We invited franchise brands across the country to fill out a rigorous survey, including more than 100 questions, about their companies as well as their accommodations for military service members and veterans.
The rankings were created based on answers provided to questions about company culture, the performance of franchise units, the costs associated with franchising, and financial and other support offered to current and former service members and their families.
We also considered information in franchise disclosure documents provided by the companies. Unless otherwise noted, data on initial investment and royalty costs, as well as overall continuity and growth rates, comes from franchise disclosure documents.
All other chart information, including veteran-specific continuity and growth rates, comes from company survey responses, unless otherwise noted.
Not everything listed in the chart was considered in developing the rankings, and many items not listed were considered.
Industry categories are according to CareerBuilder.com.
3-year continuity rate shows the franchise units open at the end of the 2015 as a percentage of the units open at the end of 2012, plus the units that began operating in 2013, 2014 and 2015, unless otherwise noted. While franchises can cease operations for reasons other than business failure, lower percentages may be a cause for concern.
3-year growth rate shows the percentage increase or decrease in the number of franchises between the end of 2012 and the end of 2015, unless otherwise noted.
Initial investment shows the range of the total investment, including initial franchise fees and other startup costs, that franchisees typically must pay. This amount can vary depending on type and number of franchises, as well as other factors.
Startup cost discount shows the dollar amount or percentage that startup costs other than the initial franchise fee are discounted. "No fee" means companies indicated no franchisees must pay this cost, regardless of veteran status.
Royalty discount shows the dollar amount or percentage that royalties, or similar ongoing fees paid to franchise brands, are discounted for veterans. Dashes indicate that companies told us they have these costs but there is no veteran discount; "no fee" means no franchisees must pay this type of cost, regardless of veteran status; "no data" means a company indicated it had such a discount but did not provide adequate explanation.
Reservist help shows the assistance that franchise brands provide to members of the National Guard or reserves who are called to active duty.