The season premiere of CBS’s Undercover Boss features Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar. The sports bar restaurant is owned by Brandon Landry and NFL star Drew Brees. The episode will air tonight, Wednesday, January 8 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
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. Brees visits new franchises when they open if his schedule permits.
Landry and Brees both went undercover on Undercover Boss to get a more behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in their company. Brees went to a New Orleans location, and Landry went undercover in Baton Rouge.
Since Brees’ investment, Walk-On’s has expanded even more. Eight franchise locations were added in 2018. Also in 2018, revenue rose by 56 percent. Now, Walk-Ons has over 150 locations in development across 15 states and aims to franchise nationwide.
The Journey Began in the 1990s
While the idea for Walk On’s may have come about in 1997, that’s when the journey began for founders Brandon Landry and Jack Warner. The pair became friends when they were both walk-on athletes on the Louisiana State University basketball team. Walk-ons are unrecruited and unsigned athletes who try out for the team when they get to college; they do not receive scholarships for playing on the team.
On the plane ride home from a game in Tenessee, the two sketched out their idea for a restaurant. The idea was to create a business environment based on culture and the idea that everyone on the team was needed and mattered as much as everyone else. They opened their first restaurant in 2003.
In 2012, Walk On’s was voted the number one sports bar in America by ESPN. Warner was no longer part of the business by 2015 when Drew Brees expressed an interest and joined the company.
Reviews Are Generally Positive
The flagship restaurant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has a rating of 3.5 out of 5 on Yelp. Recent reviews note the good atmosphere and great service. The few negative reviews in the past few months mention the food being “less than mediocre” and some mention that the restaurant is a “chain-style restaurant.”
When it comes to working at the restaurant, the company has 3.8 out of 5 stars on Indeed. There are 139 reviews from hostesses, managers, cooks and bartenders. The featured review, which is selected by Indeed as the most helpful, says that it’s a good sports bar and family-friendly.
After Undercover Boss filmed at Walk-On’s, the company introduced a Bluechip program. The program lowers turnover by plotting out internal development plans for employees, which helps existing team members build a career within the company.
“Witnessing our growth and success over this past year has been tremendously rewarding,” Landry told FSR in August 2019. “But even with our ramped-up expansion, we never lose sight of the connections we have with the communities we already serve. Walk-On’s is hands-down the best quality and our ability to provide our guests with a true game day experience outmatches the competition.”