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Veteran’s Small-Business Program Hits New Milestone

For Immediate Release   
Contact: Alisa Harrison, 202-628-8000

Schlotzsky’s is the 300th Franchise to Join VetFran

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 15 – A program to help America’s veterans become small-business owners, the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative (VetFran), has hit a historic milestone by welcoming Schlotzsky’s Restaurant as the 300th franchise system to join, the International Franchise Association announced today.

Since the voluntary effort was re-initiated following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, nearly 1,100 honorably-discharged veterans have acquired franchised small businesses using VetFran financial incentives offered by the IFA-member participating companies.  Typically, incentives are discounts of the initial fee that lower the up-front cash necessary to obtain a franchise.

“Franchise companies eagerly seek veterans as potential owners,” said IFA President and CEO Matthew Shay, head of the organization which represents more than 1,300 franchise systems.  “Veterans understand the importance of teamwork and constant communication with headquarters.  And, they know that training, can-do attitudes and mission focus are crucial to any operation.  All these are key aspects of successful franchises.”

Shay added that as a sector, franchising has significant economic impact in communities across the country.  In a new economic-impact study, the franchising sector of the economy expanded by over 18 percent from 2001 to 2005, adding more than 140,000 new businesses and 1.2 million new jobs to the nation’s economy.  Direct economic output of franchises grew by more than 40 percent to $880 billion in 2005 and output produced because of franchised businesses grew to more than $2.3 trillion in 2005.

Schlotzsky’s will reduce its initial $30,000 franchise fee to $20,000 for qualified veterans.  Since 1971, Schlotzsky’s has been the home of “The Original” toasted sandwich; its menu has evolved with customers’ tastes to include the highest quality sandwiches, pizzas, wraps, paninis, salads and soups available today.  With approximately 365 locations worldwide, Schlotzsky’s is a leading quick-casual choice for a healthful, fresh-dining experience and is owned by parent company FOCUS Brands Inc., the franchisor and operator of more than 2,200 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 32 foreign countries under the brand names Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill and the franchisor of Seattle’s Best Coffee on military bases and in certain international markets.

FOCUS Brands Vice President of Franchise Sales D’Wayne Tanner said, “Given veterans’ noble efforts to serve us and protect our future, we at Schlotzsky’s are honored to offer qualified veterans a solid business opportunity that can help them protect their own futures.”

Details about Schlotzsky’s, Carvel, Cinnabon and Moe’s Southwest Grill and other VetFran participating companies can be viewed at under “VetFran Directory.”  Also available at the site are articles about how to investigate a franchise before purchasing, including the Federal Trade Commission’s “Consumer Guide to Buying a Franchise,” and a free, online course “Franchising Basics.”  All IFA-member companies agree to abide by the association’s Code of Ethics, which can also be viewed at the Web site.

Endorsed by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, VetFran was conceived by franchise entrepreneur Don Dwyer, the late founder of The Dwyer Group, a holding company of six service-based franchises.  IFA is a partner of VA’s Center for Veterans Enterprise, whose mission is to improve the business climate for veterans and minimize barriers to business ownership.  CVE honored the association as a “Champion of Free Enterprise” in 2003.

Veterans are admitted at no charge to franchise trade shows sponsored by IFA, which include the free seminar “Franchising 101 for Veterans.”  Upcoming shows are scheduled Nov. 7-9 in Los Angeles, Jan. 9-11 in Miami and March 20-22 in Washington, D.C. 

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About The International Franchise Association 
The International Franchise Association, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising, is the preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for the industry worldwide.  Approaching a half-century of service with a growing membership of more than 1,300 franchise systems, 10,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising by advancing the values of integrity, respect, trust, commitment to excellence, honesty and diversity. For more information, visit the IFA Web site at

Ed. Note: To download logos and photos related to this press release, go to this link:   For trade show details and press credentials, contact Alisa Harrison at