Best for Vets: Franchises 2013
Best for Vets: Franchises 2013

We invited franchise brands across the country to complete a rigorous survey telling us about their companies as well as their accommodations for service members and veterans. The rankings were created based on the answers provided to questions about the company's culture the performance of franchise units, the costs associated with franchising, and the financial and other support offered to current and former service members and their families.

Rank Brand Industry Franchising since Franchised units Vet-owned units Continuity Growth Initial investment Royalty Franchise fee discount Startup cost discount Royalty discount Reservist help
1 Sport Clips Beauty/Wellness/Grooming 1995 1,001 97 99% 15% $158,300-$306,500 6% 10% -- -- Management assistance
2 Boulder Designs1, 2 Business Signage 2008 45 8 89% -10% $65,650-$77,800 $400/month3 25% -- 25% --
3 LINE-X Franchising Automotive/Motor Vehicles/Parts 1999 378 132 94% 10% $142,750-$265,500 none4 $7,500 -- no fee --
4 MaidPro1 Cleaning Services 1997 159 13 97% 8% $18,909-$39,899 3.5%-6.5% $3,000 $12,000 -- --
5 Valpak Direct Marketing Systems1 Advertising 1986 167 11 92% -2% $91,200-$200,800 none5 20%6 -- no fee --
6 The Grounds Guys1 Landscaping 2010 94 20 no data7 no data7 $64,720-$189,220 7% 25% -- -- --
7 Matco Tools Automotive/Motor Vehicles/Parts 1993 1,410 31 87% -1% $88,879-$243,710 none5 no fee $6,500 no fee --
8 Granite Transformations1 Hardware/Home Improvement 2001 78 2 96% 1% $141,500-$346,000 2% 50% -- 50% --
9 Dale Carnegie Training Training 2001 179 20 97% -2% $26,000-$182,450 12%8 50% -- -- --
10 PostNet Neighborhood Business Centers Printing/Publishing 1993 684 46 89%9 -9%9 $162,167-$200,650 5% 35% -- -- --
11 Heits Building Services Cleaning Services 2004 157 3 93% 13% $270,750-$317,500 5% 10% no fee -- Deferred obligations
12 Hungry Howie’s Pizza1 Quick Service or Fast Food Restaurant 1983 548 7 95% -2% $219,700-$371,500 5%10 50% -- -- --
13 Glass Doctor1 Automotive/Motor Vehicles/Parts 1977 184 10 88% 1% $107,800-$288,000 5%-7% 25% -- -- --
14 ACFN the ATM franchise business Banking/Financial Services 2003 200 32 93% 16% $40,135-$67,044 none11 $1,000 -- no fee Management assistance
15 Border Magic1, 2 Landscaping 2003 42 5 89% -10% $65,650-$77,800 $400/month3 $5,000 -- 25% Management assistance
16 Max Muscle Sports Nutrition Exercise/Fitness 2004 149 30 93% 2% $146,500-$296,700 3%-6% -- $10,000 -- --
17 Mr. Rooter1 Repair/Maintenance Services 1974 254 18 86% -2% $60,950-$156,250 5%-7% 25% -- -- --
18 Molly Maid Cleaning Services 1979 436 21 98% 1% $85,600-$131,100 3%-6.5% $6,000 no fee -- --
19 Young Rembrandts Education/Teaching/Administration 2000 88 4 91% 2% $40,360-$48,600 8%-10%10 10% -- -- Management assistance
20 Mr. Appliance1 Repair/Maintenance Services 1996 152 25 83% 1% $45,850-$97,68012 7% 25% -- -- --
21 Aire Serv1 Repair/Maintenance Services 1993 177 38 83% 0% $74,600-$197,40012 5%-7% 25% -- -- --
22 Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System Services - Corporate B2B 1985 9,065 243 88% -3% $10,796-$44,323 5% 10%13 -- -- Deferred obligations
23 Fantastic Sams Hair Salons1 Beauty/Wellness/Grooming 1976 1,079 45 93% -4% $116,100-$236,100 $334.13/week 25% -- -- --
24 HomeTeam Inspection Service Home Inspection 1991 163 25 93% -6% $37,400-$70,600 6% 25% -- -- --
25 Rainbow International1 Homebuilding 1981 306 23 90% 14% $127,175-$259,100 3%-7%10 25% -- -- --
26 Batteries Plus Retail 1992 511 46 99% 12% $193,580-$410,050 5% $10,000 -- -- --
27 Right at Home Health Care/Health Services 2000 269 17 97% 9% $72,200-$126,100 5% 10% -- -- --
28 HobbyTown USA Retail 1986 155 15 95% 0% $137,000-$173,000 2.5%-3% $10,000 -- -- --
29 BrightStar Care Health Care/Health Services 2005 248 16 93% 22% $90,378-$165,676 5%-6% $5,000 -- -- --
30 Aire-Master of America1 Cleaning Services 1976 90 19 99% 7% $34,084-$126,900 5%10 10% -- -- --
31 SIGNARAMA Retail 1987 886 75 91%9 -6%9 $204,697-$229,177 6% 10%14 -- -- --
32 ServiceMaster Clean Repair/Maintenance Services 1952 3,044 210 97% 0% $149,985-$171,235 10%10 15% -- -- Deferred obligations
33 Budget Blinds Hardware/Home Improvement 1994 851 32 94% -1% $89,240-$187,070 $1,500/month15 $1,495,016 -- -- --
34 Re-Bath1 Construction 1982 224 30 89% 0% $91,000-$322,500 4%-6% 25% -- -- --
35 MRINetwork (Management Recruiters International) Staffing & Recruiting 1965 680 no data 92% -6% $98,950-$147,430 3%-9%10 20% -- -- --
36 The UPS Store1 Packaging 1980 4,357 no data 97% -1% $176,066-$331,353 5% $10,000 -- -- --
37 Togo's Eateries1 Food 1977 238 1 98% 0% $246,000-$414,500 5% 20% -- -- --

(1) Continuity, growth, initial investment and royalty information from 2011 FDD, instead of 2012;

(2) Boulder Designs and Border Magic are sister franchises that share an FDD, so continuity, growth, initial investment and royalty information is identical;

(3) after first 6 months; $250/month during first 6 months;

(4) Typically no royalty; 5% or 12% royalty under some circumstances;

(5) No royalty but must purchase products/services from franchisor;

(6) 100% discount in 2013;

(7) Has not been franchising long enough for 3-year data;

(8) Until royalty threshold achieved; 7% after that point; $250/month during first 6 months;

(9) Includes only domestic totals;

(10) Minimum flat payment amounts may apply if revenue is low;

(11) No royalty but several other types of fees;

(12) Does not include franchise fee and real estate costs;

(13) 25% discount for vets who obtain an 85% SBA loan guaranty;

(14) If less than 11 years of military service; 25% discount for up to 20 years; 50% discount for 20 or more years;

(15) If franchised more than two years; otherwise, smaller royalty amounts;

(16) $7,500 discount if finance through franchise brand

If you know of a company that might like to participate in this survey, we'd be happy to consider them. Just email bestforvets@militarytimes.com.