Del Taco recognized the achievements of several franchise owners and awarded this year’s Top Taco at its recent franchisee conference. Awards were presented to the Developer of the Year, Franchise Operator of fewer than three units, and a multi-unit operator. 

Also, a special “Top Taco” recognition was awarded to Rod Carstensen who, with his business partner Dave Hostetler, owns and operates 11 restaurants in Colorado. The award is presented to the Franchise Partner who demonstrates outstanding operations, local sales building, and brand support, and is inspired by Del Taco’s founder Ed Hackbarth.

The Developer of the Year recognition was also awarded to Carstensen, who acquired two restaurants in Colorado Springs and opened three more in the last year.

Mark Miller, who owns three restaurants, and his operator Craig Allen, were again recognized as Franchise Operators of the Year. Miller acquired restaurants in Idaho and Washington and recently opened a third.

QK New Mexico, Inc. was recognized as the Multi-unit Franchise Operator of the Year. QK’s partners Robbie Qualls, Doug Koch, and Ennis Ekstrom own and operate five Del Taco’s in New Mexico.

“Del Taco’s franchisees are committed to the brand’s success and their dedication to serving quality food to our valued customers is essential to the growth of the brand,” says Barry Barnhart, vice president of franchise operations at Del Taco. “We have many high performing franchisees and are pleased to recognize this year’s award recipients.” 

Del Taco has more than 530 restaurants in 17 states. For franchise information visit

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, News, Restaurant Operations, Del Taco