FOCUS Brands, the group behind Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky's, Moe's Southwest Grill, Auntie Anne's and McAlister's Deli has named Rick Altizer as the new president of their sandwich fast casual chain, McAlister’s Deli.
The former president of McAlister’s Deli, Carin Stutz recently moved to Red Robin, leaving the fast casual brand on the look-out for a worthy replacement. And it’s safe to say that she left Altizer some big shoes to fill.
Background on the Industry Leader
Altizer joins the fast casual brand’s executive team from Rightwell Growth, a consultant group that helps early-stage companies achieve growth. But, he started his career in foodservice in 1989 with McDonald’s Corporation, where he worked his way up in different positions including roles in accounting, operations and store management. He rounded out his tenure at the fast food company as the VP and General Manager of 500 store locations across Missouri and Kansas.
He eventually moved to Midas International as the VP of Operations and then to be the President of Jiffy Lube International. Later as the Fuel Marketing VP with Shell Oil in Houston, TX, where he led a team to create and market a loyalty program for over 14,000 Shell gas stations and convenience stores.
He returned to the restaurant industry when he became the CEO at Elevation Burger, the largest and first grass-fed organic hamburger business, where he grew the restaurant’s franchise program and achieve double-digit growth in the burger chain’s total sales.
"Rick is an accomplished executive who has a strong track record for leading high-performance teams and transforming businesses into high-growth franchises," said Paul Damico, FOCUS Brands President, North America in a press release. "He will draw on his extensive experience in the franchise business to continue to drive McAlister's innovation and success."
Altizer will certainly have his hands full with his new role. McAlister’s Deli has over 361 restaurants in 28 states. Altizer’s experience growing different businesses will be useful as the sandwich chain continues its expansion throughout the country.
"I am very pleased to have this opportunity to lead McAlister's to its next stage of growth and success," said Rick Altizer, the new president of McAlister's Deli in a press release.
What’s Next for the Fast Casual?
McAlister’s is known for more than its sandwiches, spuds, soups and salads– its McAlister's Famous Sweet Tea is wildly popular.
This specialty beverage provides the brand another outlet to make revenue by either selling the beverage product in bulk or introducing seasonal flavors for limited time periods. The brand just introduced the Key Lime Lemonade and Key lime pie for the summer season.