DELI DELICIOUS Franchise Graveyard

Not long ago, Fresno-based Deli Delicious sandwich chain boasted that it had “more than 100 stores open or in development.”  Today the Deli Delicious store count has dropped to around 45… with no announcements of any in development.  Increasingly, independent restaurants – not burdened by Deli Delicious Franchising Inc.’s high fees and forced purchasing – seem to be thriving where Deli Delicious franchises failed.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  A growing number of franchisees of the once-promising chain are closing their doors for good;  many others are desperate to sell their stores and exit the chain.  Several have recently dropped their sales prices by tens of thousands of dollars but still can’t find a buyer.

Several franchise owners have reportedly handed their keys over to the franchisor, Deli Delicious Franchising Inc. (DDFI), and walked away from their investments with little to nothing.

The Bakersfield franchisee recently shuttered all three of his Deli Delicious locations, having reportedly lost upwards of $2M.  The Stockton Deli Delicious closed soon after.   (Read DELI DELICIOUS Bakersfield Locations Closed as Franchise Chain Declines)

Why Are Deli Delicious Franchise Locations Failing?

While the pandemic and wildfires have certainly made survival tougher for Deli Delicious franchise-owned restaurants, the factors leading to the chain’s decline came first.

  • Franchisor DDFI created a bitter dispute with franchisees by forcing them to buy, store and serve frozen bread from their affiliate rather than the freshly baked bread Deli Delicious served for 20 years.
  • Franchisees complain about the taste, texture, cost, freezer storage, labor, waste & negative public perception of the frozen bread
  • DDFI is spending considerable time and money on lawsuits against those who opposed the frozen bread decision.  They are suing former executives for defamation and award-winning franchisees who refused to stop serving fresh bread
  • DDFI has directed its focus and resources on its misguided bakery scheme and not on product quality or franchisee support or programs for surviving the pandemic.  Paying off the $2.3M bakery amidst Covid, franchisee resistance & a declining number of stores may be affecting franchisee support.

With all of the usual challenges restaurant chains face, DDFI decided to become the only sandwich chain in the nation competing against fresh bread competitors by serving frozen-and-thawed bread.

Deli Delicious Franchise Graveyard 

In nearly every case, the locations of failed Deli Delicious franchises are now being operated as independent restaurants such as The Pickled Deli, The Roundhouse Deli, The Angry Chicken or independent ethnic food restaurants like Sushi Omakase, Tacos Ameca, Taqueria Santa Cruz or Pho Wagyu. So much for franchise ownership being the safer route than owning an independent restaurant… 

(Why might independents have an advantage over Deli Delicious?  See below.)

Store Photo Store Information Franchisees
Deli Delicious Bakersfield Bakersfield (Store #23) 9801 Hageman Road #200 Bakersfield, CA. 93312 (661) 829-2559

CLOSED Fall, 2020 (Last Review 8/20/20)

Navdip Badhesha “Nav” & Tarnvir Dhaliwal “Lali”

Just recently closed

Deli Delicious Ming CA Bakersfield (Store #54) 9000 Ming Ave, #O5, Bakersfield, CA, 93311 (661) 858-0335

CLOSED November, 2020
Last review:  10/29/20

(Franchise owners Navdip Badhesha “Nav” & Tarnvir Dhaliwal “Lali”)

Just recently closed

Deli Delicious Bakersfield CA Bakersfield (Store #55) 515 Panama Lane, Bakersfield, CA 93307(661) 491-3134

CLOSED November, 2020
Last review:  10/21/20

(Franchise owners Navdip Badhesha “Nav” & Tarnvir Dhaliwal “Lali”)

Just recently closed

Deli Delicious franchise Chowchilla (Store #56) 1435 E Robertson Blvd, Chowchilla, CA 93610

CLOSED  Last Yelp Review 10/9/2019

Phil Cheatham & Elizabeth Cheatham

The independent “Orchard Bar & Grill” is operating in this space.

Deli Delicious Citrus Heights Citrus Heights (Store #20)  5550 Sunrise Blvd, Ste 200, Citrus Heights, CA 95610

CLOSED  Last Yelp Review 4/7/2018

Arvm Panu & Jasdeep Randhawa (2015 FDD)

Hesam Hobab 2017, 2018 FDD

Independent “The Angry Bird” now operating in this space

Deli Delicious Elk Grove


Elk Grove (Store #70) 8450 Elk Grove Blvd, Elk Grove, CA  (916) 684-2167CLOSED  Sold for $84,000 (?)


Manteca, CA  (Store #82 )  127 Spreckels Ave, Manteca, CA 95336  (209) 328-1312

Arvm Panu & Amarpreet Singh (“Amar”)  (2016 FDD)

Harpinder Singh Khara (“Harry”) (2018 FDD)

Independent “Roundhouse Deli” operating successfully in this space


CLOSED & Resold to new owners Ricky and Kamal Sandhu (Churned)

Manteca Bulletin Dec 11, 2020:

“Deli Delicious is staging a grand opening Saturday… Ricky and Kamal Sandhu are the new franchise owners for the deli location… The new owners reopened the deli that had been shuttered.”

Deli Delicious Morgan Hill Morgan Hill (Store #52 ) 15700 Monterey Rd, Ste 160, Morgan Hill, CA 95037


(Narinder Thakur Singh _)

(resold then closed)

Independent “Tacos Ameca #3” now operating in this spot

Ali Nekumanesh Roseville (Store #21) 9213 Sierra College Blvd Ste 160, Roseville, CA 95661

CLOSED  Last Yelp Review 2/8/17  Note:  Co-Brand with Colorado Grill

Hamid Karimi (Relative of Ali Nekumanesh)

This store was a co-branded location with Ali Nekumanesh’s Colorado Grill concept.  Both failed.

Independent “Sushi Omakase”  now operating in this location

Deli Delicious Fresno San Jose  (Store #46)  2762 Aborn Rd, San Jose, CA 95121 Evergreen

CLOSED  Last Yelp Review 9/7/17

Sharayh Bhullar “Jimmy” & Amarjit Gill & Ravandeep Jhutty “Rammy”

Independent “Pho Wagyu” now operating in this spot

Deli Delicious logo San Luis Obispo  (Store #78)  862 E Foothill Blvd San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

CLOSED  Last Yelp Review 3/10/2018
Nate G. of Deli Delicious:  “Yes, regretfully, the Franchisee of the Deli Delicious restaurant, in San Luis Obispo, decided to close down his business.”

Hadi Hobab (2019 FDD)

Independent “Taqueria Santa Cruz Express” now operating in this location

Deli Delicious Closed Stockton (Store #51)     4426 E. Waterloo Rd. #C Stockton, CA 95215 Franchisees: Greg DeGrandis & Ali Iqbal & Victor Gutierrez (2019 FDD)

DELI DELICIOUS Stockton CA Franchise Closes

Deli Delicious closed Tracy Store (Store #76) 2805 Naglee Rd, Ste 130, Tracy, CA 95304 #130CLOSED  Last Yelp review 12/19
(Franchisee Miya S.)Eric Sha (2019 FDD)

Independent “Dosa Biryanizz Chaat Cafe” now operating in this location

Deli Delicious Visalia Visalia (Store #13)  4130 S Mooney Blvd, Visalia, CA 93277-9144 559-627-3354CLOSED  Last Yelp Review August 27, 2018

Todd Esajian (2016 FDD)Jamie Huerta (2019 FDD) Nicholas Huerta

Independent “Pickled Deli,” now operated in this spot by former Deli Delicious franchisee Nicholas Huerta.

Why Are Deli Delicious Franchisees Failing Where Independents Might Succeed?

The unsubstantiated “common wisdom” that franchises succeed at higher rates of independents is based on the fact that the best franchise systems, like McDonalds or Chic-Fil-A, provide powerful operational, buying, marketing advantages and name recognition that more than offsets the fees franchisee’s must pay.

However, small chains run by inexperienced and/or ill-intentioned management often charge the same onerous fees without any offsetting advantages.

While every other sandwich chain in America equips its franchisees to either bake fresh bread or receive it delivered, Deli Delicious Franchising Inc.  executives Mohammad Hobab and Ali Nekumanesh made the fateful decision to pour their energy and resources into developing a commercial bakery that would require Deli Delicious franchisees to purchase and serve its frozen bread – whether they liked it or not.

(Read The BREAD That Froze Deli Delicious’ Growth.)

Franchisees argue that the switch to the arguably inferior bread increases their labor costs, creates operational and storage problems, and puts the chain at a competitive disadvantage.

For instance, the chain can no longer advertise that its sandwiches are made with only fresh ingredients.

DDFI responded to its franchisees’ discontent with bullying and lawsuits that are further draining company resources and prompting franchisees to leave the chain.

Why is DDFI forcing franchisees to purchase frozen bread they hate?  Because the affiliate frozen bread factory is owned by Hobab and Nekumanesh.

The sad moral to this story seems to be:  Not all franchises are created equal, because not all franchisors have the experience and/or good intentions one assumes they would have.

The Deli Delicious Franchise Graveyard will likely keep expanding even as the Deli Delicious franchise chain doesn’t.




All Deli Delicious Posts on UnhappyFranchisee.Com

DELI DECEPTIVE: What Deli Delicious Won’t Tell Its Customers

Which Sandwich Chains Serve Fresh Baked Bread? Which Serve Bread That’s Frozen & Thawed?

DELI DELICIOUS Sues Franchisee For Serving Fresh Bread

DELI DELICIOUS Franchise Assessment and Discussion Part 1

DELI DELICIOUS, Ali Nekumanesh Defamation Lawsuits

Deli Delicious Franchise Assessment GoFundMe Campaign



TAGS: Mohammed Hobab, Ali Nekumanesh, Deli Delicious, Deli Delicious Franchise Inc., deli delicious lawsuit, deli delicious franchise, deli delicious bread, BB’s Bakery, DDFI, Deli Delicious Franchising inc.,  fresh bread lawsuit, franchise success rate, franchising success rate, franchise vs independent startup, sandwich franchises, sub franchises,  Unhappy Franchisee

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