Walk-On’s restaurant announced today that Founder & CEO Brandon Landry and Co-Owner & Partner – New Orleans Saints quarterback – Drew Brees will be featured on the premiere episode of CBS’ award-winning series UNDERCOVER BOSS, airing Wednesday, Jan. 7:00 PM.
Disguised in wigs and state-of-the-art prosthetic makeup, the duo describes the undercover experience as “eye-opening,” providing new insights and a profound appreciation for team members – all resulting in meaningful changes and enhancements for the brand as it continues to grow its nationwide footprint.
In the episode, Brees is inconspicuously disguised as a long-haired, bearded, middle-aged man named “Chris” who is starting his second career in the restaurant industry. For Brees’ mission, he works as a busser and dishwasher supporting Walk-On’s from-scratch kitchen team. Landry, disguised in glasses and a full beard as “Cal Griffin,” (a retired soybean farmer looking to start a second career) tackles two missions on his undercover journey, working as a Walk-On’s kitchen manager and as a seafood vendor partner. Along the way, they each get a first-hand look at the business model’s strengths and opportunities for improvement, as well as the personal and professional struggles of various team members.
“It is not every day you’re given an experience like this – I became co-owner back in 2015 and wanted a chance to truly see how Walk-On’s has evolved by carving out a niche in the marketplace and uncover what we could improve on as a leader in the restaurant industry,” added Brees. “Undercover Boss provided just that. We’re always looking for ways to improve and zero-in on delivering an unmatched customer experience to our fans, and will continue to push the limits as we expand and innovate.”
“The undercover experience was incredibly rewarding as it provided an inside-look at how our culture takes shape at each restaurant,” said Landry. “We’re at a critical growth point, looking to double our presence over the next year. Going undercover afforded me the unprecedented opportunity to address areas for improvement and make refinements so that we can continue on our strategic growth path. I also came away from this journey with an incredible sense of pride for our team members on the front lines. When it boils down to it, it is our culture that has been a constant differentiator in the success of the brand. We’re a team-focused concept with a high standard for creating a crave-able, memorable, culinary-driven menu – and that is the foundation we’ll continue to build and improve on.”
As a result of their “Undercover Boss” mission, Brees and Landry have since reinforced policies at the company, including continuing the expectation of high standards from vendors – and they are looking into creating more diverse menu items for all lifestyles. The duo’s decision to participate in the show was to provide strategic insight as Walk-On’s fine-tunes its operations and roadmap to ensure the long-term success of the brand – on track to expand to 18 additional locations by the end of 2020.
UNDERCOVER BOSS is a two-time Emmy Award-winning reality series that follows high-level executives as they slip anonymously into the rank-and-file of their own organizations. Each episode, a different leader will sacrifice the comfort of their corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their operation.