Experienced Multi-Unit Franchise Owners are Choosing McAlister’s Deli® as Next Brand to Grow With

Survey of new franchisees shows a passion for the brand, a focus on community and a commitment to a positive return on investment.

Franchisees of multiple brands, including – Wendy’s, Denny’s, Long John Silver’s, Dunkin Donuts, Five Guys, Taco Bell and Wing Stop – have recently decided to develop McAlister’s Deli® alongside their current portfolio of brands. As experienced multi-unit operators, they all shared a desire to grow their respective brand portfolios and came to the same conclusion – adding McAlister’s Deli® to their portfolio would be a smart investment decision.

With so many restaurant franchise investment options to choose from, we asked each of them why they chose McAlister’s Deli® and what they like about being a McAlister’s Deli® franchisee. Following is a summary of their responses:

  • They believe McAlister’s Deli® is the right size system to attract seasoned multi-unit operators. Operators have the opportunity to grow, and the concept runs well because of the nearly 30 year history of operating success.
  • They listed the most rewarding features of being McAlister’s Deli® franchise owners as room for growth, unit level economics, sense of community in each location, high quality food, guests’ love for the brand and creating opportunities for employees to grow in their food service careers.
  • They were attracted to McAlister’s Deli® because of its unique fast casual concept, decor and atmosphere, hospitality and culture, vision for the brand, healthy diverse menu, the sales to investment ratio, and location availability.
  • They report that the McAlister’s Deli® support staff lived up to their commitment that was presented with the franchise opportunity. An area of support highlighted includes the use of a customer analytics and real estate modeling tool that helps determine appropriate McAlister’s Deli® locations. They also appreciate that grand opening support is thorough and believe the projections/benchmarks are helpful while they are trying to get started. They like the tools made available to them that help monitor their restaurants remotely, which is critical when operating multiple units. With the level of support that McAlister’s Deli® offers, it’s clear to them that the company has actively adjusted their support program to offer what franchisees need. This is why it was important for them to invest in a well-established concept.
  • McAlister’s Deli® culture was described as highly hospitable, friendly, genuine, community oriented and fun, with a focus on guests coming first.
  • They believe their customers love McAlister’s Deli® because of its quality food, McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea™, variety, competitive pricing, upscale yet comfortable environment, family friendly nature and hospitality.

With all of these accolades, it should come as no surprise that they all would recommend a McAlister’s Deli® franchise to someone considering the opportunity. So, have you considered the opportunity? Fill out the form below if you’re ready to get started.

Food & Drink International: The Bistro Group

Global Magazine Profiles Multi-Unit McAlister’s Deli® Operator

Food and Drink Magazine, whose focus is “editorial explaining best practices for CEOs, presidents and other leaders in the restaurant chain, food processing, manufacturing and service/distribution businesses,” according to its site, profiled McAlister’s Deli® multi-unit operator, The Bistro Group.

The article, which ran on June 7th, states that, “…McAlister’s Deli®, which was developed more for the millennial demographic, is experiencing healthy business. ‘We’ve had very strong same store sales growth over the last eight years or so,’ he [Chairman of the Board Sean Conway] says. ‘That brand has been really thriving for us.’”

To read the full article, click here.

Restaurant Finance Monitor: McAlister’s Deli® Leans on Shared Services, Off-Premise after 400-Unit Milestone

Company thanking its franchisees, but also using milestone to push new app to consumers for greater efficiency for off-premise diners

The article further states:

To celebrate, he said the company is thanking its franchisees, but also using the 400-unit milestone to push the new app to consumers, enticing them to download with a free club sandwich. The new app is a part of the brand’s push for more off-premise dining and greater efficiency for those off-premise diners.

“The app is important for a couple reasons, it’s an investment for people to put an app on their phone so we want to make it worth while. And we know if we can get people to order from us once, and see how easy it works they’ll do it again in the future,” said Macaluso. “So we have a really aggressive offer to get them to put us on their phones.”

He said the push for off-premise efficiency has proven to be a revenue and margin benefit since there aren’t any refills or cleaning required. Above all it’s access, and customers have proven that they want it. Macaluso said he’s seen a slight shift to off-premise. And while they don’t need to change things yet, he and the management team are pondering smaller-format locations to cut overhead more in the future if off-premise continues growing.

To read the entire article, click here or fill out the form below if you’re interested in franchising.

McAlister Deli®’s Simple and Proven Business Model Helps First Time Franchisee Become a Successful Multi-Unit Owner

Jim Gillenwater Jr. has been growing alongside the McAlister’s Deli® brand since becoming a franchisee in Louisville, Kentucky back in 2003.

Jim Gillenwater Jr. and his wife enjoyed dining at their local McAlister’s Deli® as hungry customers. But it wasn’t until 2003—when they joined Bill and Lora Robertson, the brand’s existing franchisee in Louisville who opened two restaurants in 2001—that they realized the brand had the potential to become much more than their go-to fast casual spot.

“Before I became a McAlister’s Deli® franchisee, I fell in love with the concept as a customer. My wife and I always enjoyed the brand’s food, so when she suggested that I look into it as a business opportunity, I jumped at the chance,” said Gillenwater Jr. “The more I studied the business behind the McAlister’s brand, the more I realized that this concept has the potential to reach every type of demographic in the market. It doesn’t matter if you’re old or young, male or female or what budget you’re operating with, McAlister’s Deli® has something for everyone.”

To say that Gillenwater Jr. has been successful as a McAlister’s Deli® owner would be an understatement—after taking the leap and becoming a franchisee for the first time over a decade ago, the Gillenwaters and Robertsons now owns nine locations that are thriving in the Louisville, Kentucky area. They have even received numerous awards from the McAlister’s Deli® corporate team over the years at the brand’s annual banquet, including the Corporate Developer of the Year Award

Gillenwater Jr. credits that success to McAlister’s simple and proven franchise system. Their business was able to rapidly grow from one unit to nine without any prior experience as a restaurant owner, ultimately allowing him them to realize their potential as entrepreneurs.  And Gillenwater Jr. says they are not done growing alongside the brand yet—they are currently in the process of pursuing plans to open several more McAlister’s Deli® restaurants down the line.

“Franchisees like Jim and Bill perfectly exemplify the numerous opportunities for growth that McAlister’s Deli® has to offer. Even if you’ve never owned and operated a restaurant before, our strong support system and proven model can set you up for long-term success,” said Jeff Sturgis, vice president of franchise development for McAlister’s Deli®. “Our number one priority as a franchisor is making sure that our local owners are poised for growth, and we’re eager to continue this trend as we continue expanding across the country.”

The Louisville market isn’t the only one primed for growth in the U.S.—McAlister’s Deli® currently has its sights set on expanding in key areas like Tampa, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Cleveland, Ohio and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And with more than 400 restaurants operating in a wide variety of communities, it’s clear that numerous franchisees are capitalizing on McAlister’s Deli®’s position at the forefront of the fast casual industry.

Between its top quality menu, fresh ingredients and McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea™, the brand is appealing to a large group of customers. And through its commitment to serving its products in a positive environment with exceptional customer service, McAlister’s Deli® is actively setting itself apart from the competition.

“Whenever I come across someone who has visited a McAlister’s Deli®, their reaction is enthusiastic. People don’t just like to visit us, they love the entire experience,” said Gillenwater Jr. “McAlister’s Deli® has given me all of the tools and resources that I need to be successful. Its business model is simple and easy to adapt to our market, which makes us excited about the possibilities for growth with the brand going forward.”

If you’re like Jim Gillenwater Jr. and looking for a franchise opportunity that you can be passionate about, fill out the form to get started.

TerritoriesNewsGet Started