McAlister’s Deli Surpasses  Billion in Systemwide Sales
McAlister’s Deli Surpasses  Billion in Systemwide Sales

Legacy Fast Casual Brand Known for Craveable Sandwiches, Spuds & Sweet Tea Hits Billion Dollar Milestone

ATLANTA, March 4, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — GoTo Foods, the parent company of Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Jamba®, McAlister’s Deli®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, and Schlotzsky’s®, announces legacy brand McAlister’s Deli, has officially crossed the $1 Billion systemwide sales milestone. The achievement is fueled by accelerated brand growth, strong brand foundation, and prioritization of guest loyalty.

McAlister’s Deli is the first of GoTo Foods’ concepts to reach $1 billion in systemwide sales. Founded in 1989 in Oxford, Mississippi, McAlister’s Deli began as a regional brand but has since expanded to 29 states across the United States. The brand has kept its focus on genuine hospitality, proving commitment to core brand values will propel any brand to success. Additionally, after unlocking untapped revenue streams such as digital ordering, pickup windows, tableside service, to-go, and catering innovation, McAlister’s Deli reported an average unit volume of over $1.9 million for its traditional locations, contributing to the achievement of the $1 billion milestone.

“We are grateful to our loyal guests, our franchisees and restaurant team members who deliver our brand promise each and every day,” said Mike Freeman, McAlister’s Deli Chief Brand Officer. “Every decision we make—from brand development, menu innovation and digital enhancements—is made with our guests and franchisees top of mind. Prioritizing this business model has been imperative to our success and continued growth.”

Accelerated Growth
Fueled by impressive growth, McAlister’s Deli is showing unstoppable momentum, entering new markets, growing in existing markets and adding new franchisees to its growing system. Notable to McAlister’s Deli restaurant growth is multi-unit expansion. Recently, Steve and Dani Wegman signed a 10-unit agreement to open the brand’s first locations in Minnesota.

As of December 31, 2023, McAlister’s has 539 restaurants open. The brand’s strong unit-level economics and AUV draw franchisees to the brand, as franchisees achieved $1,922,992 average net sales for fiscal year 2022*. Additionally, new restaurants continue to break records for their opening performance.

Strong Brand Foundation
One of the common denominators of McAlister’s Deli’s success is the people. The brand has tenured leadership, engaged franchisees, and a loyal customer base, creating a strong brand foundation and consistent growth. Mike Freeman, CBO of McAlister’s Deli has been with the brand for over 15 years, Vice President of Operations, Aron Teneyck has been with the brand for over 20 years, and Vice President of Marketing Jessica Osborne has served the brand for over 10 years, beginning her career working with one of McAlister’s Deli franchise groups. In addition to its strong corporate leadership, the brands’ largest franchisees are close collaborators in increasing the strength of the system and advocating for the franchisee base at all times.

Impressive Brand Loyalty & Innovation
Where strong leadership and franchisee dedication exists, customer loyalty is able to blossom and remain steady. The company emphasizes “a little something extra” in their service philosophy, and it does not go unnoticed by guests, directly correlating to strong guest loyalty.

Alongside positive customer service, McAlister’s Deli is constantly evaluating the menu to ensure it is offering items that appeal to consumers and mirror industry trends. Guest expectations are evolving, so constant innovation is necessary to balance their needs with the needs of the business to help drive profitability for franchisees. As a result, the brand is building a menu of the future by modernizing its current menu, creating new menu categories, simplifying operations, and increasing profitability. The brand is exploring adding new hot side options, shareable dips, flatbreads, and bowl options.

The brand also has a high-performing catering platform. Most known for their lunch box catering options, McAlister’s introduced breakfast catering in 2023 to remarkable success. The breakfast catering menu includes unique items like build-your-own avocado and French toast bars as well as breakfast boxes which include a breakfast sandwich, fruit and yogurt. Most impressively, this new daypart did not add any additional SKUs, which helps keep operating costs down.

McAlister’s Deli’s achievements have not gone unnoticed, earning multiple awards and recognitions, including ranking on Entrepreneur’s 2023 Franchise 500® in addition to Nation’s Restaurant News Top 500 list and Newsweek’s America’s Best Customer Service list.

The GoTo Foods portfolio offers compelling opportunities for franchisees looking to sign franchise agreements. Visit to learn more about how you can join one of our seven iconic brands.

About GoTo Foods  
Atlanta-based GoTo Foods (formerly known as Focus Brands) is a leading developer of global multi-channel foodservice brands. As of December 31, 2023, GoTo Foods, through its affiliate brands, is the franchisor and operator of more than 6,700 restaurants, cafes, ice cream shoppes, and bakeries in all 50 states and over 60 countries and territories under the Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Jamba®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, McAlister’s Deli®, and Schlotzsky’s® brand names, as well as the Seattle’s Best Coffee® brand on certain military bases and in certain international markets. GoTo Foods is proud to be Certified by Great Place To Work®, the most definitive “employer-of-choice” recognition and the only recognition based entirely on what employees report about their workplace experience. Please visit to learn more.   

About McAlister’s Deli ®
Founded in 1989, McAlister’s Deli® is a fast casual restaurant chain known for its genuine hospitality, sandwiches, spuds, soups, salads, desserts and McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea. In addition to dine-in and take-out service, McAlister’s Deli also offers catering with a selection of sandwich trays, box lunches, desserts, a hot spud bar and more. With numerous industry accolades, the McAlister’s Deli brand had more than 530 restaurants in 29 states as of December 31, 2023. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit, and find McAlister’s on social media at, and  

*Average net sales in the brand’s 2022 fiscal year for 431 traditional franchises that operated throughout such fiscal year in traditional locations. 

Media Contact: Leah Trice, Fishman PR, 847-945-1300, [email protected]     


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