The National Restaurant Association announced it selected Del Taco as the only recipient of its Restaurant Neighbor Award for the state of Utah. The Restaurant Neighbor Award recognizes restaurants that exemplify the industry’s philanthropic spirit.

Del Taco’s franchisee Utah Del was honored for its outstanding efforts to support National Guard members and families throughout the past year. During the past several years, Utah Del restaurants raised more than $20,000 to provide phone cards to National Guard families, to send children of those deployed to camp, and to offer free meals to returning National Guard personnel and their families.

“We appreciate all that the National Guard personnel do for our country and they deserve our support,” says Paul Hitzelberger, president and owner of Utah Del, which operates more than 20 Del Taco restaurants in Utah. “It is a great joy to see a family united over a meal at Del Taco after a tour in Iraq or Afghanistan and to know that the phone cards helped that family stay in touch during a long deployment. It is an honor to be recognized by the National Restaurant Association for these efforts.”

“Philanthropy is a natural extension of the restaurant and hospitality industry, and our Restaurant Neighbor Award recognizes extraordinary efforts of community service in our remarkable industry,” says National Restaurant Association president and CEO Dawn Sweeney.

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