The leading fast casual franchise is leveraging its focus on hospitality and brand awareness across the Southeast to expand its reach in the key development market.
For nearly 30 years, McAlister’s Deli has been setting the standard for excellence in the fast casual segment of the restaurant industry. The brand goes above and beyond that of a traditional sandwich shop—by serving top quality salads, soups, spuds, desserts and McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea in addition to hand-crafted, made to order sandwiches, the brand is able to tap into a broader customer base that in turn boosts its franchisees’ bottom lines. And now, that one of a kind business ownership opportunity is set to reach even more entrepreneurs in Tampa, Florida.
McAlister’s is actively targeting the key market for development as it prepares for a record breaking year in terms of franchise growth and expansion. With more than 380 restaurants successfully up and running in 28 different states—including Florida—it’s clear that the brand’s proven system works in a variety of different communities. And between its heavy focus on genuine hospitality and strong brand awareness across the entire Southeastern region of the U.S., McAlister’s is positioned for rapid growth in Tampa.
“Tampa is a natural next step for the McAlister’s brand as we continue to break into new markets across the country. Over the last 2 years, we have opened 7 restaurants across Florida with 4 more slated for 2017. Customers in the area are already familiar with the brand, and they’re craving a better alternative to traditional fast casual restaurants that require them to take a number and wait for someone to yell their name,” said Paul Macaluso, McAlister's President. “That’s where McAlister’s shines. We work to elevate that dining experience for every customer that walks through our doors by staying true to our Southern roots. At the end of the day, we’re a down-home brand that serves great food in an unrivaled environment.”
That unique positioning within the fast casual industry is what makes McAlister’s stand out from the competition as it continues to expand. The brand offers prospective multi-unit owners the opportunity to capitalize on its loyal customer base, which is evident in the Tampa area. Franchisees in the area will also have a competitive advantage when it comes to getting their restaurants off the ground because of the brand’s strong support system—McAlister’s goes the extra mile to set its owners up for success.
Not only does the brand offer its franchisees hands-on training ahead of their first grand opening, it ensures that its franchise consultants make in-person visits to stores once operations are fully under way. Every member of McAlister’s corporate team also makes it a priority to be accessible to franchisees and listen to what they have to say.
“Our passionate franchisees are ultimately the driving force behind our continued success. That’s why having a strong support system is so important to us—we’re here to help our local owners reach their full potential as entrepreneurs,” said Macaluso. “That support system is even stronger in cities like Tampa because we already have a strong presence in the area. Franchisees who sign on to develop the brand there can rely on other owners for help and guidance who have been through the process and know the ropes.”
In addition to offering extensive corporate support, McAlister’s also offers prospective franchisees the opportunity to be a part of a rapidly growing brand at an affordable rate. With startup costs ranging depending on specific real estate, McAlister’s has a flat franchise fee of $35,000 per location.
“Our business model is incredibly simple. By focusing on what we do best and eliminating the need for major restaurant equipment like fryers and grills, we give prospective business owners the opportunity to grow alongside the booming fast casual industry without breaking the bank,” said Macaluso. “That simplicity is present in everything that we do—at its core, the McAlister’s brand serves great food with exceptional customer service in a welcoming and comfortable environment. We’re looking forward to bringing our concept to more consumers in the Tampa area as we partner with more franchisees.”