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DALLAS — 7-Eleven Inc. is seeing strong enlistment in "Operation: Take Command," its first franchise giveaway that is targeted exclusively to U.S. military veterans. More than 1,200 veterans have already completed the contest application, exceeding company expectations for the first-time promotion.
The giveaway winner will receive a waiver of the franchise fee, valued at up to $190,000, to franchise any of the company's 7-Eleven convenience stores available in the continental United States at the end of the contest. Veterans who are first-time 7-Eleven applicants can enter online until Jan. 25. The winner will be announced in April.
"Response to Operation: Take Command has been enthusiastic across the country," said Greg Franks, 7-Eleven's vice president of franchise systems. "But especially so in states that have a large military presence like Texas, California, Florida and Virginia. Not only have we received a high number of applications, but also high-caliber candidates that I think will/would make great franchisees for 7-Eleven. From our veterans, I would expect nothing less."
Along with military experience, many veterans who applied have bachelor's and graduate degrees, along with business, retail and management skills, according to the announcement.
"We have already had veterans who are so enthusiastic to start their own business, they don't want to even wait to see whether they win," Franks said. "They are already going through the 7-Eleven franchising process to select and open a store. And in the true military tradition of selfless service, some have said they want to give up their chance at winning to a vet who might need the franchise fee waiver more than themselves."
Operation: Take Command is a multiphased competition that includes meeting 7-Eleven's franchising qualifications, interviews, a Facebook video contest among 10 preliminary finalists, and an interview with 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto for three finalists.
To qualify for entry to the giveaway, an entrant must be at least 21 or older, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, an honorably discharged veteran, have excellent credit and at least three years of leadership, retail or restaurant experience. Contestants will undergo the same qualifications process as all 7-Eleven franchise applicants, which includes interviews, credit evaluation, a leadership test, preparing a business plan and budget, and location preferences.
7-Eleven Inc. was named a 2014-2015 "Best for Vets" franchise by Military Times, a Top 100 Military-Friendly Employer by G.I. Jobs, one of U.S. Veterans Magazine Top 100 Veteran-Friendly Companies, and MVE (Most Valuable Employer) by civilianjobs.com.