McAlister’s Deli, a leading fast-casual chain, announced it signed franchise agreements with a new franchise group to open five restaurants in the Phoenix, Arizona, market over the next four years. The brand is targeting Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, and Gilbert, Arizona, to open the new locations. Currently, McAlister’s has two locations in Phoenix and in Peoria.
Franchisees Jyoti Madhura, Preet Saini, and Sanjiv Bhagat have extensive multiunit franchising experience as owners of multiple restaurant concepts and service brands in Las Vegas, California, and Phoenix. The franchise group is aiming to open its first McAlister’s location next summer.
“As McAlister’s looks to expand throughout the West Coast, Arizona plays an important role in our growth strategy. With only two locations in the entire state, we have significant opportunity to grow our footprint, particularly in Phoenix,” says McAlister’s vice president of franchise development Jeff Sturgis. “Jyoti, Preet, and Sanjiv have a strong background operating restaurants across the Western U.S., and we’re thrilled they have joined McAlister’s.”
“Arizona’s restaurant industry is thriving as residents, especially Millennials, are dining out more and eager to try new concepts,” Saini says. “Coupled with the fact that these days more people are choosing healthier food options, it was a strategic choice to find a brand that offered healthier menu items for residents. Additionally, fast casual is the fastest-growing segment of the restaurant industry, so we’re confident McAlister’s will do incredibly well in Phoenix and are excited to grow the brand’s presence here.”
Technomic has recognized McAlister’s twice in its Consumers’ Choice Awards for Chain Restaurants—in 2015 as top fast casual chain for pleasant, friendly service and in 2014 as the top kid-friendly fast casual chain. This year, QSR magazine recognized the brand as one of the “Best Franchise Deals” and last year named McAlister’s to its QSR 50 list, ranking 13th for U.S. average sales per unit in 2013.