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Undercover Boss is a reality TV show that follows high-level executives as they go undercover to work alongside their employees. They take on various jobs in order to gain insight into the inner workings of their companies.
However, not everything depicted on Undercover Boss is true - some moments appear to have been embellished, staged or predetermined. Ultimately though, company leaders do make positive changes in order to enhance their businesses.
Rick Smiciklas is the CEO of Wild Wing Canada, a rapidly-expanding chicken wing restaurant chain. He opened his first location in 1999 and now boasts 75 locations across Canada.
After learning that a store manager was mistreating a server, Smiciklas decided to take action and discipline him on-the-spot. During his one-on-one conversation with Sabrina, he discovered her manager was circumventing franchise regulations by creating specials and selling unauthorized beer. During this episode, Smiciklas confronted his manager and yelled at him for these offenses.
He then proceeds to criticize the store manager for violating company policies, such as selling draft beer without a permit. Furthermore, he takes issue with their lack of appreciation towards employees and fails to make them feel valued members of their team.
Smiciklas expressed his displeasure with the way his company was depicted on the show, noting it as "a shame to see its reputation being tarnished." Smiciklas believes Buffalo Wild Wings of America has violated his trademark by using "Wild Wing" without authorization.
Smiciklas takes action after noticing his store manager mistreating Sabrina. He takes responsibility and confronts her directly about all the ways in which he had been violating corporate and human-level policies, such as not selling draft beer. He then proceeds to lecture her for violating corporate policies in such an unforgiving manner.
Smiciklas has appeared twice on the show, first being seen on an episode of season 5 in 2011.
In this episode, Smiciklas takes a stand against the oppression of his employees. He informs Sabrina that her store manager had been violating corporate and human-level policies by mistreating her. He then criticizes the store manager for how this failure to meet standards had negatively affected both their work environment and reputation with customers.
After the show airs, Smiciklas reports his business is doing better than ever. In fact, the Canadian chain is now considered to be one of the fastest-growing chicken wing restaurants in Canada.
Sabrina has quickly become a beloved student at Greendale High School since she moved here. Her classmates eagerly gather around to listen to her read during story time, assist with her math flashcards or classroom tasks, and ask their parents to set up weekend play dates.
She has an older brother and two younger sisters, one of whom was born with a disability. As a strong, independent woman she takes on leadership roles within her community and church. Her passions lie in music and theater; additionally, she strives to be an excellent mother for her kids.
Sabrina sells bottles of water on the street to make money and support her family. Her goal is to earn enough each day so she can pay for a hotel room and food, but often finds that she runs out of supplies before it's over.
Sabrina's parents divorced when she was young, leaving her dad to raise their three siblings alone. Her dad worked as a coal miner but didn't possess a college education - thus having to support his family through work.
Sabrina was determined to follow in her father's footsteps when he took a job in another state. To afford college tuition, Sabrina worked multiple jobs while saving up money for tuition. Although it was challenging adjusting to life in another country, Sabrina never let herself be defeated and never gave up hope.
Sabrina sought the assistance of a friend who was receiving assistance from LFCS, and began using all the resources the agency had to offer. Shirley, her case manager, became like family to her; encouraging her to seek emergency housing.
Sabrina and her family eventually relocated to Phoenix, where they could access resources to start over and create a better life for themselves and their children. After some time had passed, Sabrina managed to get her finances in order and secure employment that paid the bills.
She began to recognize the positive aspects of her situation. She thought about her children and their future prospects, wanting to do what was best for them; knowing LFCS had all of the resources necessary for success in her family.
The Store Manager is an essential role in any retail store, responsible for making customers feel safe and comfortable in his store. He must ensure the business meets its targets and generates profits. Furthermore, he needs to guarantee employees are working efficiently while motivating them regularly.
Undercover Boss is a CBS Reality Show that follows executives as they go undercover at their own companies to gain insight into the challenges facing their businesses. Along the way, they often meet employees who provide them with fresh perspectives on work life.
Mike Bloom, President and COO of Family Dollar Stores, the nation's largest discount retailer, conquers his fear of heights when he learns how to operate a forklift that takes him 35 feet in the air. Additionally, during an undercover mission at one of their stores, Mike acquires proficiency with using a soldering iron.
Lorne Abony, CEO and Chairman of Mood Media, an in-store media specialist that uses music, visual and scent media to help its clients communicate with consumers, experiences an adrenaline rush while climbing a ladder during his undercover mission. Additionally, he learns an important lesson in customer service when one of his stores fails to meet its own requirements.
Shawnon Bellah, Crest Foods COO and franchise owner of Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip, fails to meet her own customer service standards when working undercover at one of her company's restaurants. Furthermore, she experiences a sugar crash after discovering she didn't meet one of her franchises' sugar requirements.
Sam Dushey, President and CEO of Shoppers World, a discount apparel and merchandise retail chain, discovers an unsafe store where shoplifters are taking away many items. Additionally, when visiting his restaurants he becomes more tolerant towards employees' personalities; one employee's cynicism about work was shocking to him.
Lynne Zappone, Chief Talent Officer of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen - the second-largest fried chicken restaurant chain in America - is frustrated by an employee who lacks Southern charm at the counter and moved to tears by another employee's generosity.
Undercover Bosses go undercover at various businesses to assess their company's operations and employees. They typically disguise themselves by wearing fake hair and makeup, often times using facial prosthetics. Furthermore, they adopt a different accent so that it appears they hail from another region of America than their actual employees do.
In addition to donning disguises, bosses undergo intense training in order to become believable undercover employees. They learn how to interact with customers, manage people, and more. Furthermore, they gain an understanding of different jobs within the businesses where they're undercover as well as get hands-on experience working alongside employees to gain a deeper understanding of how things run within said establishments.
Undercover Boss' primary objective is to give viewers a unique perspective into how various businesses run, providing high-ranking executives with an inside look at their companies' inner workings. Furthermore, the show can be utilized to reward successful employees and educate those with less knowledge.
Each episode follows a senior executive or owner of a corporation as they go undercover in their own company, usually to evaluate staff and find ways to enhance operations. The executives alter their appearance and adopt an alter ego and fictional back-story which are then documented on reality television shows as if they were real people with lives just like ours.
They can remain undercover for a week in various positions and tasks within their company, interfacing with employees on an individual basis. As rewards for their hard work, they may receive vacations, promotions or monetary bonuses.
Some of the employees they meet in the show are fantastic, while others are terrible. Each has a distinct personality and background but one common goal: to make their employers contented. They will work incredibly hard to guarantee this satisfaction is achieved.
Another recurring theme among employees interviewed by bosses is their passion for their job and company. This helps the bosses gain insight into how each individual can improve in their role, as well as work together as one cohesive unit to make the business successful.