Bryon Stephens is the President and COO of Marco’s Pizza, a restaurant and franchise chain with more than 700 restaurants in 35 states. Stephens is a visionary in the fast food franchise world. He’s the guy behind the industry’s first blending of brands, A&W and KFC. In 2004, he was the first executive hired at Marco’s Pizza to help expand the regional Midwestern chain into a national brand. Twelve years later and the company is growing at a blistering pace. In 2016, the company will open 150 more locations. By the end of 2017, there will be a total of 1,000 Marco’s Pizza restaurants in the U.S.
Acknowledging the fast pace of growth, Stephens thought it a wise idea to go on Undercover Boss to get an inside look at the day-to-day operations from the viewpoint of employees and franchisees. But when he walks into a franchise, he announces himself and leans on the counter as if he owns the place. “So whatta got for me?” he asks the manager as he looks around. His authoritarian voice is difficult to disguise. And when he’s told to push a handtruck down an incline loaded with packages, Stephens says, “This is a mistake. I’m not going to do this.” Undercover Boss airs Fridays at 8pm on CBS.