McAlister's appoints Frank Paci as CEO

McAlister's Deli has named Frank G. Paci president and chief executive, succeeding Phil Friedman, who said this summer he would be stepping down.

Paci will assume his new role at the 295-unit fast-casual chain Sept. 27. He most recently served as executive vice president, chief financial officer and corporate secretary for The Pantry Inc., a Cary, N.C.-based convenience store company.

According to McAlister's, Paci has more than 25 years of foodservice and retail experience at such companies as Burger King, Pizza Hut and Blockbuster.

“[Paci] brings with him a broad range of experience in strategic planning, operations, franchise development and finance,” said Steve Romaniello, a board member of McAlister's and managing director of its private-equity parent company, Roark Capital Group. “We believe this combination of skills will enable Frank to bring a unique perspective to the leadership of McAlister's.”

Outgoing chief executive Friedman told Nation's Restaurant News in July [3] that he would be leaving the company in the fall to “look for something new.” During his 11 years at the Ridgeland, Miss.-based McAlister's, he helped grow the chain to 290 units at the end of 2009, reaching $352 million in systemwide sales, according to NRN's latest Top 100 census.

Atlanta-based Roark's restaurant portfolio also includes the Schlotzsky’s, Cinnabon, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Carvel and Wingstop brands.

Contact Molly Gise at [email protected] [4].