Reporting Jon Delano
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s a growing franchise in the Pittsburgh area — Moe’s Southwest Grill. Now, the president of the company has been put in the spotlight on the CBS reality show “Undercover Boss.”
KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano sat down with that boss during his recent trip to Pittsburgh.
Moe’s Southwest is a popular eating establishment in Market Square — and hundreds of other locations — and Moe’s president, Paul Damico, took on a new identity for the CBS primetime hit show.
“Undercover Boss” works something like this: a boss goes undercover and works with his employees.
Of course, to make it work, the boss has to be in total disguise. Damico said he had a tattoo applied, special hair treatment and new facial hair.
“There were instances when I was on the show that our franchise partner actually came into the restaurant and looked right at me and did not recognize me,” said Damico.
Damico worked at four different franchise stores — although not the one in Pittsburgh — where he did a little bit of everything.
“I worked as a cashier, I worked as a food preparation person, I worked as a catering manager, I went out on sales calls,” he said. “So, to be able to do that as president of the company was just really unreal.”
And Damico said he learned a lot, including the downside of his push to serve customers in less than three-and-a-half-minutes.
“We may want to be less focused on the time and more focused on the guest experience,” he said.
But for Damico, the best part was meeting hard-working employees on a personal level.
Damico: “In a very, very short period of time, I’m able to connect with them and understand not just what they do for Moe’s, but what their personal experiences are and really some of the challenges they’ve had in their lives.”
Delano: “And then you ended up doing something for them?”
Damico: “We ended up doing something for them, but you’ll have to watch the show to figure out what that is.”