'Giving You the Business': Top food industry employees could win big

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Some good franchise employees work hard for their bosses and never get noticed. Others get noticed, followed by praise and/or a raise.

On Thursdays, good employees not only get noticed, but they get put on a TV show where they have a chance to show off their skills and perhaps be awarded the chance to become a franchise owner.

But Food Network's "Giving You the Business" has one twist -- the top workers involved don't know that they're on a TV show, let alone that it could give one of them the opportunity of a lifetime.

The companies involved are 16 Handles, Freshii, Jersey Mike's Subs, La Prep, Muscle Make Grill, Saladworks, Topper's Pizza and Wok Box.

Former NBA star, franchise owner and motivational speaker Walter Bond is host of the series, in which the hand-picked employees are put through hidden-camera challenges that test their skills, honesty and ability to handle the daily challenges of management.

The company CEOs will award a franchise opportunity to the workers who demonstrate their worth through actions and decision making.

"I loved the fact that it's empowering people," Bond tells Zap2it. "I think about my kids. When they were in the third grade, they had a teacher who would give them a sticker that said, 'Caught being good.'

"I remembered that slogan, 'Caught being good.' I think about the show, and the employees that are going to win, they basically got caught being good. They're doing the right things. They're model employees. They believe in the brand. They're drinking the Kool-Aid, so to speak. They're going to get rewarded with their own franchises.

"I love people getting rewarded for doing the right thing."

As to what impressed him about the employees competing, Bond says, "They all love the brand. Some people are just happy to have a job, thinking, 'I can't wait until it's time to get off work. I hate my job.' Every person on every episode absolutely loves their job. Not only that, but they absolutely love the brand that they work for.

"Even the contestants that lost, they still had the opportunity to show their love for the company. Across the board, they are really important to the franchise they work for."

In the current economy, even moderately priced food franchises are under pressure.

"There's not as much disposable income available," says Bond, "so it makes the fast-food industry that much more competitive. My message for any fast-food system is that you can't afford to be average. You can't have an average burger. Your fries can't be average.

"People are being very judicious with their dollars. When they go spend them on a Happy Meal deal or whatever you're selling, it's got to be really good.

"If you can be really good, you know what, you're going to do fine."
Photo/Video credit: Food Network