The International Franchise Association (IFA) has named Sai Hossain, owner of more than 40 Wetzel’s Pretzels locations throughout Southern California, as one of its 2023 Franchisees of the Year.

Since 2004, Hossain has amassed 42 Wetzel's locations, all strategically positioned throughout California. Notably, six of his establishments are housed within Walmart stores, making him one of the pioneering franchisees to explore this unique format. Hossain is set to expand his portfolio with two additional locations this year.

Hossain was honored at the 64th IFA Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, for being an outstanding owner-operator franchise establishment.

“Sai represents the dedicated individuals we have in our franchise system, and we are incredibly proud to honor him for this great accomplishment,” says Jon Fischer, head of development at Wetzel’s Pretzels. “Over the last decade, Sai has played a pivotal role in the strategic expansion of the brand. We look forward to working alongside him throughout his future endeavors with Wetzel’s.”

“I am truly honored to be named Franchisee of the Year from such an established organization within the industry,” Hossain says. “I look forward to continuing to grow alongside the brand and strengthen my relationships with my local community.”

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.

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