February 15, 2010 12:05 AM by Nancy Floyd
Tonight on a new episode ofÂ Undercover Boss onÂ CBS, Coby Brooks, President and CEO of Hooters goes undercover in his own restaurants. The single father spent five days working in various Hooters restaurants across Texas and learned a thing or two about making wing sauce, what the public really thinks about the controversial franchise, and those teeny-tiny shirtsâ€¦
According to Coby Brooks, Hooters is a 1 billion dollar per year company thatâ€™s built on three things: wings, beer, and beautiful women. The reluctant Hooters President took over the company after his fatherâ€™s death despite his desire to work in a different field altogether. As the episode continues, it becomes increasingly obvious that this is one guy who has some serious daddy issues.
In what is the worst disguise ever, Coby shaves his goatee, puts on glasses, and says his name is Scott to go undercover at Hooters. His first day on the job is at the largest Hooters restaurant in the world, based in Dallas, Texas. Coby is working in the kitchen under the management of Dave, a former Marine who basically mocks his poor performance the entire shift. Among the difficult tasks required of Coby: taking out the trash, rinsing raw chicken wings, putting mugs into the freezer, and cleaning dishes. Somehow, this all proves too difficult for the guy running the company and he ends up getting fired at the end of the day.
Cobyâ€™s second day onÂ Undercover Boss finds him working alongside two Hooters girls on a promotions campaign. Before his shift, he stops by the restaurant to meet the girls heâ€™ll be working with, Amanda and Brittney. Is there anyone on the planet who is surprised to find a Hooters girl named Brittney? Didnâ€™t think so. First priority is getting Coby dressed. Coby is shocked (although no one else in the world would be) to find that the shirts come in three sizes: Extra extra small, extra small, and small. Amanda and Brittney share a laugh with CobyÂ about how theyâ€™re, like, always, like, busting the seams of their shirts â€˜cause, like, their boobs are so big. Iâ€™ll wait patiently why you throw up.
Amanda, Brittney, and Coby hit the streets offering free boneless wing samples to passers-by as Coby tries to gauge the publicâ€™s opinion of Hooters. Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ll be blown away to learn that the general consensus is that men like Hooters and women donâ€™t. The feedback is not great as people accuse the restaurant chain of being degrading to women and not the least bit family-friendly. Fortunately for Coby and the entire Hooters empire, AmandaÂ and Brittney are there to champion the restaurant and the super skimpy attire of its staff. In the most pathetic argument in history, the girls defend the Hooters girl uniform by saying that itâ€™s more covering than a bikini. Hooters Girls: 1, Rest of the world: 0.
Coby calls the entire experience â€œeye-openingâ€ as he has never witnessed the negative opinion of the public firsthand. Really? Is he all that shocked to find that women donâ€™t respond well to a restaurant with a sleazy double-entendre name where half-naked women serve wings and beer to men? Who put this guy in charge?! How can you be that big of an idiot and still be President and CEO of a billion-dollar company? To add to his public appeal, Coby also says that if his young daughters grow up and want to be Hooters girls, he would be proud. Wow, kids, now thereâ€™s something to aspire to.
Day Three ofÂ Undercover Boss sees Coby working as the assistant manager for a general manager named Jimbo. If youâ€™d like an idea of the kind of guy Jimbo is (as if the name itself doesnâ€™t conjure up enough images), look up any of the following words in your dictionary: sleazebag, slime ball, chauvinist, creep, or any variation of these words. Jimboâ€™s first order of business: giving Coby (aka Scott) an awesome new nickname. Scooter it is. Next order of business: uniform inspection. Jimbo calls the girls up one at a time and inspects them from head to toe. Is your skin crawling yet? He shows Scooter the ropes by teaching him what questions to ask when checking each Hooters girl out. Is her hair styled? Is her makeup on? Does she look like a Hollywood starlet? Jimbo is clearly a standup guy.
Later in the shift after Jimbo has showed off his mad tray-spinning skills and has yelled at Scooter for looking at a baby, Jimbo creates a fun little game to determine what girls will be allowed to leave early. Despite the fact that one waitress begs to leave early so she can go to school, Jimbo thinks itâ€™ll be more fun to make the girls earn it. The challenge: eating a plate of beans without using their hands. The girl who cleans her plate first gets to go home. Coby is outraged but canâ€™t break his cover to properly discipline Jimbo at this time. I have a feeling Jimboâ€™s got a serious rebuke coming later though.
Cobyâ€™s fourth day as theÂ Undercover Boss is pretty uneventful as he follows a female manager at a restaurant in Ft. Worth. The manager, Marcee, is a single mom and former Hooters girl. As far as Coby can see, Marcee is really stressed out. He comes to this conclusion after witnessing her talk to her staff about their schedules, wipe up spilled water off the ground, and confront a drunk customer. Doesnâ€™t seem all that stressful to me. Someone should tell Coby thatâ€™s precisely what restaurant managers get paid to do.
The final day of Cobyâ€™s experiment finds him working at the Naturally Fresh Factory in Atlanta where the Hooters wing sauces are made and packaged. Coby is worried about morale among the employees at the plant since his father passed away. Apparently, Cobyâ€™s dad used to visit the factory much more often and give bigger bonuses. Cobyâ€™s conversations with one of the employees confirms his suspicions that morale is low. Coby thinks this could all be remedied if he just visits the plant more often like his dad did.
After Coby meets with his executive team to share his experiences, he prepares to reveal his true identity to the Hooters employees he encountered over the past week. First up: Amanda and Brittney.
Coby wants Amanda and Brittney to help the marketing department develop a campaign that will educate the public on what Hooters does in the communities. And what precisely is that, Coby? Serve beer in skimpy uniforms? Iâ€™m pretty sure the public is well aware of that. Good thing heâ€™s bringing in a couple of marketing geniuses like Amanda and Brittney to help with the campaign. As if their marketing expertise isnâ€™t enough, heâ€™d also like them to star in the print materials and videos. Shockingly, these girls agree. I just hope their, like, huge boobs donâ€™t, like, pop out of their shirts during, like, the commercials.
Next up: Dave, the condescending ex-Marine manager from day one. Coby thinks Dave did a good job as a manager and wants to donate $50,000 in his name to a military charity. Ummm, ok. Not sure how this is going to improve the company in any way but sounds like a plan.
Cobyâ€™s next appointment is with Marcee, the single mom and Hooters-girl-turned-manager. He wants to lessen the burden of stress on her so heâ€™s going to send her and her family on an all-expenses paid vacation anywhere in the world. Iâ€™m still a little unclear on how this is bettering the company in any way, but score for Marcee.
Lastly, Coby goes head-to-head with Jimbo! Surely this will be the point in the show where the crude and degrading manager gets a verbal lashing and a termination notice, right? Wrong. Coby wants Jimbo to apologize to his staff. Thatâ€™s it. Wowâ€¦you sure showed him a lesson, Scooter, while simultaneously showing all of America that you could care less about the fair and proper treatment of the women who work for you. Now do you understand why the public has a negative opinion about your company? Good thing you’ve got Amanda and Brittney in charge of PR. Seeing a couple of ditzy bimbos in tight tank tops and teeny-tiny shorts will surely change everyone’s minds about you.
Lastly, Coby holds a company-wide event (complete with girls in midriff baring tops, of course) to share the invaluable lessons he learned from his enlightening experience. After showing a highlight reel from the weekâ€™s adventures, Coby talks while managing to say nothing at all. Among his goals: work on time management (whatever that means) and show people that the Hooters girls are real people. Good goals, man. Your company has been revolutionized, I see. This is proven by a where-are-they-now update to highlight the vast changes that have taken place in the lives of everyone involved with theÂ Undercover Boss experiment.
Dave is still doing the same job. Marcee is doing a â€œless stressful jobâ€ and got to go on a free vacation. Jimbo apologized. And last but not least, Brittney and Amanda are going to star in new Hooters training videos. That sounds, like, totally awesome.
Tune intoÂ Undercover Boss next week when the CEO and President of 7-Eleven becomes an employee in his own stores!
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Photo Courtesy of CBS