Opportunities For Our Troops: Why Veterans Should Consider Franchise Ownership
By George J. Hart, Army veteran and Dunkin’ Brands multi-unit franchisee
Military Appreciation Month and Veterans Day are special times of the year, as veterans are rightly recognized and honoured for their sacrifices by their fellow citizens. Military alumni comradery aides one’s transition to civilian life that is usually filled with monumental changes from the regimented military life. Specifically, a change in career paths. During this integral transition from military to civilian life, it is important for veterans to identify companies that truly see them for who they are and the skillsets they’ve acquired through their service.
Many veterans find themselves highly skilled and well-trained leaders. They bring a tactical perspective working with the team and have operational skills with people, security, planning, logistics and communication. Simultaneously, they crave an environment where they can participate in the strategic view setting a vision forward. Franchising seems to check a lot of these boxes for veterans to put their disciplines to work. In the world of franchising, veterans are provided with the flexibility to be business owners while being connected to an established brand. The guess-work and risk of starting a business from the ground up are taken out of the equation, so a veteran can hit the ground running.
Franchises heavily encourage veteran recruitment because of these very skillsets, which have been known to predict success in the realm of franchising. In fact, according to the Franchise Business Review’s 2014 Progress Report, 49 percent of franchisors surveyed indicated that they had successfully recruited at least one veteran/spouse of a veteran as a new franchisee in the past 12 months.
Veteran employers are likely to pay it forward, typically hiring veterans just like them. Fourteen percent of franchisees surveyed in the FBR study showed that veteran franchise owners are nearly a third (30 percent) more likely to hire other veterans, or at least be more aware of a person’s veteran status. And in fact, about 50 percent of my own workforce is made up of veterans or active duty family members.
When it comes to franchising, it is most important to find the right company that is a cultural fit for you. Growing up in New Jersey, Dunkin’ was known as the best coffee. Throughout my time in the Army, I desperately craved that nostalgic drink while the coffee on base just wasn’t Dunkin. That’s why, when I retired from the military, I went on to not only become a Dunkin’ multi-unit franchisee but, specifically, set a mission to open a Dunkin’ on each United States military base in the country. So far, I’ve set up shop on 11 out of the 44 possible bases, but I’m determined to keep the troops running on Dunkin’. Most importantly, I’ve partnered with a company that recognizes my value, expertise and supports my ambitions.
George J. Hart, Army Veteran and Dunkin’ Brands multi-unit franchisee, entered the world of franchising after 25 years of service as a Paratrooper and Reconnaissance Helicopter Pilot for the U.S. Army. In less than five years, George has grown his franchise network to 11 Dunkin’ locations, including four combo restaurants with Baskin-Robbins, across military bases in the Western United States.
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