Undercover Operation


MILFORD, Conn. — Subway’s Don Fertman, chief development officer, recently had his moment in the spotlight, while participating in an episode of CBS’s reality series Undercover Boss.

Fred DeLuca, Subway president and co-founder, asked Fertman, a less recognizable brand figurehead, to transform into the pseudo persona of John Wilson and visit various Subway locations to get a glimpse of the inner workings of the brand outside its Milford, Conn., headquarters.

“There are a few things I was hoping to see while in the stores,” the 29-year Subway veteran said. “We launched a major breakfast program in 2010, and I wanted to see first-hand how it was working in the restaurants. We also have a lot of stores that run successful catering programs, and I wanted to find best practices or see what the specific needs are to make it better in the field.”

During the undercover gig “Wilson” worked with a range of employees from across America, including Rev. Duane, the store manager at the Subway located in the True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo, N.Y.; Sherri, an Alabama store manager; and Efrain, one of the system’s youngest managers who works in Florida.

“When Fred sent me undercover, I told him I wanted to catch people doing really good things,” Fertman said. “I was not disappointed. I worked alongside many great store employees and came back with some terrific best practices, which we will be sharing within the organization. After working with these folks, I can see why we’re continually rated very high by consumers. This was a very valuable experience.”

The Subway episode of Undercover Boss airs Sunday, Nov. 21 at 9 p.m. on CBS.

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