CBS’s Undercover Boss is back on the air tonight for the new season premiere. The first episode back will air tonight, Wednesday, January 8 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. Tonight’s episode features Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, a company partly owned by NFL star Drew Brees.
The restaurant was established in 2003. The idea began when founder and CEO Brandon Landry and a fellow walk-on on the Louisiana State University basketball team realized they wouldn’t be in the NBA. They were on the way home from a game one night and came up with the idea for the restaurant. Drew Brees approached Landry in 2015 about buying into the business; he now owns 25 percent of the company.
Since Brees’ investment, Walk-On’s has expanded to 28 franchise locations. Eight of those locations were added in 2018. Also in 2018, revenue rose by 56 percent.
Undercover Boss follows a real-life owner of a business as they don a disguise and take on entry-level jobs within their company. The idea is to be able to gain behind-the-scenes insights that they wouldn’t be able to get if they talked to people as boss and CEO.
The Episode Features Both Brees and Landry
The episode synopsis says both Brees and Landry will be going undercover; Brees will be going undercover in one of their New Orleans-based locations.
“I’m nervous but excited all at the same time,” Brees said in a preview for the episode. “To be truly behind the scenes where I’m not Drew Brees, I’m just a guy, that’s what I’m most interested in.”
Brees got involved in the business after visiting a New Orleans location and loving it. He called Landry that day to say that if he were to open a sports bar, he wouldn’t change a thing. He then asked to meet with Landry and said he’d love to be a partner. He then bought 25 percent of the company. Landry said Brees often visits new locations and fans will come out to the location to meet him. Brees also promotes Walk-On’s on his social media.
Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar is described as offering authentic Louisiana cuisine prepared fresh in “from scratch” kitchens. It was established in Baton Rouge in 2003. It’s a restaurant that happens to have sports, according to the owner. Walk On’s currently has 33 locations. Franchises span across Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and North Carolina.
They Plan to Keep Expanding
In an interview with Forbes in 2019, Landry said they have plans to open more restaurants with no plans to stop soon.
“I’m an ambitious person,” he said. “People thought it was crazy to go from one and double it to two. There’s no certain number we’re after, but we’re looking for the right franchise partners. We’ve had some franchisers who opened one, then gone to two, then four or eight. It steers itself.”
When asked about how they keep the quality high while still being dependent on franchisees, Landry noted the importance of investing in infrastructure at the very beginning of the business, saying that the support for the 30th franchise will be the same support the first franchise got. They work with their franchisees on a day-to-day basis.