AUBURN, Ala., Nov. 18, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The SUBWAY® restaurant at 1550 Opelika Highway is one of the restaurants where SUBWAY® Chief Development Officer Don Fertman worked undercover as "John Wilson" while filming an episode of the hit CBS television program, Undercover Boss.
While there, Don worked with the store manager Sherri Easley, whose reputation for providing great customer service is reinforced by the fact that folks around Auburn refer to Sherri as "The Subway Lady." Sherri taught Don the ropes of working the lunch rush while Don was also trying to learn her secret to providing exceptional customer service. Just to make things more interesting, Don was working with Sherri on the busy afternoon of the Auburn Tigers/Clemson Tigers college football game.
The air date for the episode will be this Sunday, November, 21, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
"One of the things we pride ourselves on, and stress to new franchisees in training, is that we need to provide an exceptional customer experience to every customer that walks in the door," Don said. "Working with Sherri was a great opportunity for me to learn just that. She seems to take it a step further and treats every person that walks in the door like they are a part of her family!"
The store Sherri manages is owned by SUBWAY® franchisees Luis and Donna Cribb.
"I was shocked to learn that John Wilson was really Chief Development Officer Don Fertman," Sherri said. "He was great with the customers; very friendly and engaging. I may have been a little tough on him while trying to get him to work a lot faster. But overall I had a great afternoon working with Don. I love my job here and it is great to be part of the Subway family, especially when they are so willing to send someone into the field so they can find ways to help both the customer and the restaurant staffs. "
Don, a 29 year veteran of the SUBWAY® restaurant chain, has played a pivotal role in the growth of the SUBWAY® brand in becoming the largest quick service restaurant chain in the world. However, while undercover, Don was able to get a look at a part of the business he rarely sees during his daily routine in his office at SUBWAY® world headquarters. Don was baking bread, stocking sandwich ingredients, slicing vegetables, taking inventories, serving customers, delivering sandwiches and salads and trying to sell catering orders.
To pull off his transition from corporate executive Don Fertman to his undercover identity of John Wilson, Don continually tapped into his experience as a performer, which came from his days as a singer and bass player for a popular Connecticut rock band before working for Subway. (In fact, when Don interviewed with company President and Co-Founder Fred DeLuca for a job almost 30 years ago, he still had orange hair and wore orange platform shoes – both remnants of his rock-and-roll days.)
Fred sent Don on his undercover assignment. Fred would have liked to participate, but he was thought to be too recognizable for the mission.
"We are the number one chain in the world, and we continually look for ways to deliver an exceptional experience to our customers each and every day," Don said. "Taking advantage of a situation like the one presented on Undercover Boss not only gives us a glimpse of what is happening on the front lines in the stores, but it provides consumers a look at how we operate. We are proud of how our wonderful sandwich artists deliver a terrific product to every customer and the dedication and entrepreneurial spirit of our amazing team of franchisees is the foundation of our system. We believe this episode will shine a spotlight on how Subway has grown to be so successful."
For more information about the SUBWAY® chain, visit www.subway.com. SUBWAY® is a registered trademark of Doctor's Associates Inc (DAI).