Beware of Ben Catarinicchia, ZACs International

Ben Catarinicchia, ZACs International, of New Jersey is a longtime associate of the NY Bagel Scam run by Joe Smith and Dennis Mason.  We recommend that those considering hiring Ben Catarinicchia ask for a list of the 50 NY Bagel Café clients who paid him and ask whether they would recommend  him and ZACs International.

(NY Bagel Scam)  The NY Bagel Scam is run by Joseph Smith and notorious franchise seller Dennis Mason.

They run ads on Craig’s List and provide fraudulent documents offering individuals and families fully financed bagel café franchise stores for up-front fees ranging from $17,500 to $29,500.

The majority of those who pay these supposedly refundable franchise fees never receive the promised funding, never open a store, and are denied a refund.

The vast majority of those who opened a NY Bagel Café franchise were unable to achieve or maintain profitability.

The UnhappyFranchisee.Com website has posted dozens of closed franchise locations and numerous governmental actions exposing the company’s fraudulent activities.

See them here:

NY BAGEL CAFÉ Franchise Graveyard

NY BAGEL CAFÉ Franchise: How Many Have Closed?

NY BAGEL CAFÉ Guilty of Fraud, Fined $764,899.33

Ben CatarinicchiaBen Catarinicchia & ZACs International are NY Bagel Scam Accomplices

Ben Catarinicchia, under the company name ZACs International, has played an integral role in furthering the NY Bagel franchise scam.

And he continues to profit from the predatory deception of individuals and families who will experience financial devastation because of the illegal NY Bagel franchise scheme.

Ben Catarinicchia admits to have received money for design and construction services from more than 50 NY Bagel Café franchise owners.

Despite the fact that he has seen dozens of franchises close and his client’s’ investments lost, he still encourages prospective victims to invest their hard-earned savings and risk their assets with Joe Smith, Dennis Mason & NY Bagel.

When one family contacted him and asked if the fraudulent company could be trusted, Ben Catarinicchia replied:

Thank you for your email.  Our firm provides architectural and equipment procurement services for NY Bagel Café & Deli.  We have worked as a preferred consultant for the franchise for many years, completing our first location design, I believe, in early 2012.

As with any business the success of a NY Bagel is directly proportional to the time allotted by the franchisee on running the business, but in general the owners of the franchises seem to do well.  While not being involved in the internal workings of NY Bagel I can say that NY Bagel is a good brand, we have completed over 50 locations nationwide. NY Bagel is a proven concept and the company provides their franchisees with the tools needed to succeed.  NY Bagel is a fair company and they afford their franchisees the latitude of design adjustments dependent on their locations.  We have completed some locations where we have provided extended cooking lines, salad bars and other custom elements while always staying true to the main product NY Bagels.

I can tell you that the franchisees that have chosen to work with our company are pleased and satisfied at the outcome of the stores.  I would recommend a NY Bagel franchise to a friend or family member I think they are a growing company with a bright future ahead of them.

Feel free to call me should you have any questions


Benedetto (Ben) Catarinicchia, SARA


ZACS International, LLC

Providing Unparalleled Design, Construction & Management Services

Office:  609.581.0524

E-Fax:  609.585.2964

Mobile: 609.203.1564



Ben Catarinicchia Blames Franchise Owners & Recession for Widespread NY Bagel Closures

Like most involved with justifying blatant franchise scams, Benedetto (Ben) Catarinicchia blames the victims for store falures.

His statement “As with any business the success of a NY Bagel is directly proportional to the time allotted by the franchisee on running the business,” means that any failure is likely caused by an owner not putting in the time to make his business succeed.

They expect people to believe that franchise owners with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line regularly let their businesses fail while they garden or play golf.

When confronted with the fact that most of the stores he was involved with failed, he can only cite one concrete example:

The only location I can speak about was on location located in NJ. The franchisee in direct conflict to NY Bagel corporate chose a space that was 1000 sq feet over the standard 1500 sq foot space. NY Bagel told the franchisee that the space would be tough to justify due to its size but the franchisee indicated he didn’t care he could do the business so in short he couldn’t support the size of the space.

He forgets to mention that it is the franchisor’s job to approves franchise locations – and to reject any location or space that does not meets its parameters.

He also fails to mention that, in addition to the fact that the NY Bagel concept isn’t viable, that his overpriced design charges and inflated fees may also have contributed to the franchise owner’s demise?


  • Tricia Hutman, Interior Designer
  • Mike Upchurch, Architect
  • David Kroth, Web and Marketing

Note to Ben Catarinicchia and NY Bagel:  We invite you to provide any corrections, clarifications, rebuttals or opinions to the content of this post through a comment below and/or an email message to us at NYBagelFranchiseScam[at]Gmail.Com.  We will be happy to correct any factual errors and publish any rebuttals or opinions.


NY Bagel Café Franchise Scam Overview

NY BAGEL SCAM Victims Are Speaking Out!

How NY BAGEL CAFÉ Hides its Franchise Failures Part 1

How NY BAGEL CAFÉ Hides its Franchise Failures Part 2

Joe Smith, Dennis Mason & NY Bagel Café Franchise Exposed: 10 Things You Should Know

NY BAGEL CAFÉ & DELI Franchise Complaints




TAGS: Ben Catarinicchia, ZACs International, NY Bagel, NY Bagel Cafe, NY Bagel Cafe & Deli, NY Bagel Scam, NY Bagel franchise scam, NY Bagel Cafe Scam, NY Bagel Craigs List, Joe Smith, Joseph Smith, Dennis Mason, scam, fraud, NY Bagel rip-off

4 thoughts on “Beware of Ben Catarinicchia, ZACs International

  • May 13, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Please allow us to clarify the above referenced items. ZACS International LLC has been providing design services for franchise companies throughout the country for the past 15 years. We have worked with companies such as Salad works, Dominos, Papa Johns, as well as many others. Our firm does not engage in the selection of locations and or the day to day operations of the locations. We provide a design of the space based upon the approved color palette of NY Bagel and operations as provided to us by NY Bagel. The designs we provide are approved by both the franchisee as well as NY Bagel prior to completion of any construction documents. Our contracts are based on the AIA documents, and we provide our NY Bagel clients with design services for Architectural, Electrical, Plumbing for the space all for a reasonable fee that is far below our competitors. We have been fair and upfront with any and all fees charged by our firm. To list us as a profiteer on this site is unconscionable and basically false. We speak to the franchisee well after any franchise fees are paid and well after locations are selected. I would formally ask you to please remove us from this site, for our firm is not profiteering in any way from what is accused and provide design services only.

  • May 14, 2017 at 12:18 pm


    Thank you for your response. A few questions:

    Would you be willing to provide us with a list of the 50+ NY Bagel Cafe locations that you worked on?

    How many of those are open today?

    Do you stand by the following statements that you provided to a prospective franchisee who was concerned about investing his family’s life savings?

    “the success of a NY Bagel is directly proportional to the time allotted by the franchisee on running the business”

    “In general the owners of the franchises seem to do well.”

    “NY Bagel is a proven concept”

    “the company provides their franchisees with the tools needed to succeed.”

    “NY Bagel is a fair company”


    The Victims

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