The International Franchise Association (IFA) today named Javier Gomez of Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop in Fresno, California as Franchisee of the Year. Gomez was honored at IFA’s 62nd Annual Convention in San Diego, California, for being an outstanding franchise establishment owner-operator. 

“Franchisee of the Year Awards are the highest honors presented to individual franchisees,” says Matthew Haller, President and CEO of the International Franchise Association. “These local business owners, like Javier, represent some of the best entrepreneurs in the country, and we are proud to recognize his contributions to their communities, their employees, and all those they serve.”  

The Franchisee of the Year Award, sponsored by IFA’s partner Paychex, recognizes leading franchisees who exemplify at least one of IFA’s “Open for Opportunity” core pillars: Community, Workforce, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Veterans.  

With more than 30 years of experience working in the franchise restaurant industry, Gomez opened his Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop in Fresno, CA in April 2021, helping to bring over 20 new jobs to the community during a very challenging economic time. He’s a familiar face to the local restaurant scene, as he also owns twelve Rally’s restaurants, and has quickly becoming a shining star in the Capriotti’s franchise system.

Gomez was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. at the age of four, and understands the meaning of hard work and perseverance. As an entrepreneur, he is committed to investing in a diverse pool of employees, giving them the tools to succeed, and making sure to be there on the frontlines alongside them to give credit where credit is due. Not only is Gomez dedicated to creating jobs in his community but he strives to make a difference by giving back. Since April, his restaurant group has donated $5,000 to the Central California Food Bank along with Catholic Charities. He also sponsors an annual golf tournament to benefit area veterans, Fresno Police and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department.  

“Javier embodies every quality that makes not only a fantastic franchise partner but a wonderful human being,” says Ashley Morris, CEO of Capriotti’s. “We could not be prouder of his accomplishments and we are eager to see where his journey takes him. There isn’t anyone that deserves this recognition more than Javier.”  

A recent IFA study showed that franchising helped lead U.S. economic recovery in 2021, with exceptional job and business growth across all franchising sectors. The industry on average provides higher wages, better benefits, and more leave than non-franchised businesses, as well as greater opportunities to underserved communities and aspiring entrepreneurs, according to Oxford Economics research. 

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