Franchise Companies Offer Special Programs for Veteran Franchisees

USA Today's Top 50 Franchises for Veterans in 2010

Friday, April 09, 2010

By Rob Bond and Blair Cavagrotti

One of the brightest spots in the world of franchising is the recent emergence of military veterans as successful franchisees. Today's Armed Forces personnel have selflessly given a great deal to their country and, thankfully, their country is reciprocating. The franchising industry is no exception. In a recent survey conducted by the World Franchising Network, 250 major franchising systems responded by noting the special concessions they make to veterans. These programs are detailed on, a popular new website dedicated solely to the recruitment and support of veterans.

Survey respondents mentioned three fundamental character traits that make veterans exceptional franchisees. First is their tenacious work ethic - the ability to hang in there in the face of adversity, as franchising is not always a walk in the park. Second is their sense of self-discipline and focus, because running a successful business doesn't allow one to be easily distracted. Third is their ability to follow directions and in-place systems, since it is absolutely critical that franchisees follow the franchisor's time-proven systems.

The determinants of what we consider the "best" franchises for veterans include: 1) the overall program offered to veterans; 2) the percentage of veterans among existing franchisees; and 3) the percentage of veterans among a company's senior management ranks.

It is interesting to note that the presidents of two of the 50 Top companies are in fact veterans themselves. Mary Thompson, President of Mr. Rooter, a Dwyer Group franchise brand, and Joe Lindenmayer, President of TSS Photography, both indicated that their experience as Marine Corps officers was an invaluable element in their future success.

Among the 50 Top franchisors, the incentives offered to prospective veterans franchisees often include a significant reduction in the franchise fee, where most offered at least a 20% reduction. Other franchisors waive or significantly reduce royalty payments for extended periods. Still others offer special in-house financing of the investment, a discount on the initial order from the franchisor, a Grand Opening allowance, or any number of creative ways to entice and reward servicemen for their sacrifices.

While these front-end inducements are extremely inviting, it is critical that prospective franchisees not focus solely on initial short-term savings. It is absolutely essential that each franchisor's entire franchise program be evaluated from every angle. Is their product/service viable over the long term, do they have a competitive advantage, do they provide superior initial training and ongoing support, would existing franchisees make the same decision to invest today if they had the opportunity, are franchise fees and royalty fees competitive within the market segment, etc. Due diligence is fundamental to long-term success.

Company Internet
Allegra Print & Imaging
Antal International Network
Anytime Fitness
Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels
Budget Blinds
Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System
Driven Brands
Dunkin' Brands
Dwyer Group
Express Employment Professionals
Fantastic Sams
FOCUS Brands
FranchisESource Brands
Granite Transformations
Grease Monkey
House Doctors Handyman Services
Huddle House Restaurants
Hurricane Grill & Wings
Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems
Kahala Brands
Lawn Doctor
Little Caesars
Maid Brigade
Maids, The
Miami Subs Pizza & Grill
Money Mailer
More Space Place
Pak Mail
Papa Murphy’s
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
Postal Annex+
Precision Tune Auto Care Center
Regis Corp.
Service Brands
Snap-on Tools
Sparkle Wash the Commercial Pressure Washing Franchise
Sparkling Image
Sport Clips
Spring-Green Lawn Care
Strategic Franchise Systems
Togo's Eatery
Tropical Smoothie Cafe
TSS Photography
UPS Store, The
VR Business Brokers
Window Genie
Yellow VAN Handyman
ZIPS Dry Cleaners