Chicago Bears legendary coach, player and current TV commentator Mike Ditka has been named as the new spokesperson for Chicago Franchise Systems Inc., parent company of Al’s Beef and Nancy’s Pizza restaurants.
According to a news release, Ditka will support the two brands’ 47 total combined locations across the country, while helping scout new locations for opening franchises in key sports markets. Ditka is the first official spokesperson for the two restaurant brands as they ramp up for nationwide expansion and launch new menu items, branding and store designs set to roll out this year. He will be incorporated into many efforts for both brands, including new branding at the store level, advertising, public relations and marketing efforts.
“We are thrilled to bring Mike Ditka into the Al’s Beef and Nancy’s Pizza family as he truly embodies Chicago, where our brands were born,” President Dave Howey said in the release. “This partnership marks the beginning of some very exciting changes and initiatives that we’ll be rolling out over the coming months to support the continued growth of Al’s Beef and Nancy’s Pizza.”
What started as a family food stand in Chicago in 1938, Al’s Beef has expanded to 17 restaurant locations in Illinois, California and Nevada, with plans slated for new franchise location openings in Chicago, Dallas and beyond. This month, Al’s Beef will open a new restaurant in downtown Chicago at 234 S. Wabash St. at Jackson Street that will include a modernized image, new branding, local delivery and refreshed menu. In addition, visitors to the Al’s Beef website will notice a total new look in the coming months, with an online ordering option. Al’s will also be launching a new mobile app on both iOS and Android platforms where customers can order on the go.
Nancy’s Pizza has expanded to more than 30 locations in Chicagoland and Atlanta, with plans to open new franchise restaurants this year in Texas, California, Georgia and beyond. The company is launching a new fast casual restaurant with updated menu offerings, including Neapolitan pizza, beer and wine, all served in a new modernized restaurant. In addition, the Nancy’s Pizza website will receive a refresh and a new mobile app for both iOS and Android platforms is in the works.