McAlister’s Deli Enters into One of the Largest Development Deals in Company History

Joe Guith, president of McAlister's Deli with Guillermo Perales, founder and CEO of Sun Holdings, Inc.
Joe Guith, president of McAlister’s Deli with Guillermo Perales, founder and CEO of Sun Holdings, Inc.

Guillermo Perales of Sun Holdings, Inc., invests in creating a 98-unit franchise

McAlister's Deli Enters into One of the Largest Development Deals in Company HistoryMcAlister’s Deli, a fast-casual restaurant chain known for its genuine hospitality, sandwiches, spuds, soups and McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea, announced today the signing of a new development deal with Best Choice Restaurants, an affiliate of Sun Holdings, Inc., a franchise organization founded by mega multi-unit operator Guillermo Perales. As part of the deal, the franchisee will spearhead McAlister’s Deli’s growth in Florida, Louisiana and Texas, in addition to developing 47 restaurants over the next seven years. The company consolidated several franchises to get to 51 locations throughout the four states: 36 in Texas, eight in Florida, four in New Mexico and three in Louisiana. The agreement marks Perales’ entry into the fast-casual restaurant space.

“This particular development deal marks a very significant milestone for our brand, as it is one of the largest number of franchises that we have sold in a single transaction in our company history. This transaction accelerates our nationwide growth plans. Perales is the owner and operator of several iconic brands, and his investment in McAlister’s Deli showcases the strength of our business model and franchise opportunity,” said Joe Guith, president of McAlister’s Deli. “We are thrilled to welcome Guillermo and his team to the McAlister’s Deli family and know that his business acumen and knowledge of the foodservice industry will be invaluable to our brand.”

Sun Holdings operates Burger King, Arby’s, Golden Corral, CiCi’s, Krispy Kreme, T-Mobile, Taco Bueno, McAlister’s Deli and GNC locations across the country. During the past three years, the company has developed more than 200 locations and 200 remodels. In addition to multiple awards and recognitions that include four Golden Plate and four Silver Plate awards for Popeyes, the MUFSO Golden Chain Award and Nation’s Restaurant News’ Top 10 Power List, Perales was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008, as well as Latino Leaders Magazine’s 101 Most Influential Latinos for several consecutive years.

“We recently opened our 1,000th location and have been looking for a best-in-class fast casual restaurant brand to add to our rapidly growing portfolio. As a segment leader with strong unit-level economics that consistently outperform competing brands, McAlister’s Deli exceeded our criteria and was the obvious choice,” said Perales, founder and CEO of Sun Holdings, Inc. “We are honored to be able to expand our impact in the communities we serve by offering great tasting food as well as contributions to education and meals for the underserved.”

McAlister’s Franchisor SPV LLC (“McAlister’s”) currently has more than 450 restaurants in 27 states and is part of the Focus Brands family, including Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery. All franchisees within the McAlister’s Deli system have the ability to use Focus Brands’ shared services, including marketing, real estate, technology and more, to help them successfully launch and operate their restaurants.

In addition to its franchise agreements with Best Choice Restaurants, McAlister’s Deli is continuing with its aggressive expansion and is seeking single- and multi-unit operators to join its successful franchise network. McAlister’s Deli is currently targeting new markets across the U.S. For more information about franchise opportunities, contact Michael Bruno, director, franchise development at McAlister’s Deli, at

McAlister’s Deli is recognized in the top 50 of the 2019 “Entrepreneur Franchise 500” and in the top three of “Entrepreneur’s Top Food Franchises: Sandwiches.” In 2018, Money ranked McAlister’s Deli #9 in the outlet’s rankings of the top “‘fast-casual’ chains for your money in the U.S. McAlister’s Deli is also ranked in QSR magazine’s “The QSR 50” for 2018, as well as Fast Casual‘s “Top 100 Movers & Shakers.” In 2017, Restaurant Business ranked McAlister’s Deli as one of “America’s Best Fast-Food Chains” and QSR named McAlister’s Deli as one of their “Best Franchise Deals.” In 2016, McAlister’s Deli was highlighted by Restaurant Business as the #2 “Consumer Favorite Fast Casual Chain” and by as “America’s Favorite Sandwich Shop.”

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 has more than 450 restaurants in 27 states. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit, and find McAlister’s on social media at, and

Sun Holdings, Inc., was founded in 1997 by Guillermo Perales, starting with one Golden Corral unit and funded by an SBA loan. The company has been ranked as the third largest franchisee in the U.S. by Mega 99 2018 Rankings and recently earned the distinction of being the largest Hispanic Owned Franchise Company in the country. The company has developed a portfolio that operates more than 1,000 locations in eight states, creating more than 15,000 jobs. Today, the organization operates 293 Burger Kings, 150 Popeyes, 94 Arby’s, 51 McAlister’s Deli restaurants, 20 Golden Corrals, 31 Cici’s, 18 Krispy Kremes, 160 T-Mobiles, 144 Taco Buenos, and 80 GNC locations, as well as several airport locations.

For more information about Sun Holdings, visit