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McAlister’s Deli® Climbs Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 List to No. 23

Award-Winning Fast Casual Restaurant Breaks into Top 25

McAlister’s Deli®, a leading fast-casual restaurant chain best known for its Real Handcrafted Sandwiches, Famous Sweet Tea and world class hospitality, today announced it has climbed 123 spots to No. 23 on Entrepreneur Magazine's 38th annual Franchise 500 ranking.

The magazine recognizes the role that big data, social media, cloud tools and powerful customer management systems have all played in dramatically changing the way franchise systems tackle operations, customer communication and franchisee education – all key factors in determining the Franchise 500 rankings. Additional factors that go into Entrepreneur’s evaluation include costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability. All franchises are given a cumulative score based on more than 150 data points, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500 in ranking order.

"Being recognized as the No. 23 franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine is an astounding achievement," said Paul Macaluso, President of McAlister’s Deli. "We’re truly humbled and honored, and attribute our success as a brand in large part to our dedicated franchisees and loyal guests across the country. We’re looking forward to leading McAlister’s to continued growth and brand innovation.”

McAlister’s had a successful year of franchise growth in 2016 with significant system-wide sales and the opening of 33 new restaurants in existing markets and new markets, including Naples and Ft. Walton Beach, FL; Buffalo, NY; NW Indiana and Cleveland, OH.

"McAlister’s has become a top choice for some of the most successful multi-unit franchisees in the country," said Jeff Sturgis, McAlister’s Vice President of Franchise Development. "We’re thrilled about the continued growth of our company, and we anticipate even stronger results in the next year.” McAlister's currently operates more than 380 restaurants in the U.S., across 28 states. The company has attracted a record number of franchise inquiries in recent years due to its quality leadership, healthy sales to investment ratio, and exceptional company performance.

About McAlister’s

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 520 restaurants in 29 states as of March 26, 2023. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit, and find McAlister’s on social media at, and

Media Contacts: Public relations inquiries please e-mail [email protected]