Even as the fast casual segment of the restaurant industry continues to be saturated with numerous competitors, McAlister’s Deli is still finding ways to grow.
A recent article in Fast Casual points to the grand opening of the brand’s 400th location as evidence of this continued success—after opening up 33 restaurants in 2016 and growing AUVs to $1.65 million, McAlister’s has its sights set on further expansion in the months ahead. That’s why the publication spoke to president Paul Macaluso to learn more about his perceptions of McAlister’s Deli’s growth, as well as the state of the fast casual industry in general.
Macaulso says that McAlister’s is able to experience success in the segment because it’s constantly looking for new ways to stay relevant to consumers. The brand’s system is designed to give customers what they’re asking for, and ensure that customization is a top priority. McAlister’s also works closely with its executive chef to make sure that they’re constantly innovating and updating their menu.
However, according to Macaluso, what really sets McAlister’s Deli apart from the crowd is its commitment to creating a positive environment for guests on all levels. In a Q&A with Fast Casual, he said, “When we first opened our doors in 1989, the founders build a brand driven by genuine hospitality. Beyond providing handcrafted dishes and unique offerings, we pride ourselves on creating an atmosphere that encourages guests to stay beyond their last bite to enjoy quality time with friends and family. This is something our guests recognize, look forward to, and know that they can always rely on when they walk into any McAlister’s Deli.”
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