CarePatrol Franchise Review: Q&A with Mike Awadalla
A former restaurant owner explains why joining the CarePatrol franchise is “the best thing I’ve ever done for myself”
When Mike Awadalla put off his education in the sciences, he always dreamed he would go back to it. After spending 20 years as an owner of multiple restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area, he was forced to learn about the science of aging when his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Instead of watching his father struggle, he decided to become an expert and became so inspired that he began researching ways to help other seniors.
Awadalla discovered CarePatrol in 2015, and hit the ground running. His business in Walnut Creek, California, has helped hundreds of families find the right care for their aging loved ones. Awadalla credits CarePatrol for helping him find a new career that is so personally and financially rewarding that he calls it “the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.”
This is his story:
What were you doing before joining CarePatrol, and what attracted you to our brand?
Awadalla: I owned three restaurants in San Francisco for about 20 years. In 2015, I made the decision that I needed to spend time with my elderly parents. I also have five children, so I was kind of squeezed between taking care of my children and taking care of my parents. My father has Alzheimer’s, so it became really important that I spend time with him. I decided to sell my restaurants in 2015 and spend more time with the family. After I sold my businesses, I took off for about six months, and I realized after spending so much time with my father that there was a huge need. I started a search and I found CarePatrol, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. It’s been excellent in every way you can think of: much less stress, more time for the family and very financially rewarding.
My education background is in microbiology, and I love science, and I felt I was getting into the science of aging and away from the night work of restaurant life. It feels like I’ve come back to what I’ve always been passionate about my entire life.
Coming from the background of an independent restaurant owner, what are the benefits of opening a business with a franchise to support you?
Awadalla: When you’re starting a new business, you need basic information. This was a huge shift for me, I went from dealing with employees and managing restaurants to something much more professional and that required me to become a subject-matter expert in a completely new field. I went through the CarePatrol training, and it was an immersive education. It was extremely valuable.
My favorite thing about the CarePatrol franchise is that it really feels like I’m a part of a family. I’m in Northern California, and there are several franchisees in the area. We’re very close, we meet and we talk about our businesses. CarePatrol has a mentoring program, and I am very lucky to have Ernie Crea, who is an experienced franchisee, as my mentor. He’s just wonderful — I can reach him any time of day, and he always willing to share best practices with me or offer advice. That’s a huge advantage to new franchisees, as you will have an educated, experienced person who wants to help you succeed.
What makes CarePatrol different in the senior placement industry?
Awadalla: We’re extremely hands-on, we help families every step of the way. We take them on tours of the facilities, we help with paperwork and we really work hard to deliver the best care option for the families that we serve. Other agencies do not go that far. They concentrate on placement only, and they do not go the extra mile. I hear a lot from social workers in my area that some agencies pick and choose their clients, and they prefer to work only with high-income clients and do not help low-income clients. I do not do this. I try to help everybody. CarePatrol emphasizes the fact that we need to be advocates for seniors, rather than just focusing on placing seniors. We go the extra mile.
What are you most proud of about your CarePatrol business?
Awadalla: I believe that our work is extremely important. We deal with a lot of families who are under intense stress. Sometimes they call us and they’re crying and they’re desperate for help. When I’m done working with a family, I want my clients to feel that their loved ones are in the best place and their quality of life is much better than before. Clients are so appreciative. We also make it easier on our clients, because our service is free to the families we help. It’s extremely fulfilling.
Why would you recommend CarePatrol to an entrepreneur looking to help seniors?
Awadalla: The culture that the CarePatrol executive office has created is a family that works together. The training they provide is excellent, and it is very financially rewarding. I used to work six days a week in the restaurant business, and I would have to go home at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. I don’t have to do one-third of the work I was doing in the restaurant business. It’s been a great experience to own a CarePatrol franchise.