Did you know that French for pretzel is bretzel? Well, it is, but I digress as this has nothing to do with this episode of Undercover Boss. It was all about pretzels though - those big, soft ones with coarse salt that taste heavenly with a little good mustard. Mmmmm!
I liked seing Dan Dizio, co-founder and CEO of the Philly Pretzel Factory, right some wrongs and check on his franchisees.
Life's a Bleach
Dan's wife bleaches his dark hair blond and cuts it in sort of a mild mohawk. There are several shaved stripes above his ears which look gross. Dan says something like "Thanks, honey, I hate it!" The thing is, they leave his beard intact and dark, so really this isn't much of a disguise. Still, Dan goes off undercover to be Michael Downs and he's starting at an "under-performing" franchise location.
Bill Can't Pay His Next Bill
Bill and his wife, Donna, own the franchise that is going under faster than the Titanic. The couple is behind in store rent and are frustrated that their business isn't making them much of a living. One thing that Bill is doing wrong is making $5 pretzel deliveries. How can that be worth the time and gas? Well, the couple is trying everything to keep the franchise alive - even some unorthodox methods, which annoys Dan.
Forget rogue cop, Bill is a rogue pretzel-maker according to Dan since he has made up a pizza roll product out of the pretzel dough. Yeah, you can't be too creative if you're a franchisee. Plus, Bill and Donna complain that they asked corporate for help in running the franchise better and got nowhere fast with that. Then the couple recognize Dan - busted! Dan apologizes for doing nothing then, but his crying is so fake.(Tip for fake cryers: when no tears are coming out, you aren't crying!)
Let's Twist Again Like We Did Last Summer
Being fake now comes in handy as Dan, again in disguise as Michael, has to pretend he's never twisted pretzels before, when in reality, he's a pretzel-twisting machine. He "learns" under store worker, Marques, a young father of two cute little girls. I don't like how they use big, yellow, rubber gloves to sprinkle the salt on the pretzels, but I guess that is more sanitary than using bare hands.
Now Dan-as-Michael is going to a different location to deliver boxes of pretzels along with Gino. The caption under Gino's name says "Delivery Guy" a funny, casual-sounding title, that reminds me of "Gal Friday." Gino has a cheery attitude despite getting soaked in the rain and having to go up and down stairs with a hand truck stacked with pretzel boxes. Gino is in good shape though as he's a dance teacher who wants to become a choreographer.
I'm Feeling Fuzzy-Headed
Next up, "Michael" works with Billy on how to be the Philly Pretzel Factory's Phil E mascot. Dan is not thrilled to have to wear a goofy, dark green, fuzzy suit with a fat belly and giant headpiece. Billy shows Dan how to dance around - hey shouldn't Gino do this? -- because a mascot has to look happy at all times. People in cars honk and some folks even stand by Phil E to get their picture taken, plus get a few coupons for pretzels. Yeah, the buzz factor in the world of marketing is all you need.
Here's Some Treats Other Than Pretzels
At the reveal, Dan invites Billy to the next Philly Pretzel Factory convention to train people how to dance as mascots. This is a paid position and Dan also gives Billy $10K to help out his parents, plus another $10K to go toward his student loans. Billy can't say thank you enough. Awww ...
Dan tells Gino that he's going to buy him a vehicle to use on the underground loading platform to avoid too many stairs and too much rain. Also, Dan's going to pay off his whole student loan debt, and cool-looking Gino cries like a little baby at the relief of being debt-free. This is worth watching Undercover Boss for all right!
Bill and Donna are also totally relieved and grateful to finally be promised help from corporate to learn how to run the franchise. Dan's going to give Bill a nicely-branded delivery van too, plus a vacation for Bill and Donna. The best thing is that the couple gets the store rent paid up for a whole year.
Marques is going to get to become a franchise partner with Dan and learn from the top dog. Marques is so thrilled at the chance and I can't blame him at all! Dan also tosses in medical benefits for the family man which is another big help. Marcus breaks down and cries too and this is touching.
Did you like all the crying and pretzel-twisting on this week's Undercover Boss?