Del Taco Distinguishes Top Franchisees

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 less 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 Mountain Del, which operates 11 Del Taco restaurants in Colorado. The award is presented to the franchise partner who demonstrates outstanding customer service, 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 Colorado Del Tacos 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 fourth.

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

Founded in 1964, Del Taco offers menu items that appeal to a broad range of tastes with a strong emphasis on quality and value. The menu includes Mexican offerings of tacos, burritos, quesadillas and nachos as well as American favorites like hamburgers, fries and milk shakes. Each item is made to order with quality ingredients including beans made from scratch daily, real cheddar cheese grated from 40-pound blocks on site, chicken grilled fresh every hour, hand-made salsa and fresh produce.

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