On tonight's CBS episode of "Undercover Boss," the CEO of “Menchie’s,” Amit Kleinberger, went in disguise to find out if their policy of “we make you smile” is truly being projected across their franchises. In this episode he visited several locations, including Seattle & Bonney Lake, Washington and El Paso, Texas.
Based in Encino, Calif. Amit is the youngest CEO at just 33, in "Undercover Boss" history. This former Israeli military commander is about to work the front lines of some shops in the chain of the largest self-serve yogurt company in the world. With stores in 35 states and eight countries, they sell over 35 million cups of yogurt in a year.
In just over five years, they have grown from one to 337 stores. To fulfill their vision, they need as many stores as possible, but they must be running properly and be customer oriented. This is where Amit comes in, to go undercover as a new employee named Alan Stein, a contestant on a reality show, hoping to start his own business. His disguise has left him looking much younger and even startled his wife, who is used to seeing him wearing a suit.
First stop, Seattle, Wash. where he will be shadowing a shift-lead, the ambassador of making people smile. Alan found Dylan, who immediately made sure he was dressed properly and was surprised that he was expressionless in a company that makes people smile. Dylan was a taskmaster about his fellow employees. Dylan told Alan how he wanted to become a dental hygienist, but had a daughter and had bills to pay. Amit wished they had a thousand more of Dylan in their stores.
Next stop was Bonney Lake, Wash. Here he shadowed another shift-lead named Drew. She stated that talking to Alan was like talking to the yogurt machines, and she probably had a better response from the machines. Her training skills left much to be desired and disappointed Amit greatly. She even told him that working there sucked, and she felt that pretty people should not have to do anything. She plans to marry a plastic surgeon and then not have to do anything. She is addicted to tanning and has expensive taste, which is why she works. Her future at Menchie’s is in question.
In El Paso, Texas, Alan was a team member at the foremost performing store in Texas, and he wants to find out what makes them such a success. He was immediately greeted by Jennifer, who had the most adorable smile and bubbly personality. She told him that today they were hosting a kids’ party. As they prepared the balloons, she inhaled some helium, which changed her voice. She encouraged Alan to do it, which he did, but only reluctantly. When the kids came in, Alan had a little more energy, and then dressed as the Menchie’s cone character. After the party, some military personnel came in and Alan bought their yogurt. Jenny was moved by Alan’s gratitude to the military, she was an Army brat who had a rebellious few years and now wants to prove her maturity. She hopes to go to college and pay for it herself and become a first-grade teacher because she loves kids.
On his next venture, he went to Scott Brothers dairy farm in Moreno, Calif. Here he would be shadowing the lead herdsman at the farm where they supply all the milk for their worldwide production. He met up with Francisco, who took him to see how the milk was collected. They both put on aprons and gloves, and Alan got a lesson in milking cows. He asked how long it took to milk each cow, and was told seven to eight minutes, then another batch, and another all day and night. Next, they had to stick their hand in the cow’s butt, something he never did before. Francisco told him that they must check the health of the cows this way. They could have diarrhea or be constipated, and then they even check the smell to make sure it is not sweet or acidic. Alan could not believe that he was going to do this, but he did. Francisco told him how much he loves the cows, and taking care of them was his life. Francisco then took Alan to check on a cow that was ready to give birth. When Alan put his gloved hand inside the cow, he felt the calf’s face. Then the two of them helped pull the baby boy calf out into the world, and Amit got to name the calf Alan. Francisco welcomed the baby to California. Francisco told Alan that he had three children, and his oldest son was in San Francisco in college. Alan asked him when was the last time he got together with the family, but with his job and ten-hour distance from his son, it was difficult for them all to be together.
Amit learned that sitting at his desk is just not enough. He admired Francisco for his work ethic and love of his job and family. When he told him that he was amazing, Francisco told him that he was not amazing, just love his family and his job.
When the employees were called to Ventura Farms, Calif., they thought they were deciding whether Alan deserved to get the money to start his own business. Amit met with the employees, one by one. When they found out who he was, Drew was surprised. He told her that he was thinking about terminating her, but does not give up that easily. So he is sending her to train with some of the best teams in the country, and she agreed that this was something she would like to do. Dylan was someone who made Amit smile, and he was immediately promoted to store manager in Queen Anne. He was given a $5,000 raise and $10,000 to fund his schooling for his aspiration to become a dental hygienist and a new car to cut down on the three-hour commute he had each day and free up more time to spend with his daughter. Awesome!
Jennifer will be given a job near her college at another Menchie’s and sending her and her family to Disneyland in California, so they can spend some time together that they missed while her father was in the military. He also gave her $25,000 to pay towards her degree and knows that she will be an awesome teacher.
Francisco was blown away, as was Amit. He gave Francisco and his family a cruise to the Bahamas and $30,000 for him to spend on whatever he wanted.
In the weeks following Amit’s visit, Drew no longer works at Menchie’s and is pursuing a career as a professional dancer. Dylan’s daughter loves her father’s new car and now spent three more hours a day together thanks to the shorter commute. Jennifer is juggling a busy schedule between working at Menchie’s, earning a teaching degree and planning the vacation with her family. Francisco’s lifelong goal of sending his children to college is finally being realized. Alan the calf is spending his days grazing in the pasture and bonding with his mother.
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