Undercover Boss: CEO of Checkers Restaurants | Where are They Now?
Rick Silva, President and CEO of Checkers and Rally’s Restaurants, gets into a heated encounter with an abusive manager, and shuts down the restaurant immediately!
Popular fast food drive-in restaurant, Checkers and Rally’s, sent their CEO Rick Silva undercover to learn more about what really goes on at the restaurant level, and ends up getting into a heated argument with one of his managers during a disastrous shift!
Enrique “Rick” Silva gained experience by helming the international arm of Burger King restaurants before being recruited to take over Checkers and Rally’s as President and CEO. He shares that Checkers and Rally’s were actually two separate restaurant companies before they decided to join forces in 1999 since they were virtually identical in menu, look and feel. Since coming in, Rick Silva has instilled a winning mentality by introducing desserts and new menu innovation to help them stand out in the cluttered and competitive restaurant scene.
Rick Silva chooses the identity of “Alex Garcia” to go incognito on Undercover Boss, donning a wig and signature red uniform of his staff. His backstory is that he is a failed pharmacy owner from Pennsylvania, and is being filmed for a reality TV show called “Second Chances” where he is trying his hand at becoming a franchise owner of a fast food restaurant.
Job #1 - Grill and Fry Station - Homestead, FL
Rick Silva’s first stop is at a local restaurant in Homestead, FL, where he is greeted by Todd, who is tasked with teaching him to run the grill and fry station. Rick is immediately impressed by Todd’s dedication to his work, and learns that his dream is to become a chef. However, his dreams were put on hold as he prioritized bringing home an income to support his mother.
The warm conversations between Rick and Todd, however, continue to be interrupted by a very rude and demanding store manager - Stevens.
“If you go on overtime, I can take you outside and beat you up, right?” - Stevens
Stevens hardly stops talking throughout the shift, and continues to berate, question, mock and bully his staff. While accompanying Todd during a trash run, Rick learns that this is very typical behavior from Stevens.
“I would never let someone talk to me like that.” - Rick Silva
Todd breaks down in front of Rick, and shares that he takes the abuse simply because he needs the money.
Rick Silva has had enough, and decides that he needs to break cover and confront Stevens.
“Have YOU any experience in the restaurant business?”
“Actually, I do…I’m the CEO of this company.”
Rick Silva shuts the restaurant down on the spot to put an end to the toxic work environment, and reassembles the crew to let them know he’s hitting the reset button by bringing in better management.
Watch the full encounter here!
Job #2 - General Manager - Carol City, FL
Rick heads north up the highway to Carol City, FL, to learn the ins and outs of being a general manager of a Checkers restaurant. He is paired up with Joyce, and the vibe could not be any more different! Joyce is a ball of energy, and states that she not only sells fast fod, but that she sells hospitality.
Joyce observes that Rick is not able to work quickly (and charismatically) enough to fulfill orders to her standards! Rick runs into a bevy of issues, ranging from not understanding orders to messing up giving back change.
During his sit down with Joyce, he learns how much insight she has to truly cater to her local audience, as she offers marketing and menu ideas to keep her loyal customers coming back. He also learns about her tough upbringing and run of terrible luck, which includes major financial pressure and multiple deaths in her immediate family.
Job #3 - Sandwich Board Station - Mobile, AL
Rick Silva takes a trip to Mobile, AL, the birthplace of Checkers restaurant, and works their latest prototype restaurant that is expected to propel them into the future. He is paired up with Johanna, who teaches him how to run the sandwich board.
Rick can hardly keep up with the pace of Johanna and the restaurant, and fumbles many orders, keeping hungry customers unhappy.
“He’s slow, slow like a turtle.”
In a one-on-one meeting, Johanna shares that she has never felt rewarded or appreciated in the 7 years she has worked for the company, and is barely getting by on her low hourly wages. In addition, Johanna shares that she is hardly able to get to work because her car is so unreliable, so even if she was promoted to manager, she is afraid she wouldn’t be able to show up to work on time.
The Big Reveal
Rick Silva invites the Checkers and Rally’s team members he has met along his journey to a restaurant in Flint, Michigan, under the guise of being assessed to see if he can run a franchise on his own.
Rick Silva shares with Johanna that the company is starting an incentive program for managers and crewmembers after his encounter with her. As an extra surprise, he offers to mentor her and develop her professionally, and places her into a manager track program. But that’s not all…he provides her with $20,000 to get a new car!
Rick commends her for being such a customer-obsessed manager, and starts a General Manager Counsel with her being an inaugural member. As a bonus, he gives her $10,000 to help alleviate some financial pressures for her, and an additional $10,000 to do whatever she wants to do for herself. Selflessly, she decides to spend the money on an urn for her late brother.
Rick reconnects with Todd, who was verbally abused by his manager, and praises him for speaking up against the poor treatment. To assure him that this would never happen again, he states that the company is kicking off a refreshed training program for all new managers and crewmembers. Rick also offers to make Todd’s dreams of becoming a chef come true and pays his culinary degree. He also provides him with $15,000 to help provide some financial relief for his mother.
Where is Rick Silva, President and CEO of Checkers and Rally's, now?
Rick Silva has been praised for his integrity while appearing on Undercover Boss, and has since decided to take his talents elsewhere to another fast food restaurant chain, Culver’s. He has been at Culver’s since 2021, after spending over 13 eventful years at Checkers/Rally’s Restaurants.