Patrice & Associates
Miller discusses the advantages of franchising with Patrice & Associates and why now is the time to invest in hospitality executive search and recruitment.
Patrice & Associates is the largest hospitality recruiting franchise in North America, offering potential franchisees a recognizable brand in a booming industry, a 30 year history of providing quality service to clients and built in customers from day one.
Brian Miller, CEO of Patrice & Associates, sat down with 1851 Franchise to discuss the advantages of franchising with Patrice & Associates, the company's core values, the importance of communication and culture in franchising and why Patrice and Associates is the right franchise to be in now.
1851: What do you do at Patrice & Associates and how do you do it?
Miller: We are a large hospitality and food and beverage recruiting firm. We recruit for a range of positions, from culinary roles to executive suites in hospitality and food and beverage organizations all over the world. Our company was founded about 30 years ago by Patrice Rice because, at that time, there wasn't really any clear front runner that specialized in recruiting for the hospitality and the food and beverage industry. Over the last five years, we've seen exponential growth and have even launched an executive search division. We're also expanding into other markets outside of hospitality due to the economic climate and labor shortage.
1851: Many people making the leap to franchising are those who've seen instability in their jobs and are seeking something different. From a recruiting standpoint, you're assisting people and brands during these turbulent times. Is this a good storm for a company like yours to ride through?
Miller: The labor pool is becoming tighter, a situation exacerbated by the declining birth rate in North America and the departure of many Baby Boomers from the workforce during the pandemic. This has created a situation where there are two jobs for every person. From the franchise side, we saw people displaced during the pandemic join us at Patrice & Associates. We offer people the flexibility they seek in their careers. It's a home-based business tapping into one of the fastest-growing industries — recruitment. Even with the fluctuating economy, the tight labor market means companies will have to rely on good relationships with recruiting firms to find the right talent. As a recruiting firm, we go out and find people that are not responding to the company's internet ads, so it's kind of the “Best of Both Worlds” because we have this great opportunity that is a virtual-based opportunity and at the same time we're in a sector that is very much going to be in demand.
1851: As a business with deep experience in recruitment, do you feel that your skills in finding candidates for employers cross-apply to your approach in franchising? Is that part of your advantage?
Miller: Part of our brand's strength is showing people the possibilities and what their life could look like as a franchisee of Patrice & Associates. A lot of the same reasons people are disillusioned with corporate America are the same issues that candidates have. We understand these challenges from working with candidates. For some people, it is right to stay in the job market, but for others who want more flexibility and to be part of a growing and in-demand business, our franchise model is a great fit.
We also operate our business on a set of core values — respect, excellence, service and teamwork. These are the guidelines that we follow when working with candidates, companies and franchisees. It resonates well with potential franchisees who feel they weren't treated well or didn't have the opportunities they deserved in corporate America. We operate our business on these guidelines of treating people with dignity and respect, while always striving for excellence.
1851: Speaking of your last core value, teamwork, did this philosophy help you stand out and maintain your culture during the COVID-19 pandemic when so many businesses struggled to find their footing?
Miller: Although the pandemic greatly affected the hospitality industry and changed our dynamics almost daily, we adapted quickly. We introduced a Monday morning motivational presentation where all franchisees would get together virtually at the start of the week. We discussed what was working within their businesses and provided coaching and advice. This collaborative approach kept the team motivated and allowed us to navigate the choppy waters successfully. It also created an environment where experienced franchisees would help new ones, reinforcing the teamwork aspect of our core values. That is one of the things I am most proud of with our brand.
The teamwork part of our core values truly manifested itself during the pandemic. We all rallied together as a team, shared success stories and built each other up. Despite the workload of pulling together unique content once a week for almost a year, this collaboration was crucial. It kept people active, engaged and motivated.
1851: Are you able to leverage those lessons you’ve learned when working with clients?
Miller: A common fallacy that many companies believe is that everyone wants to work for them. But in reality, they are competing for the best talent, especially in the midst of the "war on talent" we're experiencing right now. It's a struggle to find people, so it is crucial for these companies to be able to describe their culture in an enticing way that gets someone excited about wanting to work there. Money is important, but it's not the only factor, especially for Millennials who prioritize a positive company culture or environment. We coach these companies on selling themselves effectively and cultivating a culture that enhances employee retention.
1851: The same "war on talent" scenario applies to franchising as well. The key to attracting and retaining the right franchisee talent lies in aligning the opportunity with the candidate's passion. Do you agree?
Miller: For sure. We focus on communicating our core values to franchise candidates. One of the primary things that I talked to franchise candidates about is the core values of our company. Sure, we talk about what makes Patrice & Associates unique and different — it's a home-based business and we have corporate and national accounts that franchisees can work on from day one. So there is a lot of great sizzle, but the aspect that resonates most with people is the culture and core values of our company because most franchisors are just trying to sell their brand. If they are going to join our organization, they need to be in alignment with our values.
We just ask potential franchisees to go through the discovery process. If they determine that the business isn't for them, that's OK. The main aim is to ensure that they're making an informed decision. By taking the pressure off of them, we ensure they feel we genuinely want the best match for them, just as they do for us. The way I work with the franchisees and how the franchisees work with each other is influenced by our core values. The franchisees embrace these values and hold each other accountable.
1851: Celebrating core values seems to be a gap in many franchise businesses, where these values aren't highlighted in the company's positioning or storytelling. Would you agree that this aspect needs more attention?
Miller: I had an interview with a franchise candidate who was tired of the politics of corporate America, and when we got to our core values and shared testimonials with customers, I could tell it was really resonating. Our core values not only guide us but also define who we are as a company. We want them to be more than just words on a website or a poster in an office. These are core values our franchisees are living everyday, and they are excited because at the end of the day, this business is about being part of an organization that helps change people’s lives. Maybe we can give candidates a better career work-life balance or better work benefits, but we can really make a difference. That is the common thread throughout the whole organization, and it really resonates with franchisees.
1851: Does that core value of respect play an equally important role in signing franchisees?
Miller: It is similar. Of course, there are some differences in terms of the arrangement you’re in with a franchise owner. But respect is about treating people with dignity. It doesn't necessarily mean that you always agree on everything. Companies have to adapt to that kind of culture and if someone is not a good fit, you have to work through that in a professional and caring way. Companies are hiring and firing, that is why staffing agencies exist, but how you go about those things says a lot about the character of your company.
When it comes to a franchise candidate, it's important from the very beginning to establish how we work and how we can work together to achieve your goals. We have to make sure we are the right fit for each other. That is why we call it an awards process rather than a sales process. We’re making a mutual decision.
When a franchise candidate asks what it takes to be successful in this business, I tell them number one, they need to be willing to follow the system. Number two, you have to be proactive. You’re the CEO of your own business. You have to act that way. Third, you have to have a heart for people because we are changing lives. These factors help us determine if someone will be a right fit for our franchise.
1851: How do you advise companies to approach the long-term when they're looking for someone that can impact their business?
Miller: People have different expectations about what they want out of a job or a career today. What I consider long-term loyalty and what I have done in my career may not be the same thing that somebody else would be interested in. Millennials view things differently than Baby Boomers. Today, people are willing to spend around three to five years with a company until they want to find something different. One of the biggest reasons people quit is because they don’t see a career path with their current companies. So, the best thing a company can do is to really talk about the culture of the organization and outline a career path for each candidate. Show them why they should be excited about joining the team. That is also why it is so important to listen to the candidate and really think about how you can help them in their career and help them reach their goals. If they feel as though they have a seat, they are more likely to stick around.
This is also true of franchising. A franchisor needs to make the right decision on the organization as a whole, but they also need to listen to franchisees. That is why we spend a lot of time calling franchisees, asking questions and listening to their opinions and challenges. Communication in franchising is absolutely important, just like a marriage, a friendship or any partnership.
1851: What is the “Why You/Why Now?” of the Patrice & Associates franchise?
Miller: The world is changing and the economy is changing. The war on talent is here. Companies will continue to struggle with labor, which is why they need a partner like Patrice & Associates, and the need for the services we offer will continue to stay strong.
From there, it is our culture and our core values. We do something almost no franchisors do — we provide customers to franchisees. We have corporate accounts with open jobs franchisees can work and we have other franchisees who have signed large accounts and opened jobs up for new owners. Our franchisees have clients from day one. That, along with our training and support programs that are a hallmark of our brand, are compelling reasons to join.
Overall, it is the right niche to be in right now, and we are the right franchise because of our support and the assistance in ramp up we provide our franchisees.
The total investment necessary to invest in a Patrice & Associates franchise is $90,050 to $92,750. This includes $82,000 that must be paid to the franchisor or affiliate. For more information, visit: https://patriceandassociatesfranchising.com/