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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Recap of ‘Undercover Boss’ featuring Atlanta-based Hooters

Hooter CEOIn the second episode of CBS’s “Undercover Boss,” Hooters CEO Coby Brooks’ experience was comparable to that of the Waste Management CEO week one. But he didn’t have to clean toilets.

The Atlanta-based company got an hour of primetime exposure, ceding editorial control to CBS producers. As a woman told an undercover Brooks that she thinks the chain is “degrading to women,” I can’t imagine this will change their minds.

But I don’t think it made Hooters look any worse. In fact, it may  help Hooters short term by getting people to think about the chain and consider eating there.

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Brooks comes across as humble and calm. Nobody detects him. He shaves his goatee, wears glasses and pretends to be part of a documentary about entry-level jobs. Day one, he tries to be a busboy and fails miserably before a former Marine/cop Dave who mocks him incessantly (but amusingly.)

On day two, he hangs with Ashley and Brittney on the streets of Dallas doing promotions. There, he hears first hand the positive and negative feelings people have about the chain. He eventually puts the girls on a PR campaign that Hooters girls are… people! And Hooters gives to the community. Again, as long as the Hooters girls wear what they wear, no PR campaign is going to cause certain feminists to suddenly want to become patrons.

Day three is the most interesting because Brooks meets store manager Jimbo (yes, they call the guy Jimbo), a burly guy who likes to fling rubber bands and spin trays on his finger. He seems a bit immature. And he treats the gals without a great deal of respect. He “inspects” them every day in an uncomfortably leering way. When he holds a contest for girls to leave early, he has them eat a plate of beans without using their hands.

Brooks watches, embarrassed. “The things I saw today,” he told the show, “were inappropriate. They were wrong and I don’t want any part of it… the way he approached the girls was not acceptable.”

Jimbo does not get fired. He gets reprimanded. The show says he has changed his management style.

On day four, Brooks plays assistant manager to another store manager Marcee, a single mom struggling to balance work with home life. She comes across as stern but respectful and nurturing. It helps she used to be a Hooters girl. He eventually gives her a paid vacation and she takes a less stressful job.

Day five, he hangs in Atlanta at the Naturally Fresh factory, where his dad used to have an office. (His father, who helped build the operation, died in 2006.). One employee, who got there after Coby’s dad died, tells Coby that employee morale is down and that people “hate” the son. Ouch! For some reason, the show does not really address how Brooks is going to help improve morale there. Oddly, he admits not having visited the factory since he was 16. I suspect he delegated that operation and didn’t pay any attention.

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121 comments Add your comment

Frank

February 14th, 2010
10:34 pm

Just watched this week’s UnderCover Boss Program.

Last weeks Boss from Waste Management was admirable.

But this Cody Brooks from Hooters was Clueless. He should have had “Jimbo” removed imediately and actually done something about the working conditions in his restaurants. Remember that Jimbo knew he was being taped.

It’s been over 4 years since Cody has been in charge and he had not been in the Naturally Fresh facility since his Father’s death.

Cody & the other Board Members especially the one who wanted to know if Jimbo’s career could be salvaged are clueless.

Very Sad “Leadership @ Hooters Corporate

Frank
Jacksonville, Florida

Rodney - It's CoBy, not Cody!

February 14th, 2010
10:35 pm

Please pay attention and edit your postings! Today’s error is in the FIRST SENTENCE! HIs name is Coby with a B, not Cody with a D. “In the second episode of CBS’s “Undercover Boss,” Hooters CEO Cody (WRONG!) Brooks’ experience was comparable to that of the Waste Management CEO week one.”

LizDawg

February 14th, 2010
10:40 pm

Jimbo should have been fired on the spot.

Slap on the wrist to simply ask him to apologize.

Erin

February 14th, 2010
10:44 pm

First of all, I know Jim personally. He’s an extremely nice guy. This whole epidsode was scripted and edited to make him the bad guy. The bean eating contest was at the request of the producers and the girls volunteered to get TV time. I am pretty certain that if this were a legitimate scene those girls would have filed suit and he would have been fired immediately. He and the CEO were joking around during the entire filming process. They had to redo several takes to get the best reaction. Jim is one of the most respected managers in the corporation and his employees love him. Believe what you want but know that this was absolutely not reality. It’s really kind sickening how the editing process works

Erica Lange

February 14th, 2010
10:54 pm

I am blown away that Jimbo actually got to keep his job! As a female, I have never had an issue with Hooters restaurants, girls, or image.. Until, I watched Undercover Boss. By allowing a power tripping male shovenist to make the girls line up for a daily inspection, and shaming them in front of the entire staff for things like not wearing fingernail polish is (in my opinion) just deplorable. Not to mention his disgusting “reindeer games.” If that is whats being shown on camera, I can’t even imagine what “reindeer games” are going on behind the sceenes, and a “formal apology” to his employees is certainly not enough!! As long as Jimbo is empolyeed by Hooters, they have lost my patronage, and as I work in a very public industry, I will share my new found boycott with all of my clients and my community. If Hooters wants to show the girls are not just “hooters Girls” and they are real people, with lives and more than meets the eye.. The first way of showing this will be to shut down the management of Jimbo.

Erica Lange

February 14th, 2010
10:56 pm

Erin.. Are you Jimbo’s wife, mother, or sister??

Shannon

February 14th, 2010
10:56 pm

I’m appalled. If they wanted to make the first step toward building their brand, they should have fired Jimbo.

Adrianne

February 14th, 2010
10:57 pm

Since Jimbo still works there, I see no need to ever eat at Hooters. No one who displays such degrading behavior toward his subordinates can change their behavior that quickly. He should have been fired on the spot. Ineffective managers are the reason American business is going down hill not the average worker.

Its admirable that Coby attemped to see what life is like on the front lines but it seems he did it more for PR not any real changes.

Ruth

February 14th, 2010
11:00 pm

Hello; I have watch the show last week and i was very happy with the results and how caring he was. This week OH! all i need to say is that he should have fired the manager, how you know he’s not going back to his old ways, shame on you Hooters, people like that shouldn’t be keep on the payroll, not worthy. RBD

Grace

February 14th, 2010
11:02 pm

Erin bought Jimbo’s story, all right. He should not be employed at Hooters. What a disgrace!!

Ted

February 14th, 2010
11:05 pm

I can’t believe Cody Brooks and Hooters corporate management allows this Jimbo to continue to work for the company. Unbelievable! What does this say about Hooters management? Jimbo flat out degraded those women and Hooters gives him a slap on the wrist.

rodsiltor

February 14th, 2010
11:09 pm

It is a TV show, it is all scripted!!

Cheryl

February 14th, 2010
11:13 pm

First of all, who CARES if his name is CoBy, CoDy, or CoRy? That’s not the point and if that’s all you have to pick on, then you need something else to pass your time.
I didn’t see the episode tonight, but I saw the commercials after last week’s episode. However, Erin, the girls wouldn’t file suit for being in a bean eating contest. There is no merit to that claim if they willingly took part.
Anyway, doesn’t sound like the Hooters episode went well, and I really wish I had seen it tonight. If you degrade your workers, they should quit, and you should be fired. But that’s just my 2 cents. :)

witta

February 14th, 2010
11:15 pm

I understand the anger that some of you have! But you don’t know what has been edited and what’s going on behind the scenes. I think anyone in their right mind would fire a guy like Jimbo! I believe that this was an attempt to boost ratings for the show because I know that everyone here was anticipating this episode based off of last weeks previews. Before you boycott Hooters, remember that this is TV and you can’t tell real from fake.

William

February 14th, 2010
11:16 pm

I too am appalled at the results of the Jimbo matter. If Hooters truly wishes to rebrand their image, they must start with absolutely not tolerating this behavior in their organization – in any way and not accepting any excuses when such behavior is discovered. The girls were further disrespected when this Jimbo guy was allowed to continue his employment within the organization – what was the message to them? I’m angered the CEO thinks that allowing Jimbo to be part of Hooters in any way is respectful to any employee of the company. Maybe this decision shows the true character of the organization. One does not have to be a woman to know the Jimbo matter is an insult to any person treated in such an abusive manner – Hooter has clearly shown how they will stand behind abused employees, or not.

Ann

February 14th, 2010
11:19 pm

Loved last weeks episode…hated this one. Jimbo should have been shown the door. Why didn’t they bring the guy from the plant back in at the end? This CEO is clueless. It would have been nice to see him doing more for the company as a whole and not just a $50,000 donation for one guy and a vacation for another. 2 people out of how many? Thought he wanted to make life a little less hectic for the kitchen staff but didn’t mention any changes. Hope next weeks episode is better!

bad brad leavin chicks sad

February 14th, 2010
11:20 pm

Oh Im for sure goin to some hooters now. that dude jimbo is a pimp! i want to work at that place. i bet it goes down after work! i want to be cody brooks. that dude is a real boss. you see how he runs things? all i know is theres hooters everywhere! even in florida in panama city. man im goin to the hooters by gwinnett mall. gonna get me a job and a couple of chicks on the side

Brock K Martin

February 14th, 2010
11:21 pm

I hope this entire series is scripted…if this episode is real then the entire Hooter’s corp should burn. How could you allow a guy, who is the epitimy of what you would call a pig, to continue to work at you establishment. He basically said the girls deserve to be treated like dogs could they work here. This better be scripted!

Kelsey

February 14th, 2010
11:21 pm

I think Cody got exactly what he wanted out of tonight’s show-free advertising.

Jim

February 14th, 2010
11:22 pm

I’m really disapointed that Cody didn’t fire Jimbo if he thinks the morale is down in Hooters there would be a good reason having a manager doing a good job for him and the company watch that. Sometimes I just don’t understand how people get as far as they do and not a drop of common sense perfect example of being born with a gold spoon in your mouth.

Ben

February 14th, 2010
11:22 pm

I was pretty disgusted by that game. I mean what do you have to do to get fired at Hooters.

Kelly

February 14th, 2010
11:28 pm

Outraged after watching Undercover Boss – Hooters episode. Seriously? They want to change Americas perception however they allow a totally inappropriate manager to keep his job after all of America got to witness this behavior???

Andi

February 14th, 2010
11:28 pm

Enter your comments here

rutts

February 14th, 2010
11:29 pm

Well, if Erin is right, and the bean eating contest was at the producers request, and not jimbo’s, then the whole show is a fake, and the only “reality” is that we have all been taken for a ride.

Pago Flyer

February 14th, 2010
11:29 pm

Hooters has great wings.

Andi

February 14th, 2010
11:30 pm

No wonder Hooter’s is up for sale for only 28 million. with people like “JUMBO Bimbo Jimbo” working for them.

Ann

February 14th, 2010
11:35 pm

Just read that Hooters is for sale? No wonder he doesn’t care! http://adage.com/article?article_id=142119

Sandy

February 14th, 2010
11:39 pm

The Waste Management episode was so obviously staged. Seriously, did you notice how clean and new all the trucks were? I have no doubt the Hooters episode was staged as well. Regarding the issue with Jimbo…first there was a freakin’ camera crew there. How stupid would someone really have to be to allow that game to be videotaped? Secondly, if it were real and Brooks didn’t fire him on the spot, he’s the real villan (forget the “under cover” excuse). And finally, Jim would have had to allow his part in this to be filmed, I would think. So, you’ll never convince me both episodes weren’t stage and heavily edited.

jeff

February 14th, 2010
11:40 pm

Man… i have actually eaten here (even though the food isn’t great) but after watching this episode i won’t go back. Even if it is scripted hooters pr team and the boss really dropped the ball letting that go to air and not firing the pathetic joke of a manager.

It’s pretty obvious what hooters is all about and i’m sure its the norm for their business but that even pissed me off and i don’t have a daughter. and until my sons are out of the house they won’t be going there either.

Savannah

February 14th, 2010
11:41 pm

My family has gone to Hooters for years. we personally know Jim, and i promise you this was scripted and edited to make people watch! Looks like it worked. Jim is NOT AT ALL what this show depicted him as. People need to remember that “reality t.v” is NOT reality. i am surprised how many people are so quick to judge from something they saw clips and bits of. My family and i love Hooters and will always love Hooters. Great food, cold beer, and the best Hooters Girls!

bad brad leavin chicks sad

February 14th, 2010
11:44 pm

hey man for real im not happy with hooters. when i go, i expect hooters. not chicks with lil A or B cups. hooters should be nothin but D’s and above! and hot chicks!

Scott

February 14th, 2010
11:46 pm

well if its all fake and thats why jimbo didn’t get fired I won’t eat at Hooters ever again so tell Coby just for messing around like that he has lost more customers than he thought to gain. We woun’t eat there evere again and will let other know also

Ken

February 14th, 2010
11:50 pm

This CEO is an idiot. Even if ‘Scooter’ didn’t care one bit about whether the girls were respected or not, he should have fired “Jimbo” for making the company look that bad in front of a camera crew. And if Erin is correct and the show instigated the ‘reindeer games’, then the CEO is an idiot for allowing it.

Erin In KC

February 14th, 2010
11:51 pm

I forgot to DVR the show tonight, and after reading some of the comments, I don’t care that I didn’t.

To the “other Erin”, if this “Jimbo” is truly “an extremely nice guy”, he would NEVER have girls play a game like they advertised.

I agree, who gives a rip what the guy’s first name is. The bottom line is his whole company degrades woman. As the mother of both a son and a daughter, I will NEVER eat at one of these places.

If he wanted to make any kind of a difference in his company, he would have fired “Jimbo”, provided the women with proper uniforms, and made some sort of public apology for being yet another organization who makes women objects for drunk horny men to drool over.

Watch out “Mr. Hooters”, karma will someday pay you a visit and SHE will kick your butt.

Cheryl

February 14th, 2010
11:52 pm

Perception is everything and the perception of Hooters is that it is the kind of place that guys go to drink beer, watch sports games on the TV and stare at the waitresses. It is not the kind of restaurant that families really want to bring their children to or a place that business people would go to during the work week for lunch. The most devistating comment was when one of the girls said if effect – that’s ok, their husbands will still keep coming in. That one line totally verified the public perception of Hooters. And they want to include that girl in a PR campaign? You have got to be kidding.

The restaurant industry is a tough one and the economy is hurting right now.

lucie40@hotmail.com

February 15th, 2010
12:05 am

I agree with Frank and Erica they said what I was feeling. I also hope the Hooter Girls having to play Jimbo’s games have an attorney, they may end up owning their own Hooters.

Jason

February 15th, 2010
12:12 am

Cheryl there is merit for the girls to file suit, it is called a hostile work environment. One of the girls needed to leave for school and was told that she needed to participate and it was implied that she must win to be able to leave. if her shift is over then it is time for her to go, if you need to cut the floor then and it is allowed ask if there is anyone that would like to go. I think that Jimbo should be fired, and for the person who said it was scripted doing such a thing is bad, and makes the hooters corporation look bad, nad honestly with the wings that they serve they cannot afford any more bad publicity. The CEO needs to stop treating his employees bad the employees and customers alike are how they stay in business.

That is my opinion

bamabelle2000

February 15th, 2010
12:20 am

I find it hard to believe that even if this was “staged” that Hooters would allow this to be seen on TV when they KNOW it would bring them bad publicity. 90 percent of the comments here have said they were disgusted and wouldn’t go in there again. So, if this was scripted then the CEO of Hooters is a dummy.

Erika

February 15th, 2010
12:24 am

This show was filmed while I was under Jimbo’s management at Hooters. Although his ways clashed with what the Hooter Girls agreed with from time to time (as I’m sure every employee experiences with their boss every now and then) he was overall a good manager. Some of the games we played to get cut early weren’t very practical, but by all means we always had fun playing them, whether we lost or won. He never made us do anything like the bean eating contest…so I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the producer’s idea. I didn’t work that shift so I don’t know, but it’s hard to believe because when they filmed during my shifts, everything was 100% real, and not a single part of it was scripted or staged. The “inspections” we go through before each shift is done by EVERY manager. Not just Jimbo. Our hair, make-up, nails and uniform had to all be in place before we were let onto the floor. This is to create the image that the store wants. Sometimes he would call us out on small details about the way we looked, but it was always in a joking manner, and he never said things to actually hurt us or make us feel bad about ourselves. Several times Jimbo would even hold contests with prizes for the Hooter girls that he paid for out of his own pockets. There were times I had conflicts with Jimbo, but overall, by judging the year or so that I worked with, I feel he was a good manager that added excitement to our shifts. It’s too bad they portrayed him this way on the show!

Savannah

February 15th, 2010
12:24 am

For the record, i said the SHOW scripted it, not Hooters. Do you really think Hooters WANTED to look bad?? Hooters has fun and games all the time. if someone was to take bits and clips of anything, showing only one side, it could and would look bad. think about it. have you ever been IN a Hooters? see for yourself. ask the Hooters Girls.

bamabelle2000

February 15th, 2010
12:28 am

Sweetheart even if the show was scripted Hooters looks like a bunch of dummies for letting it air and believe me when I say, every women’s group out there is licking their chops just to get a chance to cut down this company. And this girls are stupid for letting themselves be taken advantage of. They should know better and he should too.

Erika

February 15th, 2010
12:34 am

I never felt taken advantage of. I worked at Hooters for a year and a half, so that shows that I felt comfortable there and enjoyed my time spent at Hooters. If Jim or anyone ever disrespected me, I would have quit on the spot! Over half of the Hooter Girls have been working there for much longer than I did…I’m talking 3-4 years longer than I did! So there is something that we enjoy about working there. I quite because it conflicted with my school schedule, not because of management issues. I actually truely miss my co-workers and would definately consider getting rehired over the summer! It’s a laid back, casual, fun and easy job, and I don’t regret my time spent there in the slightest.

Kelly

February 15th, 2010
12:39 am

Whether or not the show was scripted doesn’t matter, because either way, Coby showed extremely poor judgment – certainly not the judgment befitting a CEO. Any competent CEO would never have agreed to do the ‘beyond’ degrading scene with Jimbo (”inappropriate” doesn’t even come close to describing it!) sensationalism or not. Again, scripted or not, Coby could have made it work by breaking his cover and firing the *bleep* Jimbo on the spot, thereby showing that he isn’t completely incompetent and negligent. Coby should also know that millions of viewers believe what they see and would never think the show was scripted. The girls who did (or agreed to do) the Jimbo scene simply proved that Hooters girls ARE stupid bimbos – blatantly contradicting Coby’s claim. Oh, and Coby – sexy doesn’t have to be slutty!

bamabelle2000

February 15th, 2010
12:39 am

My question is then,when is enough is enough? When he ask the girls to mud wrestle for a raise? I mean seriously. This guy is a jerk staged or not and should be fired. It make Hooters image any better, if anything it made it worse and open them up to a lot of law suits.

Richard

February 15th, 2010
12:39 am

Folks, as much as I would like to believe, this is not real world. CBS is the culprit here and I hope that either the ratings drop this show as currently produced or they not further insult the American intellect with unbelievable “reality”. Scripting to sell TV is the name of the game, here. The Waste Management episode had some redeeming qualities, namely the obvious sincerity of Larry O’Donnell III. But even that episode left some big questions (not about him, but about the production). Tonight’s episode was a joke, showing a supposedly sincere CEO toward making things better in Hooters. CBS tried to show us the truly caring side of Coby Brooks tonight but it sure didn’t work with me. If most companies in the US had any sort of similarity to the way Coby does things, we are in a world of hurt. Coby, if you truly cared for the thing that fell into your lap from your dad, tonight’s episode surely did not convinoe me of that. CBS, don’t take the intelligence of TV viewers for granted.

Gary

February 15th, 2010
12:40 am

Doesn’t seemed to have hurt Hooters any. The three restaurants that I know of have had good months recently and the last several weeks with the SuperBowl and Daytona 500. People need to understand that these reality shows are scripted and heavily edited. The way some of you are reacting just goes to show why these TV execs continue to put these shows on the air. The ignorance of some makes for great TV. Hooters was fine before the show and will be after.

bamabelle2000

February 15th, 2010
12:41 am

And I agree it makes the girls look like a bunch of bimbos who will do anything for a dollar. Not the message I want my niece to get.

bamabelle2000

February 15th, 2010
12:42 am

Gary if you have a daughter, would you let her work at Hooters?

Matt Mackowski

February 15th, 2010
1:30 am

the majority of reality shows are scripted and heavily edited to create on thing “good television” To the first Erin that believed that Jimbo is a nice guy and that this was all a staged event – I got to believe you. Don’t know if he is a nice guy but notice at the end in the parking lot in the recap they didn’t show the Jimbo fiasco again, because the company knew it was a staged event. When Coby “revealed” himself to Jimbo there were very quick cuts, most of reactions, and I’ll bet that other than the wide shot that they were not even in the same room.

Watching the portion of Jimbo again, I can clearly see the “acting” by Jimbo. When he brings the plate of beans out he’s looking of camera supposedly to either one of the producers, to Coby almost laughing off camera.

Besides NO ONE would EVER be kept on after really treating employees that badly if were me and I WOULD HAVE shown the rest of the company after I fired him. I’m not saying they don’t get away with it, but…

While I get it, this is TV, but it is certainly NOT reality TV.

Kelly

February 15th, 2010
1:44 am

CBS isn’t exactly the culprit – they are a business, capitalizing on the ignorance of viewers (Joe Six-pack – you betcha!) The viewers are the culprit. If people continue to watch without complaining, CBS will continue with the degrading (to all) ‘reality’ scripts. The Waste Management episode was more believable, and had a ‘feel good’ ending – the CEO showed sincerity and empathy – more importantly, he made appropriate changes reflecting what he learned. After all, the true appeal of the show (real or not) is that viewers love to see the CEO get into the trenches and better appreciate the challenges their employees face (both in work and in life) – people relate – everyone likes to see the ‘bad guy’ punished/fired, and everyone likes to see the CEO listen to suggestions, especially if they show (act like) they really care. Fantasy or not, the show has a lot of potential because who doesn’t want to be appreciated, who doesn’t want to see that injustices have consequences – especially now in this economy, with so many people being over-worked and/or struggling? Tonight, they dropped the ball, or rather, Coby Brooks dropped the ball – it was a lose/lose situation – Coby/Hooters just looked stupid, and the show left most people (except the 14 y/o boys) dissatisfied, (because someone like Jimbo, who exemplifies the scum of society, wasn’t fired immediately) which isn’t good for CBS.