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.

“Phil Friedman is widely recognized as the restaurant industry’s leading strategist and his record certainly backs that up,” says Brandstand President and CEO Chris Petersen. “I have enjoyed working with Phil during the past year as he served as vice chairman and really look forward to continuing that relationship.”

As chairman, Friedman will oversee governance of the company and will continue to assist on client strategy and new business. Friedman also participates in Brandstand’s organizational development practice, assisting client leadership in critical areas such as succession planning, mergers, and acquisitions and finance.

“I am truly excited about taking on the chairman’s role at Brandstand,” Friedman says. “I have watched Chris Petersen and his team firsthand produce solid results for our client base and have participated with the team on much of the strategic planning. I am looking forward to spending even more time working with the company.”

Friedman recently led a group of investors in purchasing the Salsarita's Fresh Cantina chain, a Mexican quick-casual concept that has quickly grown to 82 locations in 19 states and Puerto Rico. Salsarita’s specializes in made-to-order burritos, tacos, Mexican pizzas, taco salads, and other fresh fare.

Previously, Friedman spearheaded the growth of McAlister’s Deli in 22 states, growing the quick-casual chain from 27 units to 300, with 2009 revenue of $343 million.

Before working with McAlister’s, Friedman served as chairman, Rosti Restaurants; president, Panda Management Company, Inc.; vice president, restaurant development, Marriott Corporation; vice president, planning, Chi Chi’s Inc.; COO, Sutton Place Gourmet Markets; and director, financial planning, Pizza Hut.

Friedman serves on the board of directors for the National Restaurant Association, has served on the board of the International Franchise Association, and is a member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Society of Fellows.

Employee Management, Growth, News, Operations, McAlister's Deli, Pizza Hut, Salsarita's