The military prepares its soldiers for all walks of life, and no matter what direction they choose to go, their training will always be there to support them. For Anthony Maquinalez, an Infantry Officer turned franchisee, it was his training in management and leadership that has led him to become a successful Which Wich multi-unit franchisee.
Maquinalez is a determined and disciplined franchisee with big goals in sight. He currently owns seven Which Wich locations in central Texas and is looking to grow to become the largest Which Wich franchisee in the country.
1851 spoke to Maquinalez to learn more about his decision to pursue business ownership through franchising.
1851: Why did you decide to join the military?
Maquinalez: Serving in the military was always something that I wanted to do. It was kind of a childhood dream of mine to be a soldier. So first, I joined the Army ROTC out of Texas State University while attending school there. Then, I received my commission into the Army infantry branch the day following graduation. And that’s what I still do now in the National Guard — I’m an Infantry Officer.
1851: What was the most valuable thing your military experience taught you?
Maquinalez: The overall management structure that the military provides. It teaches you essentially how to manage a large number of people. For example, managing by delegating tasks and managing through an infrastructure of lower level management that you would essentially oversee. Because of this, it’s been very easy for us to transition into seven locations.
1851: How did your military service prepare you for franchising?
Maquinalez: My service in the military gave me the confidence at a young age to lead soldiers on a battlefield. So, once I transitioned into franchising, it was very easy for me to take on my new role of leading employees at a company.
1851: What is it about Which Wich that attracted you to the brand?
Maquinalez: I knew I wanted to be in business, but I was young and didn’t have a lot of business experience. So, franchising seemed like a good fit for me. And I really wanted to be a part of a brand that I believed in. In college, I was first introduced to Which Wich — there was a location on my campus which I actually recently bought! My (now) wife and I would go there in between classes and we always enjoyed our experience there, so it’s pretty cool that the first Which Wich experience that I had, I now own the location. Overall, I knew that I wanted to go into a franchise that had a good product that I believed in.
1851: What advice would you give to veterans who are looking to get into franchising?
Maquinalez: That’s a tough one! I guess the advice I’d give to other veterans would be to rely on the personal management training that you were taught in the military. I would say it has never steered me wrong. Also, don’t be intimidated if you don’t have prior business training because the level of leadership that the military gives to its soldiers is very top notch compared to what an average corporate structure would give. If you want to sum it up, just make sure to treat your employee how you’d treat your soldiers and everything else will take care of itself.
1851: What does franchising mean to you?
Maquinalez: What franchising has meant to me is support. I’m an operations and a structure guy. So, having the support of a franchise marketing team, business consultants and operations departments to fall back on has been truly instrumental and well worth any royalty we pay because it allows me to focus more on my business. Overall, having a solid support team is truly instrumental to the growth experience that we’ve had.
1851: What would you like to achieve in franchising within the next 5 years? In 10?
Maquinalez: Our franchise growth goal within the next 5 years is to be the largest Which Wich multi-unit franchisee in the country. So far, at the rate we’ve been growing, we should reach that goal in three years, so we’re right on track.