McAlister's Deli is a fast-casual restaurant chain operating mostly in the Southeastern United States known for its sweet tea and deli-style sandwiches. It also offers soups, salads, baked potatoes and dessert.
It was founded in 1989 in Oxford, Miss., by retired dentist Don Newcomb. It was purchased by Focus Brands, a portfolio company of Roark Capital, in 2005. Like other Focus concepts, most of its restaurants are franchised.
Recent menu innovations have included a cheesecake flavored with cinnamon from sister chain Cinnabon, a chicken chili made with white beans, and a grilled steak sandwich with bell peppers, pepper Jack cheese and poblano mayonnaise on a toasted baguette. It also started offering gallon jugs of sweet tea and lemonade to go during the pandemic.
Key data: McAlister’s Deli
Segment: Quick service
Restaurant Segment: LSR Sandwich/Deli
Number of U.S. Locations: 484
2020 Sales: $795.4 million
Source: Datassential Firefly 500
CEO: Jim Holthauser
Parent Group: Focus Brands