Del Taco Franchisee Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award by Utah Restaurant Association

Paul and Jane Hitzelberger
Paul and Jane Hitzelberger

Del Taco Franchisee Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award by Utah Restaurant AssociationFor more than seventeen years, Paul Hitzelberger has been a champion for restaurant growth across the state of Utah. After working in the corporate office of the Southern California-based Del Taco as its executive vice president, he transitioned to the role of franchisee, taking over the company’s locations in Utah and developing many more along the way. Today, Paul Hitzelberger and his wife, Jane, oversee Utah Del, which owns and operates 32 Del Tacos across Utah and Nevada, and has three additional restaurants in development. He is the recipient of the Utah Restaurant Association’s (URA) 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, which was awarded to Hitzelberger earlier this month during its annual awards gala. Hitzelberger earned this honor due to his more than 32 years of leadership in the restaurant industry, and his involvement as a board member for the URA, assisting with legislative initiatives for restaurants across the state.

Along with receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Utah Restaurant Association, the Hitzelbergers and their company, Utah Del, were also the evening’s recipients of the National Restaurant Association’s Silver Award in Workplace Safety, and Neighbor Award. The Silver Award for Workplace Safety recognizes superior safety records based on meeting and surpassing national averages in the categories of Quick Service, Casual Dine and Fine Dine. The Neighbor Award recognizes outstanding community service among restaurants all across America. Each year, individual restaurants are nominated from every state in America, and one restaurant from each state is selected for the Restaurant Neighbor Award by the National Restaurant Association.

“Everyone at Utah Del and its leadership across our more than 30 restaurants understands that success comes from an inverted pyramid,” said Hitzelberger. “Our operations team constantly ensures that guest-facing employees are empowered to deliver diners across Utah a positive restaurant experience, connecting to the community and building guest loyalty.”

In addition to supporting the growth of the Utah restaurant industry, the Hitzelbergers are passionate about assisting their community and families in need, and have donated more than $1.1 million to various state and local organizations since 2008. One of the organizations Del Taco restaurants in Utah support is the National Ability Center (NAC). This organization provides over 17,000 recreational experiences annually and serves more than 2,500 individuals with disabilities. Just last winter, Utah Del raised more than $35,000 for the NAC.

In 2018, Utah Del plans to open another two Del Taco locations in the state, with plans for continued expansion in the coming years.

Del Taco (NASDAQ: TACO) offers a unique variety of both Mexican and American favorites such as burritos and fries, prepared fresh in every restaurant’s working kitchen with the value and convenience of a drive-thru. Del Taco’s menu items taste better because they are made with quality ingredients like fresh grilled chicken and carne asada steak, hand-sliced avocado, hand-grated cheddar cheese, slow-cooked beans made from scratch, and creamy Queso Blanco.

The brand’s UnFreshing Believable® campaign further communicates Del Taco’s commitment to provide guests with the best quality and value for their money. Founded in 1964, today Del Taco serves more than three million guests each week at its more than 560 restaurants across 14 states. For more information, visit

The Utah Restaurant Association was established in 1945 and was formed to represent the restaurant industry in the state of Utah, helping to create community of industry. Celebrating 75 years serving Utah’s restaurant industry and currently the 3rd fasted growing restaurant industry in the nation, The Utah Restaurant Association strives to present a unified voice of the restaurant industry. The industry is responsible for providing over 90,000 people in the state of Utah with jobs and is responsible for feeding over half of the population of the state. The URA also proudly offers the culinary program ProStart, a school to career program implemented by the Utah Restaurant Association in 62 high schools throughout the state of Utah.