McAlister's Deli, a fast-casual restaurant, announced plans to develop seven restaurants in New Jersey as part of a new multiunit development agreement.

“Our partnership with A3 Investments marks an exciting time as we bring McAlister’s great food and genuine hospitality to the Northeast for the first time,” says McAlister’s president and CEO, Frank Paci. “McAlister’s has a loyal fan base, and we are experiencing strong same store sales growth which is driving interest in additional development. We see a big opportunity for McAlister’s to expand throughout the state.”

A3 Investments, a new McAlister’s franchisee, will develop seven restaurants in the state over the next five years. The company owns and operates full-service restaurants and other businesses in Central and North New Jersey. Initial target locations include Bergen and Passaic counties with the first opening set for 2014.

“McAlister’s Deli is a strong brand with great growth potential, making it the perfect addition to our portfolio. We are confident guests in New Jersey will love McAlister’s genuine hospitality and great food,” says Ash Ram of A3 Investments.

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