McAlister's Deli vs Zaxby's Franchise Comparison

Below is an in-depth analysis and side-by-side comparison of McAlister's Deli vs Zaxby's including start-up costs and fees, business experience requirements, training & support and financing options.

Start-Up Costs and Fees

 
McAlister's Deli Franchise
Zaxby's Franchise
Investment $398,000 - $2,094,200 $343,200 - $695,200
Franchise Fee $15,000 - $35,000 $35,000
Royalty Fee 5% 6%
Advertising Fee 3% 2.87%-5%
Year Founded 1989 1990
Year Franchised 1994 1994
Term Of Agreement 10 years +5+5+5 -
Term Of Agreement 10 years +5+5+5 -
Renewal Fee - -


Business Experience Requirements

 
McAlister's Deli Franchise
Zaxby's Franchise
Experience
  • General business experience
  • Prospective Franchisees must meet the following criteria to be considered: Collective net worth of at least $1,000,000, with liquid assets greater than $500,000 (liquidity being defined as cash or any asset that could be converted to cash within ten business days). Ability to satisfactorily pass background checks for the following: reasonable credit worthiness, no criminal convictions, no history of extensive litigation, and satisfactory motor vehicle report. Willingness of all investors to personally guarantee any obligations that are required under the license agreement. Willingness to make a commitment to this venture within 60 – 90 days of signing a license agreement. Belief that guest service is of critical importance in restaurant operations.

    Financing Options

     
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    Zaxby's Franchise
      In-House/3rd Party In-House/3rd Party
    Franchise Fees No/Yes -/-
    Start-up Costs No/Yes -/-
    Equipment No/Yes -/-
    Inventory No/Yes -/-
    Receivables No/Yes -/-
    Payroll No/Yes -/Yes

    Training & Support

     
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    Zaxby's Franchise
    Training On-The-Job Training: 206 hours Classroom Training: 45 hours The initial training program is eight weeks long, consisting of a one-week orientation phase at Zaxby's Franchising, Inc.'s training center, three two-week phases at a training restaurant and the final one-week phase back at ZFI's training center. Ongoing support and training updates, in addition to other business development practices - including onsite inspections - are conducted regularly throughout the franchise system.
    Support Purchasing Co-ops Newsletter Meetings/Conventions Toll-Free Line Grand Opening Online Support Security/Safety Procedures Field Operations Site Selection Proprietary Software Franchisee Intranet Platform -
    Marketing Co-op Advertising Ad Templates Regional Advertising Social media SEO Website development Email marketing Loyalty program/app -
    Operations Franchisees required to buy multiple units/master licenses; 95% of all franchisees own more than one unit

    Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 40

    Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed. (66% of current franchisees are owner/operators)

    -

    Expansion Plans

     
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    Zaxby's Franchise
    US Expansion Yes Yes
    Canada Expansion No -
    International Expansion No -

    Start-Up Costs and Fees Mobile

    Investment
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    $398,000 - $2,094,200
    Zaxby's Franchise
    $343,200 - $695,200
    Franchise Fee
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    $15,000 - $35,000
    Zaxby's Franchise
    $35,000
    Royalty Fee
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    5%
    Zaxby's Franchise
    6%
    Advertising Fee
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    3%
    Zaxby's Franchise
    2.87%-5%
    Year Founded
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    1989
    Zaxby's Franchise
    1990
    Year Franchised
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    1994
    Zaxby's Franchise
    1994
    Term Of Agreement
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    10 years +5+5+5
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -
    Renewal Fee
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    -
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -


    Business Experience Requirements

    Experience
    McAlister's Deli Franchise

  • General business experience
  • Zaxby's Franchise
    Prospective Franchisees must meet the following criteria to be considered: Collective net worth of at least $1,000,000, with liquid assets greater than $500,000 (liquidity being defined as cash or any asset that could be converted to cash within ten business days). Ability to satisfactorily pass background checks for the following: reasonable credit worthiness, no criminal convictions, no history of extensive litigation, and satisfactory motor vehicle report. Willingness of all investors to personally guarantee any obligations that are required under the license agreement. Willingness to make a commitment to this venture within 60 – 90 days of signing a license agreement. Belief that guest service is of critical importance in restaurant operations.

    Financing Options

      In-House/3rd Party
    Franchise Fees
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    No/Yes
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -/-
    Start-up Costs
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    No/Yes
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -/-
    Equipment
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    No/Yes
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -/-
    Inventory
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    No/Yes
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -/-
    Receivables
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    No/Yes
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -/-
    Payroll
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    No/Yes
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -/Yes

    Training & Support

    Training
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    On-The-Job Training: 206 hours Classroom Training: 45 hours
    Zaxby's Franchise
    The initial training program is eight weeks long, consisting of a one-week orientation phase at Zaxby's Franchising, Inc.'s training center, three two-week phases at a training restaurant and the final one-week phase back at ZFI's training center. Ongoing support and training updates, in addition to other business development practices - including onsite inspections - are conducted regularly throughout the franchise system.
    Support
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    Purchasing Co-ops Newsletter Meetings/Conventions Toll-Free Line Grand Opening Online Support Security/Safety Procedures Field Operations Site Selection Proprietary Software Franchisee Intranet Platform
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -
    Marketing
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    Co-op Advertising Ad Templates Regional Advertising Social media SEO Website development Email marketing Loyalty program/app
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -
    Operations
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    Franchisees required to buy multiple units/master licenses; 95% of all franchisees own more than one unit

    Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 40

    Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed. (66% of current franchisees are owner/operators)

    Zaxby's Franchise
    -

    Expansion Plans

    US Expansion
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    Yes
    Zaxby's Franchise
    Yes
    Canada Expansion
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    No
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -
    International Expansion
    McAlister's Deli Franchise
    No
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -

    Company Overviews

    About McAlister's Deli

    Founder Don Newcomb's goal when he launched McAlister's Deli in 1989 was to create a 'gourmet deli with Southern charm.' The restaurants serve more than 90 different menu items, including sandwiches, salads, super-stuffed baked potatoes, appetizers, desserts and kid's meals. Customers make their selections at the counter, receive their appetizers and drinks and then sit wherever they choose, while roving servers bring their food and drink refills. McAlister's has grown to more than 350 franchised units.

    The total investment necessary to begin operation of a franchised McAlister’s Deli Restaurant (“Traditional Restaurant”) ranges from $927,900 to $2,094,200. This includes $35,000 to $35,400 that must be paid to the franchisor or their affiliates.
    The total investment necessary to begin operation of a franchised McAlister’s Express Restaurant (“Express Restaurant”) is $398,000 to $607,850. This includes $15,000 to $15,400 that must be paid to the franchisor or their affiliates.
    Veteran Incentives  $5,000 off franchise fee
    "Entrepreneur
    #72 in Franchise 500 for 2020.
    #47 in Franchise 500 for 2021.



    About Zaxby's

    Zaxby's Franchising, Inc., actively seeks highly qualified individuals be become licensees. Prior business experience, financial qualifications, motivation, team spirit and a track record of personal success are all important factors in our evaluation process. Prospective licensees must meet the following criteria to be considered: Collective net worth of at least $700,000, with liquid assets greater than $400,000 (liquidity being defined as cash or any asset that could be converted to cash within ten business days). Ability to satisfactorily pass background checks for the following: reasonable credit worthiness, no criminal convictions, no history of extensive litigation, and satisfactory motor vehicle report. Willingness of all investors to personally guarantee any obligations that are required under the license agreement. Willingness to make a commitment to this venture within 60 - 90 days of signing a license agreement. Belief that guest service is of critical importance in restaurant operations.
    The Zaxby's Mission Statement - Consistently Create Encore Experiences That Enrich Lives One Person At A Time - recognizes the value of all individuals.

    ZFI is committed to developing a diverse community of licensees and, in that regard, the Zaxby's franchise opportunity is open to all qualified applicants, regardless of age, gender, race or ethnicity.

    The total investment necessary to begin operation of a Zaxby’s franchised business is $343,200 to $695,200. This includes $40,200 to $45,000 that must be paid to the franchisor or its affiliates. In addition, if you enter into a Multi-Restaurant Development Agreement to develop more than one Zaxby’s restaurant, you must pay the franchisor a fee of $17,500 for each Zaxby’s restaurant scheduled for development and subsequently must pay an additional $17,500 upon execution of the License Agreement for each Zaxby’s restaurant, which amounts are credited towards the initial franchise fee for each restaurant.

    #148 in Franchise 500 for 2021.  Not in Franchise 500 for 2020.