McAlister’s Deli announced the signing of 30 new franchise agreements with David Blackburn of Southern Rock Restaurants, LLC. The franchise group plans to expand its presence in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, and Georgia. The signed franchise agreements will make Southern Rock Restaurants the first McAlister’s Deli franchisee to eclipse 100 units in its portfolio.

“I acquired my first McAlister’s Deli restaurant more than eight years ago and knew instantly that my company would establish a terrific opportunity with the brand,” says David Blackburn, CEO of Southern Rock Restaurants. “At McAlister’s Deli, we have the unique opportunity to engage with our guest multiple times – something you don’t usually see at a fast casual restaurant. Our guest engagement and service set us apart from the rest. I’m excited to continue to grow with McAlister’s Deli and look forward to opening our new restaurants.”

McAlister’s Franchisor SPV LLC currently has more than 450 restaurants in 27 states and is part of the FOCUS Brands family of brands, which include Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery. Southern Rock Restaurants and all franchisees within the McAlister’s Deli system have the ability to use FOCUS Brands’ shared services, including marketing, real estate, technology and more, to help them successfully launch and operate their restaurants.

“This is a really exciting time for McAlister’s Deli. Within just the last 12 months, we’ve debuted a new prototype, accelerated our brand positioning, expanded our off-premise capabilities and enhanced our in-store technology,” says Joe Guith, president of McAlister’s Deli. “Today marks another memorable occasion as we congratulate David and Southern Rock Restaurants on their newest franchise agreements. We consider our franchisees to be family and David has been part of our family for a long time. We’re excited to watch Southern Rock Restaurants’ continued growth.”

As part of the 30 franchise agreements, Southern Rock Restaurants has committed to opening  21 restaurants in Ohio (14 in Cleveland and seven in Columbus), seven in Indiana, one in Tennessee and one in Georgia, with several of these locations slated to open later this year.

In addition to Southern Rock Restaurants, McAlister’s Deli is continuing with its aggressive expansion and is seeking single-unit and multi-unit operators to join its successful franchise network. McAlister’s Deli is currently targeting new markets across the U.S.

Fast Casual, Franchising, News, McAlister's Deli