Franchisor Programs Offer Great Incentives for Prospective Veteran Franchisees

USA Today's Top 50 Franchises for Veterans in 2012

Friday, June 01, 2012

By Rob Bond, Annie Barbarika, and Tu-Anh Dang-Tran

Below are the results of the third annual survey that we have done regarding programs for our veterans and it is exhilarating to report the increased level of enthusiasm and support on the part of the franchising community. An ever-increasing number of franchisors are aggressively trying to recruit veterans through the creative use of various incentives and by taking full advantage of veteran role models already within their franchise system. It is encouraging to note not only the increasing percentage of veterans that either own a franchise or manage company-owned stores, but also how many veterans are among the management ranks of the franchisor system itself.

The website lists approximately 400 franchise programs, all of which are anxious to recruit veterans. We suggest that you take the time to go to the website and review those companies that provide a level of interest to you. By clicking on the link at the bottom of most of the profiles, you will be taken to a more expansive site ( that provides more in-depth information on particular companies. For the most part, the incentive programs outlined on the veterans' website reflect a reduction in the franchise fee, which can range from a few thousand dollars to over $40,000. Several of the more impressive programs are noted below:

Company Savings on Franchise Fee
CiCi's Pizza $30K (100%) + 50% Royalties Year 1
Gotcha Covered $59K (100%)
Guava Healthcare $35K (100%)
KidzArt $10K (100%) (First 10)
Port of Subs $5K - $10K (100%)
TeamLogic IT $40K (100%)
VR Business Brokers $39K (100%)
Appleton Learning $25K off $35K
Arby's $18.7K off $35K
Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels $10K off $30K
Cleaning Authority, The $20K/$25K off $40K/50K
Denny's $20K off $40K/$40K off 40K for 2nd Unit
FASTSIGNS $8.3K off $20.7K
Granite Transformations $12.5K/37.5K off $25K/75K
Huddle House Restaurants $12.5K off $25K
Hungry Howie's Pizza $10K off $20K
Juice It Up! $10K off $25K
Kitchen Tune-Up $35K off $40K
Meineke / Maaco $7.5K/$10K off $30K/$40K
NYPD Pizza $15K off $30K
Pak Mail $15K off $30K
Rainbow Station $40K off $80K
ServiceMaster Clean $4K/10K off $25K/65K
Sign-A-Rama $40K off $40K (1 only)
Solara 360 $12.5K off $25K
U.S. Lawns $10K off $29K
Wireless Zone $10-15K off $20-30K

By comparison, there are numerous household-name franchises that may not offer steep discounts in their franchise fee, but which have been around for a long time and have a demonstrated ability to fully support their franchisees throughout their career. 7-Eleven, for instance, provides savings of up to $35,000, as well as financing of up to 65% of the investment. Little Caesars has a highly focused program specifically for disabled veterans: they offer up to a $55,000 reduction in the total initial investment. Liberty Tax will finance their entire franchise fee over four years and requires no money down. Snap-On Tools offers a $20,000 discount on the initial investment of $80,000. 25% of RadioShack's senior management has a military background. Fantastic Sams offers various incentives worth up to 45% off the initial license fee of $25,000.

It should be noted that a prospective franchisee should not place an over-riding premium on the short-term savings in the front-end investment. One should look primarily at the product or service being offered and the franchisor's ability to deliver on its promises to fully train and support the franchisee over the long term. Saving even $50,000 today by investing in a marginally competitive franchise that has no staying power would be a terrible mistake. Remember that franchising is a long-term investment that requires the utmost in due diligence. The single most important variable, has been proven to be the happiness of existing franchisees within their system. Therefore, you should call as many of them as possible. To the extent that a franchise has military veterans in its system, you should take full advantage of your common experience and get their insights. Two franchisors on the site have an exceptionally high percentage of veterans - Pet Butler has 32% of its 94 franchisees and WIN Home Inspection has 25% of its 168 franchisees. So remember to do your homework!

50 Top Franchises for Military Veterans

Company Internet
Anytime Fitness
Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels
CiCi's Pizza
Cleaning Authority, The
Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System
Edible Arrangements
Fantastic Sams
FranchisESource Brands (Entrepreneur's Source, AdviCoach)
Granite Transformations
Griswold Home Care
Huddle House Restaurants
Hungry Howie's Pizza
Instant Imprints
Interface Financial Group, The - IFG 50/50
Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems
Kitchen Tune-Up
Lenny's Sub Shop
Liberty Tax Service
Little Caesars
Maaco Collision Repair and Auto Painting
Maid Brigade
Maids, The
Meineke Car Care Centers
More Space Place
Novus Glass
NYS Collection Eyewear
Pak Mail Centers of America
Papa Murphy's
Pet Butler
Port of Subs
Robeks Fruit Smoothies and Healthy Eats
Service Brands (1-800-Dryclean, Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman)
ServiceMaster Brands (ServiceMaster Clean, Furniture Medic)
Smallprint Jewelry
Snap-on Tools
Sport Clips
TeamLogic IT
TSS Photography
U.S. Lawns
VR Business Brokers
WIN Home Inspection
Wireless Zone