The former franchisee of several McAlister’s Deli locations announced plans to bring 10 new restaurants to Indianapolis, making the city only the second location in the Midwest for the fast-food company focused on healthier menu items. The first location is expected to open in early 2017.
Fresh To Order, which positions itself as a “fast-fine” restaurant, partnered with Charles Hensley, CEO of Acuity Restaurant Group, to bring the brand to Indiana. Hensley is the former CEO and managing member of McIndy Ventures LLC, which owned 19 McAlister's Deli locations. McIndy Ventures sold the restaurants to a Tennessee-based company last year.
IBJ reported earlier this month that another ex-McIndy Ventures executive, former Chief Operating Officer Stephen "Kent" Mabe, signed an agreement to open 15 Newk's Eatery restaurants in the Indianapolis area and southern Indiana over the next several years. Newk's was founded by the same entrepreneur who founded McAlister’s.
Fresh To Order, founded in 2006 by Pierre Panos in Atlanta, aims to serve entrees in 10 minutes for about $10. The company has 14 restaurants in four states — Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida — with recently-announced franchise deals in Chicago and Philadelphia. Panos has said he hopes to open or begin developing 100 Fresh To Order restaurants open by 2018.