Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

Guiding a nascent restaurant chain from 30-odd units to nearly 300 and making it a player in the competitive sandwich segment is no easy feat. But Phil Friedman has done just that.

Since taking over 10 years ago as chief executive of McAlister’s Deli, Friedman has grown the Ridgeland, Miss.-based fast-casual chain nearly tenfold in unit count, reaching about $343.4 million in U.S. systemwide sales for the fiscal year ended December 2008, according to Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2009 Top

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