Undercover Boss is heading down to Louisiana tonight as CTO Lynne Zappone goes undercover to get the real feel of what working at Popeye’s is like. Popeye’s serves more than 200,000 pounds of chicken and Lynne Zappone is the CTO. She is not from the South but is a single mom raising her daughter. She says she has been with Popeye’s for 5 months and she is there to make sure the employees are happy and have the training they need to succeed. She talks about how Popeye’s helped the victims of Hurricane Katrina after the storm. She says she is going undercover to look at the company’s employees and see what is needed to keep them happy. She meets Erin and he will train her. Erin says she has it down but she needs to pick up speed and starts ragging her.
Aaron talks of wanting to climb the ladder and he is really showing Lynne what he would do if he was running the restaurant. Aaron gets into the groove and is trying heard to keep up. He starts yelling at employees and gets an attitude with people out front. He is foul mouthed and the customers see and hear it. She heads to the next job and she meets a trainer that has been with the company for 27 years named Gina. The manager comes in and tell Lynne to keep her hands visible so the customers will not think she has dirty hands. Lynne drops a whole sleeve of cups and they hide them. Lynne goes to cleaning and there is a broken pipe in the wall of the bathroom. They have no equipment like toilet brushes and just use spray and paper towels.
Lynne finishes the first day and has a few ideas on what need to be done to improve the customer experience and employee happiness. Now she meets Josh at the next restaurant and this store has a lot of “vibrant” employees. Josh talks about lunch and wants to go to Taco Bell. He tells Lynne that eating at the restaurant is expensive. Lynne thinks they need an employee discount. She heads to the back and butters biscuits. Josh likes the support he gets from his fellow employees and Lynne likes it that the management sticks up for them.
Now she heads to Mississippi to work as a janitor. This store has a dedicated maintenance man to keep it clean. First, she gets a lesson in parking lot cleaning. Doug, the maintenance man, cleans this parking lot every day. Now Lynne gets a first hand experience on cleaning garbage cans. Doug talks of how Popeye’s does not have an employee of the month program. Doug actually buys special soap for the eating area because it is not harmful to kids. Doug volunteers to cook for his church and he invites Lynne to come along with him and serve people. Lynne is in tears as she leaves Doug.
Now Lynne brings in the employees she worked with and spills the beans on who she really is and what she was doing at the stores. First, she tells the Aaron he is going to get a shot at being a trainer and he will have a mentor to teach him those skills. Doug gets big compliments on his work ethic. He is told Lynne is starting a new employee recognition program and he is the first recipient. $10,000 dollars is donated to his church. Josh is up next and is told they will be getting an employee discount again. He gets a $20,000 dollar scholarship for school. Lynne says he is also getting $10,000 dollars for a car or help with his living expenses. Gina is up now. Lynne tells hers she is great at her job. She tells her she will make sure the restaurants will get all the cleaning tools they need at each store. Gina also gets a family reunion in New Orleans. Lynne is going to set up an employee relief fund and she is the first recipient. She is getting $10,000 dollars to help get her life back on track.
Photo courtesy of: CBS