Reaching 100 Franchise Units in Seven Years

How the First Female Captain of the Chesapeake Bay Grew the Largest Hospitality Recruiting Franchise

 

I’m the founder and CEO of Patrice & Associates, a national recruiting franchise that specializes in the hospitality sector with more than 500 national clients. My company is the gold standard in restaurant recruiting, but getting to this point was no easy feat. I have a pretty unique resume – I was a hotel sales manager, the first woman captain on the Chesapeake, a restaurant owner and caterer, door-to-door manicurist, author of a book and even operated my own pet store raising puppies, parrots and monkeys. My journey hasn’t been all roses and sunshine, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

How was that, Honey?

 

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and started being the driver of my career when I began chartering my 34-foot boat as part of an investment tax program. I introduced the idea of chartering boats to others in the community and soon enough, I was running a fleet of 26 chartered power boats, Chesapeake Cruising, giving local tours and eventually became the first woman captain on the Chesapeake Bay. Men at the marinas would make it challenging for me – giving me the most difficult spot to back into and calling me “honey.” I’d show them up and back into the spot perfectly, hollering back, “How was that, honey?”

In addition to smaller charters, I began running a larger corporate charter and launched corporate entertaining on luxury yachts in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. This expanded my business into managing events and catering, and I soon purchased a struggling marina restaurant to offer a catering service specializing in the yachting industry.

 

The Accidental Fax that Opened My Next Chapter

 

When owning charters was no longer turning the profit I desired, I looked to a recruiting firm to help place me and instead they hired me to recruit for them. I used to send faxes between job seekers and companies. One day I accidentally came across a fax noting the several thousand dollars one client paid per recruit. This discovery changed the entire course of my career and led me to start my own talent acquisition firm. There was huge growth potential for national hospitality and restaurant recruitment and I was ready to capture it. As a result, I founded Patrice & Associates in 1989.

 

I Realized I was Giving Away a Business on A Silver Platter

 

At one point, I had grown Patrice & Associates to more than 40 recruiters nationwide who all worked from home. But as time went on and recruiters came and went, I realized I was giving away an instant business on a silver platter when I was training people for free hoping they made money. In addition, the recruiters weren’t engaged or invested in the future of Patrice & Associates and I knew I wasn’t attracting the right people. I needed more business-minded people who wanted two things – to own something and to make more money. Once I realized this, I decided to franchise my business. To make it happen, I had to refinance my house, take out a line of credit, and even fly to Chicago to hire a company to put all the pieces in order. We launched the franchise offering in 2010.

 

The Path to 100 Franchises

 

The 100-unit franchise milestone is a feat that few franchises surprisingly achieve – less than 20 percent of franchises reach that plateau. In the past 10 years alone, fewer than 90 franchises have exceeded 100 units, with 75 percent of them failing between 50-100 units.

Shortly after I began franchising, I hit a point with Patrice & Associates when I wondered if the business would ever get to the next level. The franchise system was growing and sales were increasing, but not at the rate I had anticipated. Though skeptical at first, I decided to hire an outside consultant to help me overcome this road block. That choice was one of the biggest wins for Patrice & Associates.

I hired a business coach, Brian Miller, an industry veteran with 25 years in franchising and 16 years at a leading full-service staffing and recruiting industry franchisor. He took a look at our franchise system and realized the business had been growing with the wrong type of franchisees. I was bringing on people with careers in hotel or restaurant management. And, while we have franchisees with these backgrounds who are successful, he reminded me that the core of recruiting is sales. We quickly altered our ideal franchise candidate and the business took off.

After realizing what we could achieve together, I decided to entice Brian to join Patrice & Associates. The problem: other companies were offering him very high six-figure salaries and, at the time, I couldn’t afford that. By this time I had recruited for more than two decades, but the process of recruiting Brian was almost unbelievable. I had to make him see my dream and show him everything we could accomplish together. I had to prove to him what he could be at Patrice & Associates was better than what the bigger brands were offering him. I worked every bit of magic I could to bring him on and it worked. Since Brian joined Patrice & Associates as our COO and partner, the company has completely changed. He brings a different perspective to the business and transforms the way we think and operate.

 

Reaching 100 Franchise Units in Seven Years

 

The past few years have been a whirlwind. We tripled our revenue in 2016 and awarded a record number of single-unit franchise agreements as well as more than a dozen regional developer contracts. In the first half of 2017, we surpassed the 100-unit franchise milestone and also signed our first Regional Developer in Canada. We expect to award 60 new franchise agreements by the end of the year and have a total of 350-400 franchises in the next five years.

As an entrepreneur, you can’t be afraid to forge ahead when times get challenging. You’re the one driving your dream, and you need to do whatever it takes to make it a reality. Don’t give up.

 

This article was  featured in Enterprising Women – Spotlight.  You can also view this article here on Patrice’s LinkedIn page.

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What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • And I couldn’t have done it without R. Whitney Davis

    I needed to make a change in my life. I was stuck in a series of jobs that weren’t satisfying monetarily or weren’t moving me forward in my chosen career. I could get a new job. I could even find one that paid me slightly more, but it would be more of the same monotonous job I was doing and eventually I’d be unsatisfied, looking for something else.

    I needed a new path, a new direction, but how could I take my skill set and go places I’d never been before? That’s when the recruiter at Patrice and Associates, R. Whitney Davis stepped in. He helped me to see I could use my skills in a related, but altogether different job that would not only challenge me professionally as I would be entering an entirely new field, but would be a considerable pay bump.

    To begin with, thanks to his guidance, I could see I was not presenting myself and my talents at their best in the previous interviews, not just now, but my entire working life.  And I’d always felt I had no problem getting jobs I wanted!  Following his advice, I could instantly see the difference in my interview technique and how the people interviewing me were reacting far more positively than they had been in the past. I was even seeing my own skills in a different way than I ever had.  And I notice how I could now apply jobs I never thought I was qualified for, much less even considered trying to attain.

    As a direct result of his help, I acquired a new and challenging job that charts new paths for me professionally and the salary bump is sizable. I am so thrilled and excited about my new job. It literally is going to change my life in such positive ways.

    And the relationship doesn’t end there as they are keeping track of my path and advising me as I continue to grow, helping me to move along even further.   I can’t encourage job seekers enough to enlist the aid of Patrice and Associates. They’ll help to open doors you didn’t even know were closed to you.

       

    Thanks!

    Anthony D. Langford

    And I couldn’t have done it without R. Whitney Davis
  • Scott Meyer puts his heart into finding people jobs

    Hello, my name is Scott W. and I would like to tell anyone who will listen about Scott Meyer.  He doesn’t treat you like a paycheck, he treats you like a friend.  Anyone out there looking for work get Scott Meyer is on your side!  He listens to what you say and puts his heart into it.                   Thank You So Much! Scott W. Scott Meyer puts his heart into finding people jobs
  • Darryl Jackson did not leave my side!

    When I finally decided to leave my last endeavor and move on to a better opportunity, I trusted Darryl Jackson with helping me find the best fit career for my future! Darryl not only would lend a listening ear, he also gave encouraging advice because he listened! The follow up after each interview gave me high hopes! When I got the call for an offer, he was the first person I called! He was just as excited as I was and I appreciate everything he has done thus far!         Warm Regards, Darling Mack Darryl Jackson did not leave my side!
  • Patricia got me the interview within one day and a job offer with career growth in a week and a half.

    It is my honor and pleasure to write this letter of recommendation for Patrice & Associates' Executive Recruiter, Patrica Mayorca. I am so grateful for the way Patrica Mayorca  gave me the courage to dream again (even during a pandemic) and helped me put my career goals back on track and get my professional life back in order. When I came in contact with Patricia Mayorca, through a website connection; I wasn't seeking a new job; but was grateful to even have a job during this pandemic.  But, what a great chance meeting and opportunity; it was that Patricia shared with me.  Patricia was there to assist with my resume and find my best avenue to move forward with this opportunity. I am now excited about this next step in my career and have Patricia Mayorca entirely to thank.  Therefore, I recommend Patrice & Associates' Executive Recruiter, Patricia Mayorca wholeheartedly for anyone who is seeking help finding their own career path.                   Sincerely, Lauren Watkins Patricia got me the interview within one day and a job offer with career growth in a week and a half
  • I greatly appreciate all the outstanding service that Gary Tietz provided.
    I am looking  forward to starting my new job soon.  I would like to thank Gary Tietz for his help on my search for employment.  He made the process simple and provided me with outstanding service.  I am very happy to be employed by a great company in such a short period of time.  I personally had been searching for a very long time, with no luck on finding a job.  Gary’s dedication and efforts made this process simple, helpful and fast for me.  I highly recommend his recruiting service for anyone that is needing help in finding employment.  I am looking forward to starting my new job in a week, thank you!
    Sincerely,
    Shahid Channan
    I greatly appreciate all the outstanding service that Gary Tietz provided.