McAlister’s Deli is welcoming the holiday season with special limited-time offerings on menu items and gift card purchases.
The quick-serve industry has taken its share of blows from media and government alike as they suggest fast food is contributing to the nation’s obesity epidemic. And while the industry has risen to the challenge of offering lower-calorie, lower-sodium, and all-around healthier menu offerings, some still suggest that more could be done in the realm of portion sizing.
Even though shrinking the portion size of popular menu items may seem an easy response to the demands for healthier food, experts say the solution is not so simple.
When Phil Friedman stepped down as CEO of McAlister’s Deli, a sandwich concept based in Ridgeland, Mississippi, that he grew from 30 to almost 300 locations during his 11-year tenure, many of his friends and colleagues assumed the 65-year-old industry veteran had retired.
“Most of the people were asking, ‘How’s retirement?’” Friedman says. “I’m not retired.”
As president of the Bistro Group, which owns 31 T.G.I. Friday’s and five McAlister’s Delis, Jeff Ritson has unique insight into both the fast-casual and the casual dining categories. He says the economy has forced the two to change in ways that shave away some of their differences.
He notices that casual dining has become more of a special event destination, while quick-casual concepts are more supportive of patrons’ everyday dining desires.
Brands No. 51-65 are fast-rising quick-service and fast-casual companies that just missed the QSR 50.
Brandstand Group announced that Philip Friedman, former CEO and president of the McAlister Corporation (McAlister’s Deli), has been named vice chairman of the Board of Directors at Brandstand Group, a premier restaurant brand marketing and communication firm.
“We’re very fortunate and excited to welcome Phil Friedman to the Brandstand Group,” says president and CEO Chris Petersen. “His operational expertise, wealth of experience in developing new and creative concepts for the restaurant industry, and track record in guiding growing companies is unparalleled.”
Marketing professors over the years have lectured students that they should never give a customer too many choices. Quick-serve operators must have missed that class. A look at several successful quick-serve menus reveals some form of a Choose Two option, where consumers can create a meal by combining items from an array of choices.