Jason's Deli was founded in Beaumont, Texas in 1976 by Joe Tortorice Jr. and his partners Rusty Coco, Pete Verde and Pat Broussard.
Joe and Rusty grew up in food business. Their fathers owned neighborhood grocery stores in Beaumont. The original Jason’s Deli location is still in operation at its original location in that city at 112 Gateway St. The chain started franchising in 1988 with the first franchised store opened in Tucson, Arizona.
The company currently has approximately 225 U.S. locations in 28 states. As of August 2008, Jason's Deli ranked #1 in annual sales in QSR Magazine’s Top Ten list of restaurant groups with under 300 locations. The parent company, Deli Management, Inc., owns the majority of the deli restaurants. In 2007, Jason’s Deli opened a new "neighborhood deli" concept in Flower Mound, Texas with a smaller location and a slightly reduced menu.