McAlister’s Deli® Largest Franchisee Inks 30 Franchise Agreements
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McAlister’s Deli® Largest Franchisee Inks 30 Franchise Agreements

Southern Rock Restaurants will become McAlister’s first 100+ unit operator with expansion set for Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Georgia

September 04, 2019 // // ATLANTA, Ga. - McAlister’s Deli®, a fast casual restaurant chain known for its genuine hospitality, sandwiches, spuds, soups and McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea™, announced today 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,” said 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 (“McAlister’s”) 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,” said 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. For more information about franchise opportunities, contact Michael Bruno, director, franchise development at McAlister’s Deli, at

McAlister’s Deli is recognized in the top 50 of the 2019 “Entrepreneur Franchise 500” and in the top three of “Entrepreneur’s Top Food Franchises: Sandwiches.” In 2018, Money ranked McAlister’s Deli #9 in the outlet’s rankings of the top “’fast-casual’ chains for your money in the U.S. McAlister’s Deli is also ranked in QSR magazine’s “The QSR 50” for 2018, as well as Fast Casual’s “Top 100 Movers & Shakers.” In 2017, Restaurant Business ranked McAlister’s Deli as one of “America’s Best Fast-Food Chains” and QSR named McAlister’s Deli as one of their “Best Franchise Deals.” In 2016, McAlister’s Deli was highlighted by Restaurant Business as the #2 “Consumer Favorite Fast Casual Chain” and by as “America’s Favorite Sandwich Shop.”

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 has more than 450 restaurants in 27 states. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, visit, and find McAlister’s Deli on social media at, and

About Southern Rock Restaurants, LLC

Southern Rock Restaurants, LLC is based in Franklin, Tennessee and operates 83 McAlister’s Deli restaurants in the fast casual segment, led by industry veteran David R. Blackburn. The Group currently owns and operates locations throughout seven states including: Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois. Southern Rock Restaurants is recognized as an IFA (International Franchise Association) Franchisee of the Year as well as Franchise Times Fastest Growing Franchisee for 2016 and is also listed with Restaurant Finance Monitor at #87 top Franchise Operators in the United States.

Media Contact:

Caitlin Willard
Fish Consulting, LLC
O: (954) 893-9150

SOURCE McAlister’s Deli



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