• Chain Profile: Bar 145 Finds Its Niche

  • 2015 Dealer of the Year: Clark Associates, Inc.

  • Facility Design Project of the Month: Ristorante del Lago and Bar del Lago at The Broadmoor

  • DSR of the Month, May 2015: Fred Potekin, Commercial Kitchen Equipment Sales and Design, Beltram Foodservice Group, Largo, Fla.

Foodservice News

Read more Foodservice News

Blog Network

jCarbonara
Joe Carbonara

Lesson Learned: The Cost of Staying the Same

For years now, if you were to ask most any member of the foodservice supply chain about some of their biggest challenges, they would include attracting and retaining top young talent and coming to terms with price pressures brought on by their arch nemesis, the internet.

Read more...

jMartinez
Juan Martinez

A Systematic Approach to Labor Economics

Foodservice operators can choose from countless ways to manage labor resources. Here consultant Juan Martinez outlines the 10 key attributes any labor management system should have, regardless of how a restaurant approaches this all-important topic.

Read more...

jStiegler
Jerry Stiegler

Fast Food B'fast Wars Heat up, Americans Are Eating Their Savings and More

Government numbers show good restaurant sales in April. US Foods is getting antsy over delay in the Sysco merger but no quick decision is anticipated. Seattle operators struggle with minimum wage increase. YUM may divest its Chinese businesses. These stories and a lot more in This Week In Foodservice.

Read more...

Highlights

Chain Innovators: McAlister’s Deli

Upgrades are the name of the game in 2011 for Ridgeland, Miss.-based McAlister's Deli. The 304-unit chain is revamping its equipment package to maximize efficiency and speed of service and ingredients to focus on providing a more upscale product.

McAllistersWith the bulk of its locations on college campuses, the 22-year-old chain has had to reassess its business model to better meet the expectations of its demographic. "We're in the process of installing new kitchen prototypes, which are currently in 55 of our locations," says Annica Kreider, vice president of marketing. "Although we just started the conversion, everyone is pleased with it. Not only is the new prototype delivering on product consistency, but we are able to take two minutes off the ticket time."

In addition to incorporating rapid cooking technology, McAlister's Deli is installing hot holding units that help maximize preparation time for its baked potatoes. The chain's menu innovations include a relaunch of its grilled sandwich platform that will include new flavors. "We launched our Panini line in 2009 with five products, and now will transition into six," Kreider says.

"Some menu items will be new and others will be reformulated with our new breads, proteins or toppings, such as caramelized onions."

The chain will continue capitalizing on its "5 for Under 500" offerings of five meals with less than 500 calories each.

To further capitalize on the success of its LTO program, the chain recently created its On the Line Challenge. "This contest encourages those who work in our kitchens to create new LTO menu items from existing SKUs," Kreider says.

Approximately 70 entrees were received from 22 states.

Fast Facts

  • Year founded: 1989
  • Headquarters: Ridgeland, Miss.
  • Menu specialties: Deli sandwiches, salads, soups, spuds, sweet tea
  • Service model: Fast-casual
  • Units: 304
  • 2010 sales: $357.5 million
  • 2010 growth: Revenue grew by 3.1 percent, number of units increased by 4.5 percent
  • Projected 2011 growth: 7.7 percent increase in revenue, 5 percent increase in units
  • Key expansion markets: Midwest, Southeast, Southwest, Mountain West, Mid-Atlantic
  • Typical location: Shopping center end-caps
  • Average unit size: 3,600 sq. ft.
  • Average kitchen space: 1,000 sq. ft.
  • Average covers per day: 450
  • Average check: $8.00
  • Total equipment investment per unit: $150,000
  • Total unit cost: $700,000

Key Players

  • Vice President of Marketing: Annica Kreider
  • Sr. Manager of Operations Services: Craig Forbes
  • Sr. Manager of Procurement: Veronica Adul'Ali
  • Director of Design: Lynn Pool
  • Manager of Development: Angie McGuffee
  • Smallwares & Equipment Dealer: Hotel & Restaurant Supply
  • Food Distributor: MBM
  • Architect: Odom & Associates
  • Design: FRCH Worldwid
Related Articles

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies is proud to be the exclusive media sponsor for 2015 RestaurantPoint.

Restaurant Point - Innovating the restaurant experience