Undercover Boss 2


The second episode of Undercover Boss (UB) was on the Hooters restaurant chain. I’m not sure where UB is in the ratings. Remember it’s still TV. And I would think that with a TV crew recording everything….that folks would be on their best behavior.

That wasn’t necessarily the case on the Hooters episode as one of the Hooters restaurant managers was completely out of line. If an officer had acted like that in my Air Force days he would have been transferred immediately to some remote site in Alaska (in fact one was). I believe in this situation this manager worked for the franchisee….yet at the end of the show he did meet with the UB and apparently recognized his mistakes….a little confusing.

There are some very good leadership lessons to take away and also some questions on how businesses are really run and why executives manage the way they do.

Some relevant take-a-ways:

  • Hooters as a company is controversial because of its image and brand.
  • Coby Brooks, the UB and CEO, of Hooters is the son of the founder.
  • The ability of one of the visited stores to operate as a team was made clear.
  • It was also clear that the UB did not visit nor was respected at the Naturally Fresh Factory.
  • At the end of the show…..the UB states he will work harder to make Hooters a better company.
  • The real test is how the lessons learned are executed and reinforced in the next year(s).
  • The success of any business depends on the frontline employees….this is the real value.

Not every CEO/President/COO is a great leader.  For some leadership is a gift….for others it’s a continuous learning process….it seemed that the Hooters CEO needs to keep learning.