McAlister's Deli – a leading fast-casual cafe concept – has announced a new store design for its restaurants. Combining modern and traditional elements, the new design gives the 23-year-old brand an updated look and feel.   

In addition to dine-in and take-out service, McAlister's also offers casual catering, with a selection of deli and sandwich trays, vegetable, cheese and fruit trays, breakfast trays, box lunches and desserts. McAlister's Deli currently has 307 restaurants in 22 states.

"We are very excited about our new store design, and believe our customers will find our restaurants even more inviting, accommodating and appealing," said McAlister's Deli President and CEO Frank Paci.  "It's the perfect combination of traditional touches like our town murals with updated decor and furnishings that give our location a fresh look."

McAlister's has recently opened two restaurants with the new design, one in Aurora, Colorado and the other in Lexington, Kentucky.  In addition to a new color palette, the design includes mixed seating with tables, booths and hi-tops with bar stool seating, as well as new fixtures and lighting. Customers also benefit with free Wi-Fi provided. 

Part of the new store layout includes a unique Tea Bar.  McAlister's Famous Sweet Tea is fresh brewed several times each day to insure freshness.  It is a black tea blend that is rainforest certified and uses filtered water and pure cane sugar for a high quality taste.  The new Tea Bar will give customers the opportunity to customize their tea and try new sweet tea flavors.        

"We continue to focus our efforts on what matters most to our guests – delicious food served fast and accurately by friendly and courteous staff," said Paci.  "It's also important that we continue to emphasize our strong ties to the community.  We understand that the communities we serve have enabled our growth, and we want them to continue to think of us as their local restaurant with great food and great service."

As the new store design is introduced, the company is embarking on an aggressive growth strategy in 2012 to increase its national footprint.  With 307 restaurants in 22 states, McAlister's is seeking new franchisees in select markets to make this expansion possible.  The company will focus its expansion in undeveloped markets in the states where McAlister's currently operates, as well as spearhead growth in new territories across the country.     

"To accelerate growth, we are focusing our expansion in small to mid-size markets initially," said Peter Wright, vice president of franchise development for McAlister's.  "We are looking for multi-unit operators with strong community ties and casual dining experience.  This is a brand for operators who understand the importance of strong operations and a commitment to true hospitality in the guest experience."

McAlister's is looking for specific franchisee candidates who have the ability and the desire to learn and follow a system that ensures superior food quality and customer satisfaction. Franchisee candidates should have multi-unit restaurant experience and a minimum liquidity of $750,000 and minimum net worth of $1.5 million. 

"It's an exciting time for McAlister's with a new store design, upgraded menu items and even more improvements on the horizon," said Wright.  "It's the ideal time to consider McAlister's as your next business venture."