Industry News | April 7, 2011

Del Taco Signs Up for Big Utah Expansion

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Del Taco announced a major growth initiative for Utah with the signing of a development agreement with franchisees Paul and Jane Hitzelberger of Utah Del, which will result in the addition of 13 new Del Taco locations in the state that already has 24 locations.

"Utah is a critical and growing market for Del Taco," says Jim Lyons, COO, franchising and chief development officer at Del Taco. "Our franchise partners Paul and Jane Hitzelberger are among the best in the business, and these growth plans will continue to bring Del Taco's great tasting food to more communities."

Nearly 10 years ago, then Del Taco executive Paul Hitzelberger and his wife and business partner Jane took over eight Del Taco restaurants in Utah. The move from executive to franchisee was a smooth and exciting one for the HiItzelbergers, who recently opened their 24th Del Taco.

This development agreement will bring their total Del Taco restaurants to 37.

"After 25 years with Del Taco, I've never been more committed to the brand," says Paul Hitzelberger. "Del Taco is evolving in exactly the right way to continue to be a major player in the category. In Utah, our foundation for this growth opportunity is based on the right team members who are enthusiastic and committed to delivering Del Taco's great food and service to new customers. We are all excited about adding 13 more restaurants to our portfolio."

Over the past several years, Del Taco has expanded its "menu of venues" building options to include a variety of nontraditional restaurant prototypes that feature a lower investment cost with profitable unit-level economics. These building options have helped both company and franchise locations to be adapted to successful real estate opportunities in target markets.

"Del Taco's range of flexible facilities enables franchise partners like the Hitzelbergers to build the ideal restaurant for the community and the brand," Lyons says. "We are looking forward to these types of facilities being a part of the Hitzelbergers' continued success."