Justin Sherman of Donatos Awarded Franchisee of the Year by International Franchise Association
March 02, 2023 // Franchising.com // LAS VEGAS - The International Franchise Association (IFA) today named Justin Sherman, owner of Donatos in Jacksonville, Florida, as a 2023 Franchisee of the Year. Sherman was honored at the 63rd IFA Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, for being an outstanding franchise establishment owner-operator.
“Franchisee of the Year recipients represent the best in franchising,” said Matthew Haller, president and CEO of the International Franchise Association. “This is the highest honor IFA awards to individual franchisees, and local business owners like Justin exemplify the power of franchising and its positive contributions to communities around the world.”
The Franchisee of the Year Award, sponsored by IFA’s partner Paychex, recognizes leading franchise owners from IFA member brands whose outstanding performance and contributions help protect, enhance, and promote the franchise business model. Nominated by their parent company, individuals are selected for their service to their communities, fostering a strong and vibrant workforce, opening the doors for career growth and entrepreneurship, and supporting their fellow franchisees.
Justin Sherman opened his first Donatos location in 2020 as he followed the desire to run his own business. Growing up eating at the establishment, he knew Donatos was the right brand to partner with. Sherman entered the world of franchising and quickly found that the system provided him with the work-life balance he needed. As a franchise partner, he sped up the process of running his own business with the necessary resources and brand recognition rather than creating a concept from the ground up. His positive experience with his first location led to him purchasing another existing location, followed by a third.
Donatos restaurants serve oven-baked wings and sub sandwiches, appetizers, and salads in addition to its award-winning Edge to Edge® pizza, the Donatos trademark that refers to abundant premium toppings that go right to the edge of every thin-crust pizza. Along with the dine-in experience, Donatos also offers pick-up, delivery, and catering services.
“It feels amazing that people have noticed the time and effort I have put into building my business. I believe if you have a product that you genuinely enjoy in your own personal life, and you want to be your own boss, franchising is a wonderful way to combine those passions,” said Sherman. “It's great to get the recognition this year, but I couldn't have done it alone. You have to realize it still requires a lot of effort to get things started, but the results have definitely been rewarding.”
Katherine Knight Patterson
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