Meet Our Franchisees: Brian and Barry Katz
Brothers Brian and Barry Katz are combining their professional expertise to bring a new business to the New Orleans area. On October 26, the duo will open the state’s first franchise of The Cleaning Authority.
Brian has spent his career as a chef in some of the best restaurants in New Orleans, including many years working at several of Emeril Lagasse’s area eateries. Barry has worked as a CPA in New York for decades. Together, they will utilize Brian’s experience in the service industry with Barry’s financial background to bring this environmentally conscious cleaning service to New Orleans.
The two plan to gradually expand their service coverage throughout the area, providing a top of the line residential cleaning service to a thriving community.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
We grew up on Long Island in New York.
Brian: I fled the cold winters of the east coast and moved to San Diego to study cognitive science and comparative literature at UCSD. While I was in both high school and college, I had jobs cooking at restaurants. So after I graduated from college, I decided to move to New Orleans to pursue a career as a chef. I had the opportunity to work for some great New Orleans chefs, including Emeril. In 1997, I moved to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, where I had my own restaurant for seven years. I then went on to take a position as the executive chef and director of restaurants for a brand new resort with four full-service restaurants and many more quick service options. I moved back to New Orleans at the beginning of 2009 and have worked as the director of operations for a local restaurant group. When I started, they had four restaurants in town, and by the time I left, they had ten. While I loved that job working in operations, I found myself in front of a computer a lot. I enjoy the service industry and working with people, so seven months ago, I left that position to open The Cleaning Authority with my brother.
Barry: I stayed in New York after high school and studied accounting at the City University of New York. I have spent my career working as a CPA in the Manhattan area, but I was at a point in my career that I was just tired of being a CPA. I noticed that the people making money and enjoying life owned their own businesses and a lot of my successful clients were in business with their family. We decided that combining Brian’s experience in the service industry with my finance background was a good mix of skills to open a business, so we began looking into concepts that would complement our expertise.
Why did you choose to become a franchisee with The Cleaning Authority? How did you learn about the brand?
Brian: We began working with a franchise consultant who showed us 30 different brands to consider. We narrowed our options down to ten concepts and then to three. Our final three were a tree cutting service, a salon concept and The Cleaning Authority. The Cleaning Authority‘s commitment to the environment and employee wellbeing, in addition to the fact that they don’t just provide a much-needed service, but they do it really well, cemented our decision to join the franchise system.
Barry: To me, The Cleaning Authority just seemed like a reputable company. They are established, but there is still room to grow, they have great systems in place and they know what they’re doing. This brand seemed like the best return on investment in terms of lifestyle and finances, and the business is repeating in nature.
What were your perceptions of franchising before starting the process?
The sales manager at The Cleaning Authority said, “You own your own business but you’re not in business on your own,” and that made a lot of sense to us.
Tell us about your family, and any hobbies or activities you take part in within your local community.
Brian: I have two boys, ages 10 and 13. I coach their youth baseball league and enjoy kayaking.
Barry: I have one daughter who is 23 and is attending Columbia in New York for graduate school.