Deuce McAllister Partners with McAlister's Deli

Deuce McAllister + McAlister’s Deli = A Delicious Duo

Ridgeland, MS, August 28, 2007 --( Deuce McAllister settles his 6’1”, 232-pound frame behind the stainless steel deli counter. Instead of his trademark number 26 jersey, he dons a chef coat. The football generally found in his hands is replaced with lettuce and tomato. This may seem like a curious pairing considering preseason is in full swing but Saints fans have no need to fret: the running back hasn’t decided to forego NFL glory to pursue a secret culinary passion. He has partnered with McAlister’s Deli to unleash a new taste upon its loyal customers.

With the August 13th signing, McAllister has entered into a personal service agreement with the Ridgeland-based restaurant. For the next three and a half years, McAllister will appear in McAlister’s Deli commercials, attend regional grand openings and have the opportunity to become a McAlister’s franchisee. McAllister’s charity, the Catch 22 Foundation, will also benefit from McAlister’s Tea for Tots Golf Classic held each June. McAllister had been a fan of McAlister’s since his days as a football player at Ole Miss. When a mutual friend introduced McAllister to McAlister’s president and CEO Philip Friedman, the connection was instantaneous.

“Deuce is a savvy businessman, an amazing role model and a great all-around person. You couldn’t ask for a better person to represent your company,” said Patrick K. Walls, senior vice president of McAlister’s Deli. “These days, it seems like whenever you pick up a newspaper, there’s another professional athlete gone bad emblazoned across the front page. With Deuce, we know that’s a scenario we will never have to worry about.”

The most delicious detail of the partnership, however, is the addition of “The Deuce” – a sandwich of McAllister’s own gastronomic genesis – which was unveiled on August 9th at the New Orleans Saints training camp. The sandwich features a grilled chicken breast topped with provolone cheese, McAlister’s signature honey mustard, spicy Creole dressing, and lettuce and tomato situated between two pieces of rosemary ciabatta bread.

“Deuce spent the day with our executive chef, David Groll, to come up with a meal that the public would not only enjoy but that he would order as well,” said Ian MacDonald, McAlister’s Deli’s senior director of marketing. “We will begin by offering ‘The Deuce’ at approximately 40 locations throughout Mississippi and Louisiana and hope to expand the sandwich system-wide over the next year.”

McAlister’s Deli is a quick/casual restaurant chain featuring efficient counter ordering, attentive table service and high-quality deli-style foods at a great price value. The menu includes a wide variety of sandwiches, spuds, soups, salads and desserts, as well as garden-fresh vegetarian selections, a children's menu, appetizers, and beverages. Items ranges from $3.99 to $6.49, with average per-person check of $7.20. The menu is designed around food products that do not have to be cooked on traditional gas-fired stoves or fryers. 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.

With the company's strong expansion strategy in place, sales for 2006 surpassed $255 million and sales in 2007 should surpass $325 million. Currently, McAlister’s Deli has over 220 restaurants operating in the United States. Building on the success of this last year McAlister’s plans to open 50 new restaurants in 2007. They also plan to enter three new states – Colorado, Nebraska and New Mexico.

McAlister's Deli
Kelly Templer