Hungry Howie’s Pizza, which was named a 2012 “Military Friendly Franchise” by G.I. Jobs Magazine, is actively targeting veterans for franchising opportunities. The company recently signed on two new veteran franchisees, doubling the total number to four. In addition, Hungry Howie’s has announced new initiatives to attract additional military veterans to the business.
Hungry Howie’s honors military veterans year round by offering a special $10,000 discount, 50 percent off the initial franchise fee, to encourage veterans to use their strong leadership, training, and operational skills in new ways through business ownership.
Mark Ward, of San Antonio plans to open his first Hungry Howie’s Pizza in early 2013. He comes to the company after 27 years in the Air Force. Throughout his career, he managed groups ranging in size from six crew members to thousands of recruits and recruiting personnel as commander of the largest geographical recruiting organization in the Air Force. He said his military service was excellent preparation for restaurant franchise ownership.
“Both systems utilize operations manuals and written procedures. Hungry Howie’s developed a tried-and-true business strategy that works well, and that appealed to me,” Ward says. “Managing groups of that size teaches you to interact with a wide variety of people who have different learning styles.”
Alpharetta, Georgia, franchisee Brian Brown also served in the Air Force. He became a Hungry Howie’s franchisee through VetFran, the International Franchise Association’s program that encourages military veterans to become business owners. In addition to his military background, Brown also has in-depth knowledge of the restaurant industry, having managed several fast food restaurants including Little Caesars Pizza and Wendy’s.
“The corporate office provides franchisees with a lot of support and training in the startup process and beyond, and they offer great benefits for military veterans,” Brown says. “In addition, my family loves Hungry Howie’s. We order it whenever we visit family back home in Michigan, so it’s an unbeatable business opportunity.”
In addition to the two new veterans, Hungry Howie’s already has two successful franchisees with military backgrounds. The company plans to add more through the discount initiative.
“We have a strong veteran presence at Hungry Howie’s Pizza,” says Brian Ognian, vice president of franchise development. “In addition to our two veteran franchisees, one of our directors is also a veteran of the National Guard. Veterans make excellent franchise owners, and we are always looking to add them to our system. Offering these incentives is a great way to entice the entrepreneurial-minded veterans we are looking for.”