JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Steve Burnett says his solution to being an unemployed veteran was to buy a franchise and become his own boss. Now he owns Tasti D-Lite on Park Street in Riverside and he encourages other vets to look into the VetFran program.
Burnett got a 25% discount on a $30,000 franchise fee when he decided to start the Tasti D-Lite in 5 Points in Riverside. He says the discount was a huge help.
Now his customers are oohing and aahing about his very low fat and low calorie (only 70 calories for a small) products.
One customer says, "It's a bit like ice cream. And it's a bit like frozen yogurt." However you describe it, there are 100 flavors freshly made every day from french vanilla to the popular Nutella.
Burnett says he sent out more than 1000 resumes. He had 20 years experience in the military and a masters in business administration. He served on the subs at Kings Bay in Georgia.
But no one would give him any solid chance for employment. So he became his own boss.
The VetFran program is an initiative of the International Franchise Association. The group says more than 400 franchise systems across various business categories are involved giving discounts and training.
If you want to talk with Burnett about his experience, the Tasti D-Lite is on 1024 Park Street in Jacksonville.
First Coast News learned about VetFran from Candace Moody of Worksource, the employment help group in Jacksonville.
Below is the information we received directly from Moody:
The Veteran Franchise program (VETFRAN): There are lots of companies that do offer veterans significant discounts on the fees and other incentives.
Here's another story from January about the program.
In part, the article says:
Such benefits include sizeable and meaningful reductions in the franchise fee (Fast-Fix and FASTSIGNS offer a 50%/40% discount, respectively) as well as considerable additional incentives; Granite Transformations not only offers a 50% discount, but they will also finance the remaining portion over 12 months; Popeyes Louisiana Chicken not only waives the entire $30,000 franchise fee, but also offers a 3% royalty reduction for the first year. Kitchen Tune-Up waives the entire initial investment of $40,000; Maid Brigade offers a 45% discount on the franchise fee, territory fee and equipment package for a total savings of $27,900.
Further incentives include a waiving or reducing the royalties over a period of years, financing the reduced franchise fee over several years, and granting allowances and credits toward the purchase of equipment and initial inventory.
First Coast News