BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Fans of the restaurant Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux got to go behind the scenes Wednesday night (Jan. 8) as owner, Brandon Landry, and his partner, Drew Brees, went undercover disguised in wigs and prosthetic makeup.
Wednesday night’s season premiere of Undercover Boss featured Brees working as a dishwasher at the New Orleans location. Landry spent time with the restaurant’s shrimp vendor in Biloxi, Mississippi and in the kitchen with staff in Lafayette. Production crews told the staff they were filming a documentary about second careers. The staff says they had no idea who they were dealing with. Even a life long Saints fan didn’t recognize the star quarterback.
“Drew, he dropped the plate. I believe I told him, ‘If you drop another plate, they’re going to take it out of your check,'” said Anderson Brown, a member of the kitchen staff at the New Orleans location.
And Brees’ reaction to that?
“He didn’t drop another plate. He didn’t drop anything else,” Anderson said. “It’s a blessing. It’s a dream come true. It just lets me know my hard work is paying off day in and day out and will continue to pay off if I keep the right attitude.”
Landry and Brees say it was great to hear the personal stories of some of their staff and help them out. In the end, they surprised participants with personalized, life-changing gifts to show their hard work is appreciated.
“The undercover experience was incredibly rewarding as it provided an inside look at how our culture takes shape at each restaurant. We’re at a critical growth point, looking to double our presence over the next year. Going undercover afforded me the unprecedented opportunity to address areas for improvement and make refinements so that we can continue on our strategic growth path,” Landry said. “I also came away from this journey with an incredible sense of pride for our team members on the front lines. When it boils down to it, it is our culture that has been a constant differentiator in the success of the brand. We’re a team-focused concept with a high standard for creating a crave-able, memorable, culinary-driven menu - and that is the foundation we’ll continue to build and improve on.”
As a result of their undercover mission, Landry and Brees say they’ve reinforced some policies and are looking to create a more diverse menu. They say they’re on track to open an additional 18 locations by the end of 2020.
“It is not every day you’re given an experience like this - I became co-owner back in 2015 and wanted a chance to truly see how Walk-On’s has evolved by carving out a niche in the marketplace and uncover what we could improve on as a leader in the restaurant industry. Undercover Boss provided just that. We’re always looking for ways to improve and zero-in on delivering an unmatched customer experience to our fans, and will continue to push the limits as we expand and innovate,” Brees said.
Walk-On’s currently has 33 open locations and over 150 locations in development across 15 states.