Did anyone see the show on CBS last night called Undercover Boss. It was about the CEO of Hooters and what he found by spending a week in the field doing the work of his employees. What did you think of it?
I was pretty unimpressed by the episode. I found it to be one big PR move for Hooters rather than an opportunity to improve the business structure. The "changes" he seemed to decide to make were so minimal that they would, in no way, transform the current reputation of the company or the way the restaurants run their day-to-day business.
I ran a 26 store franchise for Hooters and they have a severe identity crises. Are they a restaurant or a bar? Should they play up on the sex appeal or tone it down. Until they REALLY understand and listen to exactly what they guests want and need from the brand they will waffle. You also heard in the episode about Coby's relationship with his father. I think the entire concept was held back from evolving for a decade because of his unwillingness to adapt. This dining segment is in trouble and needs to invest heavily in to existing stores and markets to survive!
I love the program and how honest the CEO's have been about how far removed they have been from the operations. It is great to see these CEO's be brutally honest and sometimes embarrased but always humbled. Personally I would have fired the general manager at hooters that was making the girls eat out of the plates like a dog or deer or what ever he called it. CEO was a little to kind for that type of inappropriate behavior. I also thought the board rooms were less than professional when the CEO broke the new to the executive teams. The went from very casual, sloppy and slouchy to business suits and well groomed for the final report. Just goes to show you that is how they should present themself all the time.
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