Salsarita’s Names Yanira Castro Director of Marketing

Salsarita’s, the national Fresh Mexican Cantina, is pleased to announce a new addition to its corporate team: Director of Marketing Yanira Castro. Castro brings 14 years of restaurant and technology experience to the fast-casual franchise. She will lead the marketing team in developing and implementing new campaigns nationwide.

Salsarita's Appoints VP of Franchise Development

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.

Revamped Salsarita's Prepped for Growth

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 Launches New Mexican Pizzas

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.

Philip Friedman Named Chairman of Brandstand Group

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.

Salsarita's Sets the Stage for New Casarito

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).

How He's Starting Over with Salsarita's

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.”

Salsarita's New Growth Strategy

New CEO Phil Friedman says he will grow Salsarita’s presence in existing markets rather than expand to new territories.

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.