Chris Smith | Owner | Zunzi’s and Zunzibar
Chris Smith, owner of Zunzi’s and Zunzibar, has never been one to put off until tomorrow what can be done today. It’s that drive that led him to become a Five Guys franchisee while still in college, going on to open seven locations within eight years. And it’s that same spirit that, upon his first visit to the Savannah sandwich shop Zunzi’s in 2008, drove him to declare that he would one day own the restaurant—a goal he eventually realized in 2014. Smith quickly refined the Zunzi’s concept, narrowing its wide-reaching menu to home in on its South African influences. And as he set about planning an Atlanta location to showcase a new focus on fast casual dining in a fun and energetic atmosphere, he also set his sights on what he sees as a key part of Zunzi’s future success—a company culture founded on the principles of positivity, inspiration and community outreach. In 2021, Zunzi’s relocated its original Savannah location and added Zunzibar, its sister beach-bar concept, creating a model for where Smith aims to take the company next.