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A Seasoned Chef Turned Entrepreneur Continues to Improve the Restaurant Industry, Now as a Franchisee with Patrice & Associates

Forgie, the veteran chef of 25 years, knows the challenges of staffing in the restaurant industry and is dedicated to mitigating the issue with his new recruiting franchise.

By Erica InmanStaff Writer
8:08AM 02/20/24

Glenn Forgie, a seasoned chef of 25 years with an additional decade of experience in the hospitality industry, has worked in an array of restaurants, from fine dining to high-end casual concepts. This culinary maestro has decided to tune into his entrepreneurial desires and become a business owner with Patrice & Associates, the 175+ unit recruiting franchise that specializes in the hospitality industry.

Being a chef can be very physically demanding, which led Forgie to seek new opportunities. As someone who has spent so much time working in the industry, both as chef and general manager of various establishments, Forgie has seen the evolving challenges, many brought on by COVID, and the scarcity of skilled professionals in the industry. 

When he connected with a recruiter at Patrice & Associates himself, in search of a general manager role, she suggested he consider recruiting. While this wasn’t Forgie’s initial plan, he quickly saw the value in this suggestion and decided to make the leap as a franchisee. 

“The recruiter that I was talking to suggested that I should just work for myself and help recruit for restaurants,” he said. “All of a sudden I realized that would be a great fit for me. There’s a huge need for this in the restaurant industry.”

1851 Franchise spoke with Forgie about his journey into franchising and his plans for the future.


1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

Forgie: I worked for 35 years in hospitality, primarily in restaurants and hotels. I am a chef by trade, but every single restaurant I went to, I became the chef and then the general manager after a short time. I have a wide range of experience in the hospitality industry, from fine dining to high-end casual concepts.

I studied in California and started out there in restaurants as a cook, but eventually migrated to the west side of Michigan. 

I found that 25 years as a chef can be demanding physically, so I needed a change. The landscape of the industry is a little different after COVID as well; I knew how hard it is now to find people to hire. I wasn’t necessarily thinking about going into recruiting, but I knew this was the second highest challenge behind food costs increasing. I was considering roles such as a general manager or a similar position. 

I ended up calling Patrice & Associates and, after about 15 minutes, the recruiter that I was talking to suggested that I should just work for myself and help recruit for restaurants. All of a sudden I realized that would be a great fit for me. There’s a huge need for this in the restaurant industry.

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee, and what do you want people to know about franchising now that you are in it?

Forgie: I was always concerned that a lot of the companies were just trying to pass costs off onto the franchisees. Some corporate chains have their corporate offices and almost a hundred percent of the business is franchising, but the franchisees have to take the brunt of the labor costs increasing and the food cost increasing.

When I found Patrice & Associates, I felt like the model was completely different. I am a franchisee and I pay some money to the franchisor, but not loads. The overhead is very low and I think it gives us a great opportunity to be able to make some money on our own hard work. 

1851: What made you pick this brand? What excites you most about this company?

Forgie: My expertise is within hospitality and the industry has a high demand for this service. The model works out great for franchisees, and if the franchisees do well, so does the franchisor, so it’s a really good system. 

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? What are your plans for growth? 

Forgie: I do want to grow, and I will hire recruiters underneath me once I get going. I want a nice, profitable business that doesn't require a 90-hour work week, which is where I come from. 

Ideally, I’d like to get connected to the community and help people with their needs. My goal is to become integrated pretty deeply into Novi in Northville and Farmington with the local businesses while providing help for anybody that needs it. Being a mentor to others in the restaurant industry is important to me too. 

1851: What is the one thing about your story you want us to know?

Forgie: I’ve been there. I understand what they’re going through, which should help me help them with their staffing needs.

1851: What advice do you have for other people thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

Forgie: Take the plunge. It’s scary, but dive into it. 

About Patrice & Associates:

Patrice & Associates is a recruiting franchise that helps thousands of managerial and executive level candidates every year find rewarding jobs in the hospitality industry and beyond. With strong brand recognition, a flexible business model and a growing footprint, Patrice & Associates has established itself as a leading franchise opportunity in the staffing industry.

Today, with over 175 units in the U.S. and Canada, Patrice & Associates is the largest hospitality executive search firm in the country.