Treating Others Like Family: Diversity award winner takes company's credo to heart.

Author:Eustace, Sarah
 
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The credo of Deli Delicious is to "treat all customers like they are family visiting our home." Executive Vice President Ali Nekumanesh understands the importance of that message more than most. He immigrated to the United States from Iran at just 15 years old. He could not speak English and his only family was an uncle who sponsored him and got him a job in the hospitality industry as a dishwasher at a hotel in Denver.

After working in almost every aspect of hotel management and operation, Ali chose to move into the restaurant business. Through his experience in the restaurant industry, Ali found the franchising community through the creation of his company Eagle Management Consulting, as well as working with popular companies such as Wendy's and Fatburger. In 2017, Nekumanesh received IFA's Ronald E. Harrison Diversity Award.

DIVERSITY IN FRANCHISING

To Ali, the franchise business model and more specifically the hospitality industry represent a particular aspect of the economy, as it is composed of people from various backgrounds and economic profiles. Growth in the franchise arena will require the inclusion of various demographics in society, including people of different races, creeds, religions and nationalities, he believes.

Deli Delicious has implemented multiple programs to encourage diversity throughout the brand under Ali's leadership. The company participates in educational seminars to encourage the underserved to learn about the economic and social values offered through franchising. Deli Delicious has also developed franchisee support systems that walk franchisees through all facets of running a successful business. These include onsite training and frequent offsite development seminars. Additionally, the company regularly works to close the information gap that exists within underserved and underprivileged communities.

FRANCHISING GIVES BACK

Ali understands the importance of reciprocity. He recognizes that franchises serve local communities, and he points out that "most folks are eager to learn about business in general and franchising in particular; however, both can be quite complex for many." Therefore, it is essential that business leaders advise and support startup businesses and franchised organizations, so that they can have a fighting chance to survive the day-to-day perils and challenges of owning and operating a business. Deli Delicious provides regular franchising seminars to help up-and-coming entrepreneurs...

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