McAlister's Deli Franchising Information

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Brand Info

About McAlister's Deli

Founded in Oxford, Mississippi in 1989, McAlister’s® Deli is an award winning fast casual restaurant concept offering an extensive menu of American regional favorites including made to order sandwiches, fresh salads, Texas sized spuds and our famous sweet tea.  They believe in doing things the McAlister’s Way which means high quality, generous portions; exceptional service, (which is refered to as McAlister’s Genuine Hospitality), in a comfortable environment that makes their guests feel at home. 

With over 375 locations throughout the U.S., McAlister's Deli is looking to grow with experienced restauranteurs and multi-unit operatorts. 


McAlister's Deli Story
Top 5 Reasons To Buy A McAlister's Deli Franchise
  • Excellent Unit Level Economics  -  $1,650,105 – Average net sales for 301 franchised traditional locations that were open for all of 2016*
  • Uniquely Differentiated - McAlister’s Famous Sweet TeaTM, McAlister’s ClubTM, Texas Sized Spuds, Savannah Chopped Salad and other high awareness products, all served with our Genuine McAlister’s Hospitality. 

  • Simplicity of Operations  — no fryers or grills. Limited Operating Hours. No breakfast or late nights. 

  • Perfectly Positioned - Already meeting consumer demand for higher levels of service in the fast-casual dining segment, our broad menu appeals to a wide customer base. 

  • Multi-unit Success - 67% of their franchise own multi-units and average 7 restaurants.

Franchisee Testimonial
Why McAlister's Deli Franchise?

McAlister’s Deli is known for our wide-ranging menu of sandwiches, giant spuds, entrée salads, soups, sweets and signature McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea™, and is an attractive franchise investment. McAlister’s Deli offers:

Positive momentum in same store sales growth
Extensive catering opportunities
Favorable sales-to-investment ratio
Attractively positioned in the growing fast-casual restaurant segment
Award-winning quality food and beverages
Industry leader in hospitality


McAlister's Franchisee
What are the costs for a McAlister's Deli Franchise?

Total Initial Investment to develop a traditional restaurant at an end-cap or inline shopping center location is between $762,000 to $1,023,000 (does not include real estate costs).

Minimum Net Worth Requirement: $1,500,000

Liquidity Captial Requirement: $750,000

For a specific breakdown, CLICK HERE

How much does a McAlister's Deli franchisee location make?

$2,436,543 Average net sales in 2016 for Top Quartile of 301 franchised traditional locations that were open for all of 2016*

$1,650,105 – Average net sales for 301 franchised traditional locations that were open for all of 2016*

16.04% - Average EBITDA based on 138 traditional franchised restaurants that were open for all of 2016 and had an Average total revenue of $1,867,241 in 2016*


*Figures reflect 2016 averages for 301 franchised traditional McAlister's Restaurants that were in operation continuously during the period from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016 and from whom we received complete and timely financial information for such period, as published in Item 19 of our April 2017 Franchise Disclosure Document. There were an additional (i) 35 franchised traditional McAlister's Restaurants which were not added to the sample because they did operate continuously during the 2016 period, and (ii) 19 franchised express McAlister's Restaurants which were not added to the sample because they are not traditional McAlister's Restaurants. Of the 331 restaurants in the sample, 147 restaurants [or 44%] attained or exceeded the average total net sales. You should review our Franchise Disclosure Document for details about these figures. A new franchisee’s results may differ from the represented performance. There is no assurance that you will do as well and you must accept that risk.
THE FOLLOWING APPLIES TO TRANSACTIONS GOVERNED BY THE FRANCHISE INVESTMENT LAW OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA ONLY: These franchises have been registered under the franchise investment law of the State of California. Such registration does not constitute approval, recommendation or endorsement by the commissioner of corporations nor a finding by the commissioner that the information provided herein is true complete and not misleading. This information is not intended as an offer to sell a franchise. We will not offer you a franchise until we have complied with disclosure and registration requirements in your jurisdiction. Contact McAlister’s Franchisor SPV LLC, 5620 Glenridge Drive, NE, Atlanta, GA 30342, to request a copy of our FDD. RESIDENTS OF NEW YORK: This advertisement is not an offering. An offering can only be made by a prospectus filed first with the Department of Law of the State of New York. Such filing does not constitute approval by the New York Department of Law. RESIDENTS OF MINNESOTA: MN Franchise Registration Number: F-8196. ©2017 McAlister’s Corporation.


McALister's Deli Awards

2017 Restaurant Business - Top 25 Fast-Food Chains in America

2017 Entrepreneur - Fastest Growing Franchises

2017 Entrepreneur - Top 500 Food Franchises

2017 - Top 100 Movers and Shakers


2016 Restaurant Business Magazine - #2 Consumers' Favorite Chain

2016 QSR 50 Sandwich Segment Magazine - Top Sandwich brands in quick service & fast casual


Why I Bought

1. Brand Reputation

With a diverse menu and an unwavering focus on service and hospitality, McAlister’s® has a long history of raising the bar in the fast-casual restaurant segment.  By offering a simple, yet elevated menu of sandwiches, spuds, soups, salads, desserts and McAlister’s® Famous Sweet™ Tea, the brand is able to reach and attract a wide base of customers, and with dine-in and off-premise service options, guests are able to enjoy McAlister’s® how and when they want. Furthermore, McAlister’s® Deli is able to maintain such a strong connection with every customer that walks through its doors because of its attention to detail. Each menu item is made to order and then delivered to guests with a smile.

“Our philosophy is to offer “a little something extra” to each of our guests, and for that reason, McAlister’s® has developed a large and loyal following of customers and happy and satisfied franchisees.”, according to Jeff Sturgis, Vice President of Franchise Development.

Franchisee feedback:

“At McAlister’s®, the doors open by 11a.m., and we’ll immediately have guests coming through our doors for that first glass of sweet tea. You won’t find more loyal guests than those that come to McAlister’s® —some are even here two or three times a day. The reason for that is simple —our expanded menu sets us apart. But the effort and energy we put into the hospitality is something special. We deliver your meals to your table. We refill your drinks. And we take care of our guests. You don’t get that kind of service at a sandwich shop. It’s our true differentiator. And that’s why I chose McAlister’s® over any other brand.” - David Blackburn, 5/5/17, 1851 Interview

“Growing up in the South, you come to realize that good service and heart-warming hospitality are just as important as the food being served. I fell in love with the way food could bring people together and lift someone’s mood, and I found that in McAlister’s®. McAlister’s® is different from other restaurant brands out there and is definitely not a sandwich shop. This is a restaurant fueled by great service and simple —yet elevated—food. It’s the kind of place that feels like a second home.” - Yaron Goldman, 5/5/17, 1851 Interview

2. System and Financial Performance

Earlier this year, McAlister’s® Deli announced it has climbed 123 spots to No. 23 on Entrepreneur Magazine's 38th Annual Franchise 500® ranking. The magazine recognizes the role that big data, social media, cloud tools and powerful customer management systems have all played in dramatically changing the way franchise systems tackle operations, customer communication and franchisee education – all key factors in determining the Franchise 500® rankings. Additional factors that go into Entrepreneur’s evaluation include costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.

Entrepreneur isn’t the only third-party analyst who has ranked McAlister’s® Deli as a good value. Using proprietary data collected by Restaurant Business and its sister research firm Technomic® from 2016, Business Insider looked at nearly 100 of the largest U.S. chains and rated them on three criteria: financial performance, customer satisfaction and overall value. Out of the 25 brands that were ranked, McAlister’s® Deli came in at No. 17.

"Being recognized by some of the leading business and industry publications, is a great achievement," said Paul Macaluso, President of McAlister’s® Deli. "We’re truly humbled and honored, and attribute our success as a brand in large part to our dedicated franchisees and loyal guests across the country. We’re looking forward to leading McAlister’s® to continued growth and brand innovation.”

The financial performance of a McAlister’s® restaurant is another reason for its on-going industry recognition and growth. According to their current FDD, McAlister’s® enjoys some of the best unit level metrics in the fast-casual restaurant space – average unit volumes exceeding $1,600,000 and growth in top line sales since 2012. All from a relatively simple operating platform that utilizes no grills or fryers.

Franchisee feedback:

“We’ve had very strong same store sales growth over the last eight years or so. That brand has been really thriving for us.” - Sean Conway, The Bistro Group, Multi-Unit Franchisee, 7/17/17, Interview with Food & Drink Magazine

3. Growth Potential

Unique positioning within the fast-casual industry is what makes McAlister’s® stand out from the competition as it continues to expand — but it’s not the only thing. In addition to offering an elevated fast-casual dining experience, McAlister’s® offers extensive corporate support and gives prospective franchisees the opportunity to be a part of a rapidly growing brand and benefit from being under the umbrella of its parent company, FOCUS Brands Inc.

There’s a reason why franchisees of multiple brands, including Wendy’s® , Denny’s®, Long John Silver’s® , Dunkin Donuts® , Five Guys® , Taco Bell®  and Wingstop®, have recently decided to develop a 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.

Franchisee feedback:

“Going from one to two units was huge for us, especially when you’re used to being there six days a week. But with the help of McAlister’s® support team, we learned how to put the right team and systems in place to help us sustainably grow to eleven units and beyond. Without guidance from McAlister’s®, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” - Jeff Shawl, multi-unit franchisee, 3/15/17, 1851 Interview

4. Operations Simplicity

McAlister’s® business model is incredibly simple. By focusing on what it does best and eliminating the need for major restaurant equipment like fryers and grills, the brand gives prospective business owners the opportunity to grow alongside the booming fast-casual industry without breaking the bank. That simplicity is present in everything McAlister’s® does — at its core, the brand serves great food with exceptional customer service in a welcoming and comfortable environment.

“Behind the scenes, McAlister’s® works to help ensure that every franchisee is set up for success. Operational efficiency and simplicity, superior products with a broad menu, differentiated guest experience and exceptional customer satisfaction are only some of the ways McAlister’s® Deli has long set itself apart,” Macaluso said “As we celebrate the 400th restaurant in the brand’s growing system, it’s clear we have a recipe for success that — quite simply — works.”

Franchisee feedback:

“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. McAlister’s® 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.” - Jim Gillenwater Jr.,  multi-unit franchisee, 5/31/17, 1851 Interview

5. Trusted Leadership and Management

Franchisees who enter McAlister’s® Deli franchise system gain access to a long list of benefits. From support throughout the grand opening process that includes real estate selection and marketing tactics to a strong network of more than 400 existing restaurants, the brand’s local owners are able to rely on a corporate team of experts when getting their businesses off the ground. However, the competitive advantages of being a franchisee of McAlister’s® Deli do not stop there — the brand adds another layer of support to its system by being a part of FOCUS Brands Inc.

FOCUS Brands Inc. is a leading developer of global, multi-channel, food service brands. In addition to McAlister’s®, its portfolio includes Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Schlotzsky’s® Bakery Café, Auntie Anne’s® Pretzels, Cinnabon® and Carvel® Ice Cream.  One of the main areas of synergy for McAlister’s® is in the supply chain needed to support all stores. The combination of these six brands provides FOCUS Brands Inc. with considerable clout and leverage when working with the vendor and distribution marketplace.

“Instead of going to market as McAlister’s® with 400 stores, we’re going into the vendor community as FOCUS Brands Inc., which works on behalf of 4,600 locations,” said Rich Kamph, Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain for FOCUS Brands Inc.. “What that means for franchisees is they participate in a much larger buying organization and are the recipient of the increased value this larger organization delivers. We’re able to leverage our size and scale with vendors to negotiate superior supply agreements on high quality products and ingredients.”

Franchisee feedback:

“If you’re interested in franchising, you should take a very serious look at McAlister’s®. One, obviously, it’s financially successful. Two, I think it’s a brand that has growth opportunities from a geography standpoint. Three, I think within our segment we’re really having fast paced growth which is exciting. I think one important thing that sets McAlister’s® apart today in how the system’s operated today is that senior management is listening to franchisees.”  - Kelly Saxton of the Saxton Group, which owns over 70 McAlister’s® locations across four different states. 3/15/17, 1851 Interview

Executive Q&A

An Interview with McAlister’s Deli President Paul Macaluso

1851: What about McAlister’s Deli makes it unique within its industry?

PM: First of all, we’re passionate about bringing people together with genuine hospitality where people can always experience a warm welcome and that little something extra.  Also, we’re proud to offer real, handcrafted food and delicious sweet tea that’s simple, yet elevated and always made-to-order using the finest and freshest ingredients.  Finally, our neighborhood restaurants offer more than a place to eat, they are community gathering places, each with their own story to tell, where people can linger and enjoy the comfort of great food in great company. 

1851: What have been some of the brand's most important milestones over the past five years? 

PM: We opened our first restaurant in 1989 in Oxford, Mississippi and have had a rich history of important, industry leading accomplishments since that time.  Specifically, over the last 5 years, we have had many, both in terms of our menu and our guest facing technology.  In 2015, we launched our Green Tea platform, leveraging the incredible strength we have in Sweet Tea.  Just last month, we launched our new Lemonade platform, made with pure cane sugar, further extending our leadership in beverages within the fast casual segment.  On the side of technology, we launched an app-based loyalty program across our system in 2013, upgraded our pre-ordering app in 2016, and have plans to add online catering ordering and fully integrate all elements in one app in the summer of 2017.   These are just a few examples of how the brand has grown and continues to have momentum.  We have seen some excellent recognition from our guests, franchisees and industry experts related to the strength of our brand.  In 2014, 2015 and again in 2016, we received certification as a “World-Class Franchise” by the Franchise Research Institute, based on the surveys from our franchisees.  In 2015, we were ranked as the “Top Fast Casual Chain” on America’s Favorite Chains list by Restaurant Business.  I’m also very proud that we were listed as the #23 best deals in Entrepreneur Magazines Top 500 Franchises. 

1851:What plans does the brand have in the coming years? 

PM: As previously hinted, we are currently evolving and revitalizing our brand positioning to ensure our brand stays relevant and differentiated to our guests. We hope to take that refresh and apply it not only through marketing initiatives, but also to our in-restaurant and digital brand experiences. Ensuring we are telling the same story that resonates across all platforms and points of guest engagement will help us have more meaningful guest experiences.  

Along with our refresh, our brand is one that continues to grow at a great pace. This year we are opening our 400th restaurant and are opening in cities we haven’t introduced the brand to yet. It’s an exciting time for both us as a company and also for our franchisees as they help introduce us to new markets and guests.       

1851: What does an ideal franchisee look like?

PM: The core quality of an ideal franchisee is the desire to provide genuine service. Whether that’s genuine service to customers, their community, fellow franchisees, or the brand, it’s a trait you can’t teach but must embody naturally. Meeting a franchisee that “gets” what McAlister’s stands for immediately puts them on the path to success.  Of course having a background in operating restaurants or other hospitality driven businesses is a plus, along with the obvious financial resources, but what we really need are franchisees who understand what our customers need and work hand in hand with us to deliver beyond the guests expectations.

1851: Why is McAlister’s Deli a good investment? 

PM: Behind the scenes, McAlister’s works to ensure every franchisee is set up for success. Excellent unit-level economics, operational efficiency and simplicity, superior products with a broad menu, differentiated guest experience and exceptional customer satisfaction are only some of the ways McAlister’s sets itself apart. After 28 years of operating and franchising experience, 30 plus company-owned units that provide real-time feedback on all operations, menu and marketing initiatives, and a high ratio of support staff to franchisees, McAlister’s is organized in a way that allows franchisees to get the best support and, in turn, provide the highest level of service and products.

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