Anthony Wedo, CEO of Buffets Inc., goes undercover at Ryan’s restaurant in Lake Charles. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, October 18, 2013 2:25 PM
Buffets Inc. CEO Anthony Wedo spent time working at the local Ryan’s restaurant, which his company owns, for an episode of the “Undercover Boss” television series that will air at 7 p.m. today on CBS.
Restaurant manager Ernest Williams is also in the show.
“As a new CEO, I want to learn what the truth is. I think that is a powerful thing that the show does for you,” said Wedo, who had been in is post six months when filming began in the summer.
“I don’t go into the stores as the CEO; I go as Mike Davis. That gives you a much different reception. People are much more willing to open up to you — tell you what the real truth is.”
In Lake Charles, Wedo, posing as an unemployed construction worker, worked as a floor manager and dishwasher, and at other locations he was server and cashier. He said he learned a lot about each job, including how outdated the cash register system is. Wedo said he plans to spend $3 million to upgrade it.
“But the big learning for me were the personal stories behind our employees — the things they have to deal with in their lives outside of work,” he said.
“What I want to do now is continue taking care of the families that take care of us — our employees and their families. We are continuing to work on identifying and helping those families that are in need.”
He said he was awed and humbled by the dedication of the employees he met and that he continues “to follow up with how things are going with them.” A few company employees will receive prizes on the show.
Wedo said the biggest benefit of going undercover was learning what the company’s needs are.
“As the new guy coming in, trying to reinvent our brand, the thing I need is honest information to understand what to do,” he said. “I am really happy I did it. I am able to understand exactly where we are in our businesses and how to fix them.”
Posted By: Ron Urbanski On: 11/20/2013
Title: no longer a patron
Ryans in jasper Alabama is just plain bad.
Posted By: FRANCIS HANKS On: 10/22/2013
I USED TO EAT THERE TWICE A WEEK. NOW THE FOOD IS NOT FRESH AND HOT, POOR WAIT STAFF, SPARCE SELECTION OF ITEMS ON THE BUFFET, POOR SILVERWARE, HALF OF GAMES IN CHILDREN'S GAME ROOM ARE BROKEN OR FILTY, LINE FOR ORDERING BACKS OUT OF THE DOOR. I NO LONGER EAT THERE...SORRY
Posted By: Steve Agosto On: 10/19/2013
He should have come to Ryans here in town.......I wonder if he would have cleaned that nasty kitchen up? Fixed the A/C? Yeah I know AP, you're not gonna' print this. But you should, maybe the kitchen might get cleaned.