A new McAlister’s Deli has opened in a more urban area of Dallas, adapting to a smaller footprint than typically found in suburban designs and featuring the addition of several promotional digital menu screens.
The latest addition to the chain is owned by The Saxton Group of Dallas, which earlier this year transitioned to an employee-owned restaurant company.
“It’s just a great resident area,” said Julio Lopez, general manager of the unit. The smaller footprint store, at about 3,100 square feet, seats 122 people, versus a typical McAlister’s unit that seats around 164, he added.
The Saxton Group owns more than 50 McAlister’s Deli restaurants and four Pinkberry frozen yogurt locations in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
In the past year, The Saxton Group completed the sale of its stock to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP, which is a federally regulated retirement plan that invests in the stock of an employer on behalf of its employees. Eligible employees will earn shares of Saxton Group stock.
“I’ve always believed that the difference between our restaurants and others is our people," Kelly Saxton, the company founder who remains as chairman, said at the time. "We have always been committed to the growth and development of our employees.”
Saxton added that the ESOP “allows us to acknowledge their contribution to our success and to invest more deeply in them.”
The Saxton Group plans to add three to five new units this year, including the just-opened location in Dallas.
The most recent store, in a small strip mall along the in-town arterial Northwest Highway, has incorporated several digital boards that highlight promotions among the traditional printed menu offerings.
“The digital POP [point-of-purchase] menu boards are new for us,” said Lopez.
McAlister’s Deli, a division of Atlanta-based Roark Capital Group, has more than 300 units in 25 states.
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