchisee Advisory Board and then became a charter member, member of the Board and first President of Fazoli’s Franchise Association. J.R. continued to serve as President and Board Member for three years and was re-elected to the Franchise Association Board in August of 2019.
McKenzie Enterprises continues to operate four franchised Fazoli’s restaurants in Kentucky and West Virginia. J.R. remains active in the McKenzie Enterprise organization with his sister, Nancy McKenzie, and has an active law practice in Louisville, Kentucky.