DT NOVA of District Taco in Northern Virginia Awarded Franchisee of the Year by International Franchise Association

PHOENIX, Feb. 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The International Franchise Association (IFA) today named DT NOVA, owner of District Taco in Northern Virginia, as a 2023 Franchisee of the Year. DT NOVA was honored at the 64th IFA Annual Convention in Phoenix, Ariz., for being an outstanding franchise establishment owner-operator.

“Franchisees of the Year exemplify what franchising is all about – providing opportunity, serving others, and fulfilling the American Dream,” said Matthew Haller, President and CEO of the International Franchise Association. “We are proud to recognize DT NOVA with the highest honor IFA awards to individual franchisees, and I have no doubt their work is changing lives and making a lasting community impact.”

The Franchisee of the Year Award recognizes leading franchise owners from IFA member brands whose outstanding performance and contributions help protect, enhance, and promote the franchise business model. Nominated by their parent company, individuals are selected for their involvement in their communities, embodying the entrepreneurial spirit, fostering a strong and healthy culture with their workforce, and assisting their fellow franchisees when called upon.

Like District Taco founder, Osiris Hoil, whose move from Mexico to the United States in pursuit of his entrepreneurial dreams led to the creation of District Taco, Hicham El Abbassi and Isalmou Boussaa, founders of DT NOVA, epitomize the quintessential American Dream hailing from Morocco and rising from humble beginnings as Five Guys employees to successful franchise owners of 12 stores. Their journey began with dedication and hard work, earning the pair recognition from the Murrell family, Five Guys’ owners, who became instrumental in their entrepreneurial endeavors. Transitioning from employees to franchise owners, they faced countless challenges but remained undeterred, transforming struggling ventures into thriving business through their steadfast work ethic and business acumen.

A significant turning point occurred in 2022 when the pair ventured into franchising with District Taco, culminating in a successful partnership which expanded their portfolio to 2 open stores and another 43 stores set to open in the next 5 years in the DC metro area and Florida. Their collaboration with District Taco not only demonstrates the duo’s entrepreneurial prowess, but also their commitment to shared success, as they actively contribute to the brand’s development and growth. Beyond franchise ownership, their involvement in developing training materials for District Taco underscores their dedication to fostering excellence within the industry. Their journey serves as an inspiring model for entrepreneurs, highlighting the power of resilience, innovation, and collaborative spirit in achieving entrepreneurial success and shaping the landscape of the ever-changing restaurant industry.

“It’s my absolute honor to recognize DT NOVA as our esteemed Franchisee of the Year,” said Chris Medhurst, President of District Taco. “Hicham and Isalmou, the minds behind DT NOVA, have demonstrated time and again their relentless dedication and incredible entrepreneurial spirit, not only in propelling their own success, but also in significantly contributing to the growth and development of the District Taco brand. We’re proud to have them as part of our franchise team, and we look forward to their continued success and innovation in the years to come.”

There are over 800,000 franchised businesses across the U.S., providing over 8.7 million direct jobs and generating over $850 billion in economic output. According to Oxford Economics, franchising on average provides higher wages and better benefits than non-franchised businesses, as well as greater entrepreneurial opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, and other underrepresented communities. 

About District Taco

In 2009, two neighbors got together over some homemade chips, salsa and guacamole and decided to launch a District Taco food cart. Since then, District Taco has grown to fifteen locations and employs more than 300 people in and around Washington D.C. and Philadelphia metro areas, with an additional 70 franchise locations in development. Their mission is to serve quality – Yucatán style – Mexican food that is fresh, simple and healthful, with a fully customizable menu that includes vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. At District Taco, food is made fresh daily from the highest quality ingredients. They strive to limit their impact on the environment by serving in environmentally friendly packaging where possible. For more information about District Taco or their menu, and to download the app, visit https://www.districttaco.com/ or follow @districttaco across socials.

About the International Franchise Association:

Celebrating over 60 years of excellence, education, and advocacy, the International Franchise Association (IFA) is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations, and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the approximately 806,270 franchise establishments that support nearly 8.7 million direct jobs, $858.5 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy, and almost 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees, and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology, and business development.

SOURCE District Taco



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