What About a Franchise? 4 Veteran Friendly Options

Dunkin' Donut (stock image)
(Stock image)

Maybe it's the leadership training. Maybe it's a military culture of grit and teamwork. Whatever the reason, military veterans don't just tend to start their own businesses -- they like to own franchises. According to the International Franchise Association, one out of every seven franchises in the United States are owned and operated by veterans.

That could be because of the discounts. Hundreds of them offer special discounts and premium benefits for eligible veterans, active-duty service members, military spouses and first responders. Those discounts often lower the entry-level investment costs significantly.

Military.com scoured franchise review sites and found four exceptional options that offer special opportunities for veterans that represent a wide variety of business types and initial investment outlay. Here they are:

1. JDog Junk Removal and Hauling

Founded by an Army veteran who went from nothing to a franchise empire, JDog Junk Removal and Hauling, headquartered in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, is a franchise that, according to the founder, is nearly "recession proof."

Related: Search for Veteran Jobs

JDog founder Jerry Flanagan said veterans have a strong work ethic, are reliable and know how to "get it done," which is why he actively recruits veterans and military spouses as franchise owners.

According to their website, they "do things the Military way -- with Respect, Integrity, and Trust -- and this is a key aspect of our brand. We uphold these values through all communications and jobs. As members of the Military Family know, this is the expectation, not an option."

Franchise owners rate JDog as "exceptional" on Glassdoor when it comes to support, training and commitment to their success.

To learn more about franchise opportunities, visit JDog Junk Removal and Hauling.

2. Dream Vacations

Travel agencies are not dead. In fact, according to a recent study by Phocuswright, U.S. travel agency sales will grow nearly 13%, from $112.8 billion in 2017 to $127 billion in 2021.

Franchise owners (as well as independent reviews) say that Dream Vacations gives franchise owners superior training and support that allow them to become specialists in the growing leisure travel market.

Glassdoor reviews of the company are a solid five stars, and franchise owners are overwhelmingly positive of the company. Dream Vacations has landed the No. 1 spot on several top franchise recommendation lists, including Entrepreneur Magazine's Top Franchise for Veterans and Top 10 Military-Friendly Franchises by Forbes.

"I have been working at Dream Vacations full time for 10 years," one franchise owner on Glassdoor said. "If you're willing to work hard to build your client base, you'll get rewarded with repeat customers again and again."

According to Dream Vacations' website, its Veteran Enlistment Package gives veterans, active-duty military and spouses and first responders 20% off the initial franchise, and they include a "waived training fee waived for a business partner, and a waived associate fee for Veterans/Military Spouses."

To find out more about franchise opportunities, visit Dream Vacations

3. Biggby Coffee

The coffee industry isn't just for the big big boys like Starbucks or Peets, a growing number of coffee franchises are reporting record growth. Biggby Coffee, headquartered in East Lansing, Michigan, reported record growth last year as they expanded to 270 cafes across 10 states.

Biggby's success, according to some franchise owner reviews on Glassdoor, comes from its focus on high-quality products and a commitment to "localism," meaning they want their franchise owners to be involved with the community. For example, some franchise owners host regular "Coffee with a Cop" meetings for community members and local law enforcement to meet and get to know each other.

According to their website, they are the fastest-growing coffee franchise in the U.S. because they embrace the values of "being happy, having fun, making friends and loving people."

VetFran, a nonprofit agency that promotes franchise ownership for veterans, gives Biggby its highest four-star rating. In addition to other perks, Biggby also offers 50% off its initial franchise fee to eligible veterans.

To find out more about franchise opportunities, visit Biggby Coffee.

4. Dunkin'

Headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts, Dunkin' is one of the most recognized, quick-service food brands in the world and has grown to more than 12,500 locations in more than 45 countries.

Besides solid brand reputation and impressive yearly growth, according to their investor release, Dunkin' plans to add approximately 1,000 new Dunkin' Donuts locations in the U.S. by the end of 2020 and expects that more than 90% will be built outside of the Northeast.

"As a military veteran used to having strict systems in place, transitioning into a company such as Dunkin' Donuts that offered a strong, cross-functional support structure was essential for me to build my business," Army special forces veteran Ray Omar said in an online testimonial.

Dunkin' Donuts offers qualified veterans who purchase a store development agreement for five or fewer stores a 20% discount on the initial franchise fee.

To find out more about franchise opportunities, visit Dunkin'.

Find the Right Veteran Job

Whether you want to polish your resume, find veteran job fairs in your area or connect with employers looking to hire veterans, Military.com can help. Sign up for a free Military.com membership to have job postings, guides and advice, and more delivered directly to your inbox.

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