Setting strategic objectives, visiting stores, developing franchisee relationships, building a strong organization, mentoring tomorrow’s leaders—CEOs have a lot of responsibilities on their plate. But several chief executives manage to add one very helpful task to their to-do list: getting into the field.
Salsarita’s—the Fresh Mexican Cantina—is pleased to announce Chris Bailey’s addition to the corporate team as vice president of franchise development.
Bailey has more than 25 years of sales experience, the last eight years of which were spent with Bojangles’ Restaurants, Inc., where he was director of franchise development. During his tenure with the popular chicken-and-biscuits chain, Bailey was instrumental in growing the company from 34 franchisees operating 157 restaurants to 85 franchisees operating 316 restaurants.
Some people just have what it takes to turn a brand around. And Phil Friedman, former CEO and president of McAlister’s Corporation, is one of those people.
After his Mississippi Restaurant Group purchased Salsarita’s—a fresh cantina that offers a bright and colorful atmosphere featuring signature burritos, Mexican pizzas, house-made salsas, and seasoned tortilla chips—and he took the helm last June, Friedman says the brand has improved by leaps and bounds.
Salsarita’s, the 80-unit Fresh Mexican Cantina chain, is debuting a new line of Mexican-inspired pizzas. Available in restaurants across the country, Cantizzas come in four varieties: BBQ Pork, pizzas with a Southern-meets-South-of-the-Border flavor; Chicken Fajita, with chicken, veggies, salsa, and an extra kick of flavor; Steak Nacho, a reinvented cantina classic topped with Salsarit'as signature tortilla chips; and Beef Taco, a thin, crispy tortilla crust topped with a tangy twist on the traditional taco.
Brandstand Group announced today that Philip Friedman, former CEO and president of McAlister’s Deli and current CEO of Salsarita's Fresh Cantina, has been named chairman of the board of directors at Brandstand Group, a premier restaurant brand marketing and communication firm.
Previously, Friedman served as Brandstand’s vice chairman.
Read More About
Salsarita’s — the Fresh Mexican Cantina — recently announced the launch of its first new menu item under new leadership.
Beginning April 2 ‘CasaRito – the Saucy Burrito’ will be available to restaurant guests in three delicious varieties: Quesarito (burrito covered with creamy queso), Rancharito (burrito covered with a robust ranchero sauce), and Tomarito (burrito covered with warm, spicy tomatillo salsa).
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.”
A week after the announcement that he’d acquired Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, former McAlister’s Deli CEO Phil Friedman says his plan for the fast casual is to saturate its existing markets.
Friedman says his strategy is to “exploit” Salsarita’s presence in the Southeastern U.S., where the majority of the chain’s 80 stores are located.
“We want to create even greater brand awareness and brand commitment in our existing markets,” says Friedman, who purchased Salsarita’s from founder Bruce Willette for an undisclosed amount.
Industry veteran Phil Friedman acquired the Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain. Salsarita’s will be owned by Salsarita’s Holdings LLC, a company formed and controlled by Friedman, who serves as CEO. Larry Reinstein will join Salsarita’s Holdings as president and chief operating officer.