It’s a common theme that military service uniquely prepares people for franchise success, but here at Filta, where we make commercial kitchens faster, greener, safer and cleaner, we have real life success stories nationwide from Delaware to California and back to Georgia.
John Maloney, who owns Filta in Delaware, served in the U.S. Army for eight years. He was stationed in Germany as a medical services lab technician and worked throughout Europe including Dublin, France, Italy and Turkey.
He met his wife at Walter Reed National Medical Center. Sabrina was in the U.S. Navy and the two worked together, John sending samples from the theater home to the armed forces medical center in Dover, Del. for toxicology testing. Sabrina was his point of contact stateside, their paths kept crossing until they made it official, marrying in 2016.
Upon John’s discharge and after feeling restless in civilian medical settings, the Maloney’s explored franchise concepts from sub and sandwich shops to sign shops. Filta resonated because it was a “sticky” business.
“With other franchise concepts you’re always chasing business, looking for the next client,” said Maloney. “But Filta is sticky. We’ve doubled our business in five years because of Filta’s repeat customer model.”
Some of the more recognizable clients the Maloney’s serve in Delaware include corporate campuses like Barclays, Chase and Bank of America, the University of Delaware, several hospitals and even two Chick-fil-A restaurants.
“Owning our own business offers positive work-life balance, especially with three kids. Sabrina’s gone a lot so flexibility with dentist appointments, teacher conferences and activities is a real plus. But she’s always a great sounding board and we use military analogies often to solve our problems,” John said.
“We talk about Commander’s Intent. You might hear ‘go take that hill,’ but then you need to figure out how to do it,” John explained. “We do the same thing here at Filta. I tell my tech to make sure the hospital’s fryer is dumped on Tuesday, but I don’t have to say, ‘drive there at 4 a.m. or park in the loading dock’.”
A 51% owner, Sabrina will soon wrap her 25-year Navy career and the two look forward to merging more of their leadership traits honed from years of military service for Filta’s success.
Arthur Haggerty is one of Filta’s newest owners, signing on with the brand in March 2023 after more than 25 years working in security and information technology operations and 10 years in the U.S. Air Force, where he was an information technology specialist in California, Guam and South Korea.
With a master’s degree in technology, Arthur has worked IT consulting for a variety of industries like healthcare, finance, education, entertainment, defense, and manufacturing. He’s consulted for gigantic names like Kaiser and Blue Cross Blue Shield, Netflix and Redbox, Boeing, the NFL and McDonald’s, but he walked away this spring, looking for something he could manage and own.
“I didn’t want to be at the whim of someone else…I enjoy calling the shots,” Arthur said. “I’m really strong at general consulting and customer interaction. I figured if I can discuss the intricacies of technology, I can definitely discuss fryer oil cleaning.”
Arthur’s biggest account is Yosemite National Park. Since his territory is California’s sprawling Central Valley and Yosemite is technically outside that area, Arthur shares the Yosemite account with the Northern California Filta owner, Tim Whipple. Right now, work at the park requires 25 to 28 hours a week including drive time. Arthur services 22 fryers, ranging from 50- to 100-pounds, in seven Yosemite hotels and restaurants and, when winter comes, he’ll ratchet back to 16 fryers in the Curry Village, Degnan’s Deli, The Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite Valley Lodge and Badger Pass Ski Resort.
Interestingly, the Yosemite business came to Arthur because bears were foraging after smells tempting them from waste oil bins. With Arthur servicing Yosemite, the bears are dining elsewhere now.
Scott Clark, Filta owner in central and eastern Georgia, is also a newer owner starting in June 2021 when he made a whopping $25 in revenue. Not to be deterred, he kept at it, picked up business – including the largest dining halls on the University of Georgia campus and at Sanford Stadium, home of the 2021 and 2022 NCAA National Football Champs – and last year had $265,000+ in revenue. He’s on track to finish 2023 around $290,000, has added technicians, and expects to add a third van by early 2024.
Much of Scott’s business tenacity and success is a direct result of discipline developed as a U.S. Air Force pilot from 1997 to 2006.
He flew C-9A medical transport missions, moving wounded out of harm’s way during wartime. He spent time in Germany and flew Afghanistan and Iraq missions, sleeping in tents in Qatar, coming home for a few days, then turning around and doing it all over again.
“I like that there’s a system,” Scott said. “With Filta there’s a good plan so there’s something to deviate from when things go wrong, because they will. You can’t control things like the weather or other traffic, so having a plan with flexibility really does mirror the military plan.”
His years of combat flying paled in comparison to the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon, Scott says.
“That morning I was to fly a transport mission in Alaska, but the day changed very quickly. I remember being glued to the TV then getting the call that every available C-9 needed to get to D.C. Because I was crew rested and mission ready for Alaska, I was the first C-9 off the ground and the first on the ground in DC.”
Scott was Lt. Col. Del Pinto’s co-pilot and, for Del Pinto, it was very important to be first.
“The controller cleared us direct from Scott A.F.B. to Andrews at any altitude we wanted. Our clearance came down from the top and when we got to D.C. air space, F-16s flew around us. We were there for the wounded but there were none. There were only dead. We did fly one mission with a few wounded out of D.C./Andrews but our C-9 was the only one…everybody else flew home empty.”
“Of all the things I did in the service, 9/11 stands out,” Scott said. “It’s gratifying to me that I had some small part to play.”
Filta makes commercial kitchens faster, cleaner, safer and greener by micro-filtering existing cooking oil, providing bin-free waste oil collection, deep cleaning fryers, and recycling waste oil. Filta offers a $5,000 franchise fee discount to veterans and, in addition to the above persons featured, is proud to have the following other veterans in our franchise system (alphabetically):
- Chris Clarke [Bismarck, N.D. owner: U.S. Army (National Guard and Reserve) 1999-2011];
- David A. Davis [Memphis, Tenn. owner: U.S. Army 1973-75; Member: Wounded Warrior, Paralyzed Veterans, DAV];
- Ben Gofton [Filta senior business development representative: U.S. Army 1986-88];
- James Hamilton [Filta corporate operations manager: U.S. Marine Corps 1997-99];
- John Lopez [Atlanta owner: U.S. Army 1982-87];
- Keith Rivers [Southern Maryland/Northern Virginia owner: Col. (R) U.S. Army 1990-2019; 7 combat tours including Desert Storm and Desert Shield]; and
- James Williamson [greater East Texas owner: U.S. Army 1988-92 including Desert Storm].