John Metz, the founder of Metz Culinary Management, passed away on May 8, 2023. He was 83 years old.
Metz’s foodservice career began with entry-level positions in the hospitality industry, and he went on to serve as a cook in the U.S. Army. In 1967, after his service in the Army, Metz founded Custom Management Corporation, which would become a large foodservice management company. Metz eventually sold the company to Morrison's Hospitality, where he served as chairman and CEO.
After several years with Custom Management, Metz turned his attention to restaurants, specifically T.G.I. Friday’s. He franchised his first Friday’s in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. At the time of his passing, Metz owned and operated nine Friday’s restaurants in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Metz expanded his restaurant holdings in 2008 to include a Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
In 1994 Metz launched Metz Culinary Management, specializing in providing dining management solutions for healthcare, educational, and corporate organizations. Following his time as CEO, Metz served as executive chairman of the board of directors.
Over the course of his career, Metz served the industry on various boards of directors, including the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association’s Education Foundation, the Leadership Roundtable, and Misericordia University, where he served as a past chairman of the board.
Metz also received many foodservice industry accolades, including the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association’s (IFMA) Silver Plate Award. Outside of foodservice, Metz was recognized for his service by many groups, including the 2013 Northeast Pennsylvania Council of the Boy Scouts of America’s Distinguished Citizen Award, the 2013 Wilkes-Barre Association of the Blind Distinguished Service Award, and the 2014 Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizens Award.
Metz is survived by his children John, Jeff, and Maureen and his grandchildren Kaitlyn, Ashley and Jeffrey. All three of Metz’s children are active within the foodservice industry. John Metz, Jr. serves as CEO and executive chef of Sterling Culinary Management in Atlanta, which he co-founded with his father. Jeff Metz serves as president and CEO of Metz Culinary Management. And Maureen Metz serves as executive vice president for Metz Culinary Management. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary.
The family has set up a memorial fund at The Luzerne Foundation.