By Peter Saunders
Patrice & Associates, a U.S.-based franchise system that recruits managers and supervisors for restaurants, hotels and related hospitality businesses, has introduced itself to the Canadian market with a new regional development effort centred in Niagara Falls, Ont.
“We were looking for a new opportunity,” says Ross Horton, who shares development duties with his wife, Karen. “We worked with a broker who introduced us to this concept. It’s well-established and is at an intersection of stable and recession-resilient industries. Staffing needs for hotels and restaurants are continually growing.”
At the time, the Hortons were living in Greater Vancouver. They visited the franchisor for two weeks of training before relocating to Niagara Falls, where the hospitality industry is booming from tourism. They soft-launched their first office in May 2017, followed by a grand opening and reception in September.
The franchisor provides a central database of both clients and job candidates, but franchisees must also develop their own local client base to ensure long-term success. The Hortons’ territory covers Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces.
“It’s not the typical franchise model,” Ross explains. “Our territory is where only we can actively source work through marketing and cold-calling, but we can also ‘virtually’ help bring people on-board for jobs all across North America.”
As such, Patrice & Associates often works with other franchise systems, such as Mr. Mikes SteakhouseCasual, Five Guys and Pizza Hut. It can also branch out beyond restaurants and hotels.
“We’ve even lined up salespeople for FastSigns International franchises,” says Ross.
At press time, the Hortons were training their first Canadian franchisee, Mike MacKay of Guelph, Ont.
“We’re ready to expand across our region as we find the right people,” says Ross. “There’s a lot of immediate potential.”