'Undercover Boss': Moes Southwest Grill CEO Paul Damico Is A True Believer In Providing For Workers


'Undercover Boss': Employee Says God Sent Him CEO



Unless you have a supportive and willing family or a spouse with a very good job, most of us are forced to provide for ourselves.

But in the latest episode of "Undercover Boss," featuring Paul Damico, the CEO of the Atlanta-based Moes Southwest Grill, the ability of an employer to step in during a time of need was revealed.Damico learned this lesson early. Growing up on Long Island, New York, his brother, infected with hepatitis, needed a liver transplant.

When the call came, it was an emergency-like situation. The family only had two hours to show up in Pittsburgh, so Northrop Grumman -- his father's employer at the time -- made a helicopter available to fly Damico's brother to Pennsylvania. The procedure saved his life.

Damico knew he had to pay it forward when he met his employees, a line worker in Nashville named Damon, during his appearance this past Friday on "Undercover Boss," the CBS series now in its fourth season. During his appearance, Damico was posing as "Mark Richards," a failed restauranteur appearing on a second chances reality show in the hope of opening a new restaurant.

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Damon told "Mark" how much he had struggled to raise his 10-year old daughter, Mackenzie; it was so bad at one point that he was forced to live in a car.

Damico seized the chance to do right by this worker, just as his father's company had done right by his family. In the reveal, he told Damon he wanted to give him a package of treats. This -- as shown in the video above -- included $15,000 for a car, and $20,000 each for a college fund and day care for his daughter.

The experience with Damon reinforced a powerful lesson from Damico's youth -- a workplace can be a guardian for its workers. Such largesse is central to the television show. Last season, Diamond Resorts CEO Stehen Cloobeck told Amanda she wouldn't have to use her salary anymore to pay for her mother's bills for her multiple sclerosis. He was going to start paying for it.

So it was understandable how frustrated Damico was while working with Tito, a shift supervisor in Fort Myers, Fla.

Tito was just nine months into his role as manager, but he was a stern taskmaster, who saw himself as above the day-to-day details of food preparation. He also was a bit nasty to employees. He told "Mark" he'd only show him once how to properly roll a burrito, and then exposed his tendency to give his workers tongue-lashings when he saw fit. He regularly turned to his staff telling them to "shut it." He also called one worker a "ding-dong" in front of the customers. Finally, he even told "Mark" that he was "one the slowest people here."

But for Damico, the experience with Tito was a result of extenuating circumstances. He soon found out that this worker was all of 19 years old, and so he considered his poor behavior a result of immaturity.

And in the reveal, Damico told Tito that he will give him a second chance. He told Tito he must pitch in with his workers, and he will fly him to Atlanta where he will have the experience of working a shift at the company's headquarters.

But he also left him with a lesson.

"I want you to treat your associates with the utmost respect," he said.


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63 Comments

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tewtar

I was really amazed with the open heart, compassionate and caring of CEO. We do not have such human CEO's in this world. Now a day most of bosses are out of human touch. Focused only on business income. I found this boss uniqueness, his humanistic approach and understanding employees struggle in life. I was touched specially with the employee bringing his daughter to work and she studying while he is working. I really admire the response from the boss.

God Bless you, Keep up the good job.

December 01 2013 at 1:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kay

This program is so fake! The people that they claim are workers at where ever they are at, 7-11, some fast food joint, what ever, are not really the workers at that store! They did a segment of the show at an eatery in Flint Mi. and it was publicized that they brought in workers from another state to pretend that they were training the "boss" at the Flint place! None of the so called workers actually worked at this store! Just another scam on the public!

January 23 2013 at 9:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ejjljjr

The posts here are unbelievable and proves people are gullible. The whole show is STAGED! Really now! You get a new employee to hire, are you REALLY going to sit and pour out your life problems during a break? Especially one who is only there for a short time? Come on people! Wise up!

January 22 2013 at 5:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
arenadood

The first season of this show was decent. It actually showed surprised employees. Now that the show has been on for a while, do they think the employees are that stupid to realize they are on a TV show. It got old way to fast for me.

January 22 2013 at 11:05 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Bob Alexander

The fact that the employee was so desperate he had to live in a car at one point during his employment indicated that there was a deficiency in his employment situation. The reaction of his boss when he became aware was indicative of a lack of awareness on his part. The thing I would like to know about the bosses on this show who always come away looking big hearted, is what about the other workers in the hundreds or thousands of locations across the nation? Do they have wages that force them to live in cars? Do they depend on government programs to eat? Do they depend upon charities to clothe their children? It is time for employers to stop patting themselves on the back for providing these jobs and step up to the plate with salaries, and benefits appropriate to the level of service and profits their workers are giving them. Fair is fair. A better share of the profits needs to go to low level workers to get them off the taxpayer's back.

January 22 2013 at 8:17 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bob Alexander's comment
Tom

So, Bob - when the burrito platter that's now $7 goes up to $15 (to pay the increased salary and benefits for the employees), will you still eat there?

Moe's is basically a fast food place. People who work there are not going to make $20/hour.

January 26 2013 at 8:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
carolmillercm

The ceo has money they can do more. What a self-fish statement if I ever heard one. People today want money but do not want to actually work for it. I see it every day. Amercians depend too much on government programs. Plus, everyone has a story ,however people feel their stories worse then someone elses. People, get a grip, and live life, Too much free programs out there. I see why no one wants to work, Yet,here I am going whats right paying for these lazy people. If you show your employer your worth the extra money, then you might get it. Don"t ever feel intitement. Luck you have a job.

January 22 2013 at 2:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to carolmillercm's comment
kitskid

I was told one time by my High School Superindent that "You never get paid for more than you do until you do more than you get paid to do", I used that statement to my advantage, in my working days. It worked, I never had to worry about a raise, even when there were only two or three to give that year. You are right though it seems to me people these days don't want a J O B they just want a C H E C K..

January 22 2013 at 5:37 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Jay Johnson

The show just point out how out of touch the CEO's are. The have to use a T.V. show to find out the plight of the working person. It also shows how out of touch these executives are since they can't do the basic jobs their employees are doing. How many of his other employees have similar problems? The show is just a commercial for each of these companies. It is a touching show but it seems too orchestrated.

January 21 2013 at 11:53 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jay Johnson's comment
betbrit

I think you're missing the point of the show. It's to show the owners/CEO's etc. what it's like to be in their employees position, how hard their jobs are, how financially basic it is, etc.

January 22 2013 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
creativegardens1

part of me sees the value in the CEO leaning how most of America really lives and figuring out how to improve the companies for the employees. The other side of this is the 1 % trying to act as though they some how care and have a heart and don't look down on these people who they make up to 700 times more than the lowest paid guy. When this country was at it's highest the top CEO made around 40 to 50 times more than the lowest wage earner. so I go back and forth on the message of this show what do you think?

January 21 2013 at 11:04 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
jaymerry

I love this show! I use it to wash my eyes out!! LOL I don't think I've watched ONE show without crying at the end when the owners/CEOs/whatever do the reveal and gift the employees with something that they need to better their lives. I understand that it makes good tv, but at least some people benefit in a positive way from it.......unlike most reality programming!

January 21 2013 at 10:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
abbybunky

These owners have money, they could do more?

January 21 2013 at 9:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to abbybunky's comment
Tom

Everybody could do more. You could do more, too.

January 26 2013 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tom's comment
rhabimaixner

As can you. Try living on their wages.

February 06 2013 at 3:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

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