Hidden camera shows have been around since Allen Funt began pulling pranks on TV back in 1948. “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!” In recent years, hidden camera shows haven’t given people much to smile about as they’re generally used to catch employees doing bad things behind the boss’ back.
From Restaurant Stakeout to Tabatha Takes Over, employees all over the country are getting caught and called out on camera. Do hidden cameras ever catch anyone behaving properly? You bet they do, and that’s the premise behind the new Food Network series Giving You the Business.
Each week, four hand-picked, franchise employees are put to the ultimate management test, only they don’t know it. For one afternoon, the four must deal with a barrage of unreasonable customers (actors) and made-up mishaps while the CEO and the TV audience watch through hidden cameras.
The employee who comes out on top wins one of the biggest prizes in TV history – his own franchise worth up to a half million dollars.
In a single shift, employees must deal with angry customers, physical fights, and potential health hazards such as dirty diapers and pawing through trash to find a lost phone. Customers fall, food flies and what is that couple doing in the corner? Seriously, anyone who can get through this day without losing their cool deserves a location of their own.
Franchises featured include yogurt store, 16 Handles, fresh-food eatery Freshii, and sub shop, Jersey Mike’s. The saving grace of the series is that the featured employees have back-stories that make you root for them to win. These are people who are on their feet all day, behind a counter, earning a minimal wage just to make a better life for their families. From the teen mom with four kids to the 40 year-old who lost it all and is living with her parents while she starts over, to the Iraqi immigrant who instead of retiring is willing to sweep floors for his four daughters.
The worst thing about this show, is that only one person per week can win the prize. And here’s hoping that once they have their own franchise, they can keep it going in these tough times.
Want to own your own franchise one day? Here are the top employee tips from Giving You the Business.
- The customer is always right. It’s cliche but making the customer happy is always better than creating a public scene. Do what you need to do and move on.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. When a customer walks out on a $40 order at Jersey Mike’s, the top employees shrugged and moved on. It’s not worth ruining the day over and you don’t want that frown on your face when the next customer comes up to the counter.
- Pay attention to what’s going on around you. Vigilant employees clean up spills before an accident happens and they lend a hand to whoever needs it – whether customers or your fellow employees.
- Deal with problems as soon as they happen, but not in front of the customers. When faced with an employee who liked to taste the sandwich he just made, the smart manager called him off the floor then firmly but politely let him go. Behavior like that doesn’t deserve a second chance.
Giving You the Business airs Thursdays at 10:00 on Food Network.
What Do You Think?
Is a franchise of their own a good prize or would they be better off with $50,000 in cash? Tell us what you think in the comments or on Twitter.
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Photo courtesy of The Food Network