Industry News | May 27, 2011 | QSR Exclusive Brief

Franchisee: Military Vets a Wise Partner for Franchisors

Derek Henze is a Minneapolis-based Toppers franchisee.
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With Memorial Day around the corner and the nation’s attention turned to the men and women who have served the country, one franchisee says military veterans like himself should be top of mind for franchisors as potential franchisees.

Derek Henze, a Minneapolis-based Toppers Pizza franchisee who served in Iraq, says his eight years of experience in the military helped him develop the business sense necessary to own a franchise.

“I remember a friend asking me, ‘What will you do if a food order doesn’t come in, or something like that?’” Henze says. “And to me, those little concerns like that are really minute in comparison to what I’ve been through, so it gives that confidence of, ‘I can do this.’”

Indeed, Henze says military veterans are driven to succeed and especially to follow in another’s system—something critical for a franchised business.

“The military people are really geared toward attention to detail,” he says. “[Military veterans] understand the part of learning how things are supposed to be and executing them, learning exactly what the protocol is. You’re not dealing with those people who are trying to re-create the system.”

Henze says it doesn’t take a holiday like Memorial Day for him to honor those who have served or currently serve the country. He says local veterans and those on active duty are welcome to discounts at his store as a way of showing support.

“I wouldn’t be where I’m at if I didn’t have that experience,” Henze says. “I try not to make it a big deal, because I’m not trying to put too much emphasis on me, I’m trying to put the emphasis on them.”

By Sam Oches