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Local CEO on CBS' Undercover Boss tonight! | News

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Local CEO on CBS' Undercover Boss tonight!
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Tampa, Florida -- Another Tampa local is going to be featured on national tv!

This time, it's Rick Silva, CEO of Checkers Drive-In who you'll see on tonight's episode of Undercover Boss on CBS.

He sported a full head of hair and fake mustache, posing as a reality show contestant hoping to win money to start a business.  How much money he'd win depended on how well he performed in the restaurant.  The judges?  The Checker's staff.

If you ever thought flipping burgers was easy, think again.

"That's too much," an employee is heard telling Silva, as he spreads too much mayo on a sandwich.

"Keeping up with the pace and being friendly and being fast at the same time, it was a challenge," Silva told 10 News.

The CEO knew there'd be a learning curve, even after working years in the restaurant business, he just didn't realize how tight that curve would be.

"The most embarrassing moment for me was not being able to keep up," he said.

This seems to be the scenario CEO's across the country are facing when going undercover on CBS' Undercover Boss as they step away from the boardroom.

And you'll see it here on 10 News, when Silva's episode exposes a few of those embarrassing moments.

It's a good thing his employees are patient people.

"She was just so nice to me, she trained me, she was patient.  We're doing lunch rush and I was so slow, it was like the harder I tried, the slower I went," said Silva.

The experience on Undercover Boss has shown him, the hardest job in the company isn't his.

"I just realized what a wonderful job our employees do and how much I need to appreciate them more every day," he smiled proudly.

While the whole point of the show is to stay undercover, there is a shocker in tonight's episode as he makes the decision to blow his cover and temporarily shut down a restaurant in South Florida because of poor management.

"I just wanted to make sure everything was perfect for our employees and our guests and at that restaurant, everything wasn't prefect to my standards and I wanted to make sure it got there," Silva explained.

Silva says that restaurant was the exception and commended his employees for not only their patience with him while undercover, but their ideas.

"I got a chance to talk to them, not as a CEO, but as a regular person," said Silva.

He told us about a young woman named Joanna who said she wished all employees could take part in a bonus incentive program offered to managers who are top performers.

Silva put that idea into action and soon, all employees will get a chance to earn a monthly bonus.

"That happened because one employee happened to tell me about it and I realized it and I was embarrassed I hadn't figured it out," said Silva.

The bonus program is just one change he's putting into action after his experience on the show, but you'll have to watch to see.

"This show has given me the ability to better lead my company going forward," said Silva.

There are 800 Checkers and Rally's drive in restaurants across the country and 50 right here in Tampa Bay.

The company formed in 1986 in Mobile, Alabama, but moved to Tampa a few years later. 

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