LAKE FOREST, CA--(Marketwire - May 13, 2011) - Del Taco recognized the achievements of several franchise owners and the brand's founder at its recent franchisee conference. Awards were presented to the Developer of the Year, Franchise Operator of less than three units and a multi-unit operator.
Also, a special "Top Taco" recognition was awarded to Brent Veach, who owns and operates 14 restaurants in the Phoenix area. The award is presented to the Franchise Partner who demonstrates outstanding operations, local sales building and brand support. Last year, the inaugural Top Taco award was given to Del Taco's founder Ed Hackbarth, who with family members still owns and operates six restaurants. Hackbarth and his partner David Jameson opened the first Del Taco in Yermo, Calif. in 1964. Hackbarth presented the award to Veach who is also chairman of Del Taco's Franchise Marketing Advisory Committee.
The Developer of the Year recognition was awarded to Paul and Jane Hitzelberger who opened three new locations in Utah last year and have grown their portfolio of Del Taco restaurants from 8 to 24 over the past 10 years.
Mark Miller, who owns two restaurants in Idaho, and his operator Craig Allen were recognized as Franchise Operators of the Year of less than three locations. Miller acquired the two Idaho Del Tacos in 2009.
TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants Group in Detroit was recognized as the Multi-unit Franchise Operator of the Year. Barb Pasciak and Greg Fuchs accepted the award. TEAM Schostak opened its first Detroit-area location in 2005 and now has three locations with plans for additional units.
"Del Taco's franchisees are committed to the brand's success and their dedication to serving quality food to our valued customers is essential to the growth of the brand," said Jim Lyons, COO Franchise and Chief Development Officer at Del Taco. "We have many high performing franchisees and are pleased to recognize this year's award recipients."
Founded in 1964, Del Taco offers menu items that appeal to a broad range of tastes with a strong emphasis on quality and value. The menu includes Mexican offerings of tacos, burritos, quesadillas and nachos as well as American favorites like hamburgers, fries and milk shakes. Each item is made to order with quality ingredients including lard-free beans made from scratch daily, real cheddar cheese grated on site, chicken grilled fresh every hour, hand-made salsa and fresh produce.