Texas-based CiCi's Pizza announced today it was ranked in the top 10 percent of all franchises nationwide and named a 2012 "Military Friendly Franchise" by G.I. Jobs magazine.

The company was recognized for its CiCi's Patriot Program, created specifically to benefit U.S. veterans. Through the CiCi's Patriot Program, CiCi's will waive its franchise fee for the first restaurant and offer a 50 percent royalty fee reduction for the first full year in operation for all qualified, honorably discharged U.S. veterans. This totals to an approximate savings of $58,000.

The program was first introduced in February.

"We are honored to be named a Military Friendly Franchise by G.I. Jobs and hope we can help even more veterans seeking a path to business ownership," said Bill Spae, chief operating officer at CiCi's Pizza. "At CiCi's, we are very thankful to the brave soldiers who put their lives at risk and sacrificed so much to serve and protect our country. We created the CiCi's Patriot Program to express gratitude and deepen our brand's commitment to veterans."

Veterans enrolled in the CiCi's Patriot Program are required to hire a manager who is also an honorably discharged veteran in an effort to create more jobs for the veteran community. Additionally, CiCi's Pizza will support the veteran franchisee to obtain his or her Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) designation through the International Franchise Association (IFA).

CiCi's has also agreed to support Sprigster's "Boost a Hero" program, the nation's only crowdfunding platform focused exclusively on franchising, to further help veterans raise the necessary capital needed to gain business ownership.

"The Military Friendly Franchises list was created three years ago out of demand from military veterans, many of whom want to start or own their own business but are unclear where to begin," said Sean Collins, director for G.I. Jobs. "Being selected as a Military Friendly Franchise places CiCi's Pizza in this elite group, and is testimony to CiCi's world-class programs and policies that support military veterans interested in franchise opportunities."

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