McAlister's Deli, a leading fast casual restaurant, announced it has signed an agreement with new franchise group MidSouth Hospitality Inc. to open 10 locations in Middle Tennessee. Led by McAlister’s veteran Charles Corley, MidSouth Hospitality Inc. will be opening its first McAlister’s in early 2015. The newly formed company plans to open a total of 10 new restaurants over the next seven years.

“Nashville and Middle Tennessee are areas that have additional development potential for McAlister’s,” says McAlister’s chief development officer Jeff Sturgis. “With three restaurants already operating in the Nashville market, we see this growth as an opportunity to further develop the brand throughout the region and we are especially excited about the partnership with Charles. His years of operating and development experience provide the type of partners we are seeking.”

MidSouth Hospitality Inc. makes its franchising debut with the McAlister’s Deli Tennessee development agreement, however, Corley, president of MidSouth Hospitality, is no stranger to McAlister’s franchising. Corley began as a McAlister’s franchisee in 2000 and spent five years cultivating his portfolio in Kentucky before joining the corporate team as vice president of operations.

“I have loved McAlister’s since day one. I have thoroughly enjoyed my various roles with the brand and all the people I have worked with over the past 14 years,” Corley says. “We always use the phrase ‘McAlister’s genuine hospitality,’ but that’s not just a marketing slogan; it is a philosophy that holds true from the individual restaurants to our franchisees to the corporate office. It is why I have had such longevity with the system and why I continue to invest and believe in the McAlister’s brand.”

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Fast Casual, Growth, News, McAlister's Deli