Del Taco announced three of its franchisees received Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine’s Annual MVP (Most Valuable Performer) Awards. The industry-wide awards recognize “the power operators, the innovators, and the creative thinkers who have demonstrated outstanding performance in growing both their organization and their brands.” Del Taco is the only quick-service restaurant with three winners. Each Del Taco franchisee winner will receive their award at the 13th Annual Multi-Unit Franchising Conference in Las Vegas, April 23–25, 2014.

Del Taco’s franchisees won in the following categories: Paul Hitzelberger was awarded the Spirit of Franchising Leadership Award for extraordinary performance, growth, and involvement in his local community; Nachhattar Chandi was awarded the American Dream Award for achieving remarkable success in his new country; and Sam Anabi was awarded the Noble Cause Award for his passion and support for those in need.

For the past 27 years, Paul Hitzelberger has served as one of the driving forces behind Del Taco’s growth to more than 540 restaurants in 17 states. He served as chief marketing officer for the company in 1986, where he introduced Del Taco products such as the Grilled Chicken Soft Taco. In 2001, he became a franchisee, and purchased eight Del Taco locations in Utah, considerably growing that area. Hitzelberger continues to provide mentoring, leadership, and benefits to his employees and partners with many organizations throughout his community, making him one of the company’s most successful franchisees with more than 26 units in his portfolio with plans to open 11 more locations.

The second award-winning Del Taco franchisee is Nachhattar Chandi. From walking three miles to school on India’s dirt roads to becoming a Del Taco franchisee and eventually founding the Chandi Group USA, Chandi embodies the American dream. In 1991, Chandi came to the U.S. and became a manager at a small gas station in Coachella, California. Since he took ownership in 1994, his developments, many of which include Del Taco’s, have changed the landscape of Indio and the surrounding area by bringing hundreds of jobs, and tens of thousands of dollars to the local community.

Sam Anabi’s first-hand experience as a Los Angeles County Sheriff has influenced the success of the 11 Del Taco restaurants in his portfolio. He has turned this enterprise into a financial empowerment resource for those in need across Southern California. Anabi also helps raise funds for families who are left without an income source after the crime-related death of a family member. To date, he has donated more than $120,000 for families in need.

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