The last time Tony Hardin was in Vietnam was back in 1966. As a night weapons specialist in the Green Berets, he traveled everywhere that year—from Danang to Nha Trang. And even in the midst of chaos and war, he couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the astounding beauty of the country. He dreams of going back there some day—but this time as a tourist, not a soldier.
Today, as a franchisee for the brand, Hardin is a proud and successful businessman. Hardin purchased his Togo’s restaurant in Hollister, California back in 2008, and as a veteran, many of the skills he picked up during his time in the army have helped him thrive as the business owner he has become today.
“I think there are quite a few skill sets that are transferrable,” Hardin says. “People who’ve been in the military are generally very hard-working and dedicated to team goals. You learn about that a lot in combat. You not only have to protect yourself, but your fellow soldiers as well,” Hardin said. “That camaraderie applies in the business world, too. A franchisee needs to develop strong leadership within his restaurant. The franchisor has to protect the entire system. Developing leadership skills in people is something I learned in the military. That fits very well into the corporate world.”
Countless other veterans share stories similar to Hardin’s—and it’s not going unnoticed. That is why Togo’s is proud to announce its support for all branches of the armed services by waiving the initial franchise fees for two qualified veterans starting May 29, 2017 through Labor Day.
“We hope this offer will provide a compelling opportunity for a veteran to become the owner of their very own business,” said Glenn Lunde, President of Togo’s. “We value everything our military veterans have done for this country, and respect the vast skills they can bring to our business.”
Today, nearly one in seven franchise businesses is veteran-owned. In the last five years, 5,100 veterans have become business owners, and to date, there are more than 66,000 veteran-owned franchises. Combined, these businesses directly provide jobs for 815,000 Americans, and generate more than $41 Billion in GDP. And in the years to come, these numbers are only expected to grow. That’s because, for many veterans, franchising is a career path that allows them to utilize the skills and traits they picked up while in the military—things like integrity, management and thinking under pressure. And because brands like Togo’s offer incentives, it makes the transition a little easier once they return home and make their next move back into civilian life.
“At Togo’s, we don’t require our franchisee candidates to have restaurant experience. We look for someone who is hard-working, understands the importance of team-building, demonstrates good leadership skills, and is passionate about guest satisfaction,” Lunde added.
Veterans who join Togo’s also have the advantage of becoming part of a brand with a 45-year legacy, a growing fan base, and a track record of success that continues year after year.
“We take a lot of pride in being the West Coast sandwich leader for over 45 years,” Lunde said. “We still have tremendous growth potential, and that’s why we’re seeking qualified candidates to join our franchisee team.”
For Hardin, being a part of Togo’s has given him the chance to spend his days working on something he truly feels passionate about—and he thinks countless other veterans can find that same fulfilling career with Togo’s, too. And thanks to this new incentive, he’s confident that many will finally get the extra assistance they deserve to make the leap into business ownership.
“I can reflect back to when I got out of the military. A lot of veterans aren’t sure what they want to do next. This is the exact opportunity they can use to guide them into the next chapter of their lives,” Hardin added.
To learn how you can qualify for this incentive, click here.