First Franchise Promotes McClure; Raises Lending Amount for QSR Franchisees

March 16, 2023 First Franchise Capital

Originally published in Restaurant Finance Monitor, Volume 34, Number 3.

Finance executive Jon McClure was recently promoted to Director of Franchise Lending for QSR lender First Franchise Capital, a First Financial Bank company.

McClure joined First Franchise Capital in 2015 and has worked in the QSR lending industry since 1992, instrumental in the growth and development of the organization’s portfolio, the company reports in a release. In his new role, he will be responsible for expanding the QSR franchise relationship team while continuing to focus on growth and excellent customer service.

“Jon’s deep industry knowledge, commitment to the industry and charismatic personality make him ideal for this position,” says Rick Dennen, CEO of First Franchise Capital.

“If you really want to know what gets me up in the morning,” McClure tells the Monitor, “I love helping these folks achieve their dreams. Entrepreneurs march to the beat of their own drummer—they are so optimistic. And I get to work with all walks of life, from the three-unit Jimmy John’s operator to the 300-unit Wendy’s operator.”

Indeed, that’s one of the changes McClure wants to communicate to the restaurant industry: More recently, First Franchise has been expanding the deal amount they will lend to operators.

“We were perceived as a smaller-ticket lender, and we were. We were predominately focused on smaller operators,” he reports. “But we’ve changed.” And they have the backing of First Financial Bank, which has $17 billion in assets, to do so.

McClure cites their deal size: $4 million to $12 million, “and we are actively seeking participations and syndications; we can hold up to $30 million.”

Changing their philosophy and focus that meets the needs of the 15- to 300-unit operator, they can go lower than that $4 million, “but we really are looking to do larger transactions,” he says.

First Franchise differentiates itself by McClure and his team having access to the decision makers on credit, which speeds up the approval process. And they aren’t “rigid” on their structures, “customizing a financing solution for the operator,” he says.

McClure has a 30-year history in franchise finance, recalling for the Monitor an internship with AT&T Capital where he called on Hardee’s franchisees for equipment leasing, which launched his franchise finance experience. His tenure includes franchise finance executive positions with companies such as Atherton Franchise Capital, Textron Franchise Capital, NFA Restaurant Finance and others.

At First Franchise, “they created this position for me to build a team,” he says. “We are actively hiring folks who have my experience and skill set. There aren’t a lot of people who have been doing this as long as I have. And, we are looking for some junior people who have a passion for the industry.”

McClure’s passion is the relationships. “I feel like treating franchisees with respect and recognizing their journey has helped in my success over the years,” he says, adding that he’s been invited to customers’ houses for Thanksgiving and been invited to their childrens’ weddings.

“I’m a company person, but I’m a big client advocate, too. I like to work with the bank and the franchisee to tailor something to their needs.” For more information, contact him at 317-428-3835, or at

About First Franchise Capital
First Franchise Capital customized financial solutions for multi-unit QSR franchisees of best-in-class concepts nationwide.

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Media Contact:
Rae Hostetler
Hostetler Public Relations
Representing First Franchise Capital

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