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 He said he learned a lot about each job, including how outdated the cash register system is.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: MB On: 1/27/2014
I've never been to Ryan's before, but saw it featured on "Undercover Boss". I have to wonder how this man is a CEO? There was just something about him that seems off.
I understand he was frustrated with the attitude of one particular worker, but his own attitude left much to be desired. Maybe the young man was having a bad day and he also sensed that Wedo had some issues with him, so he was rude in return. Sometimes people need to realize that even if you are a CEO of some company, that doesn't make it OK for you to be condescending and push others around. I'm not excusing the worker's attitude at all, but I could tell that Wedo was on a power trip despite the fact that he was supposed to be "undercover".
I also didn't like the way he spoke to Ernest Williams. Williams is clearly overwhelmed by his own responsibilities and is doing the best he can. He is not some young kid...he is probably older than Wedo, yet Wedo was talking to him like you would talk to an undisciplined child. Look, I understand his frustration and his desire to have the restaurant uphold certain standards. But it's not some upscale place. And if you show attitude to others, expect them to respond in a similar manner. He was complaining about the guy's attitude but he was also very rude to the workers who were attempting to "train" him, in addition to doing their own tasks.
Posted By: misae cancel On: 1/24/2014
Title: employee un equality
i just saw the show of undercover boss with the CEO of RYAN restaurants. it was unfair how he gave the gifts at the end of the show. he gave a African american male that showed him how to cook a great steak with love and professionalism, $10,000 for a used car. a hispanic girl that trained him how to use a cash register with a smile , was given $15,000 for a 4 year college. not even a public school will cover the tuition with that sum of money. here comes the funny part. he gave a white women that showed him less professionalism than the other 2 employees , a house and paid of her car.
did race played an issue? it was a slap in the face for the hispanic girl and the african american male. i would have quit and work for burger king instead.
Posted By: David Moss On: 1/24/2014
Title: The real CEO G Wedo
This CEO was a former "Mitt Romney" equity manager??? Look at his resume, I would believe nothing he says.
Anyone making money on putting people in debt is a loan shark and not to be trusted.
Anyone also making money on a hog trough buffet to make obese Americans more obese is a criminal. Obesity along with the non organic foods they promote is toxic and the number one cause for huge heath care cost.
Posted By: Debra Wawarofsky On: 1/21/2014
Title: Wow love the food. BUT
I only have one fabulous buffet close - Conroe TX the food is fabulous and the wait staff awesome - when I found out that theses wonderful folks who have been Ryan's for years may have manditory Christmas - I was sick - what a way to tear loyality - volunteers were used this year for Christmas and I feel should always be the case --give them some family time!! Ugh sad sad sad
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.