Heather and Steve Ricks stumbled into the McAlister’s Deli® franchise system in an unconventional way. On a ski vacation, the couple started a conversation with a McAlister’s Deli® franchise owner while waiting on a ski lift. Heather thinks it was fate.

“Two weeks earlier I had lunch with my family in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the place they picked was a McAlister’s Deli®. I thought it was yummy. I told Steve about it, and he said he would look into it. Nine years later, here we are.”

Now Heather and Steve Ricks own three McAlister’s Deli® franchise restaurants located in Northern Virginia.

“It was an awesome decision. We love being franchise owners. It’s exactly what we were looking for in a brand and a business. This [owning a franchise] is way more fun. It’s nice not having to work somebody else’s agenda. Not climb someone else’s ladder. It’s great being your own employer and having a team behind you, too,” Heather adds.

Every day varies as a McAlister’s Deli® franchise owner. Heather goes out with her catering team to sell their services, works in the restaurants with her teams, and takes care of the guests at her restaurants. Heather is also on the Franchise Advisory Council (FAC) for the franchise and is involved in the decisions that concern the brand as a whole.

“The McAlister’s Deli® brand is solid. The ease of operation is unmatched. It lays a foundation for you to feel confident that you can run multiple locations.” said Heather.

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