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CINNABON CHIEF: It's Really Hard To Stay Incognito On 'Undercover Boss'

Kim Bhasin

Cinnabon president Kat Cole recently went on CBS reality show "Undercover Boss," and learned just how hard it is to remain incognito.

"In one [location] it was because the employee that I worked with showed me something that I signed for him," she explained to us. "So that was tough, because I really wanted to talk with him."

"And then there were other times where I just wanted to respond to the feedback employees were giving," said Cole, who at age 34, is the youngest-ever "boss" the show has featured.

For the show, which was taped during the summer, Cole went to various locations in four states — franchisee locations and a manufacturing plant. She couldn't go to corporate locations because they'd recognize her instantly, she explains.

"I wanted to ask them more questions, but the questions that I asked would make it very clear that I'm the one that runs the company," said Cole. "I had to act like I didn't know things so that they didn't know who I was."

Although Cole saw problems that needed to be addressed fast — such as physically small employees told to do tasks they shouldn't be doing — nothing came close to inspiring her to break her cover. During an appearance on the show, Checkers CEO Rick Silva famously got so mad at a manager that he revealed himself and shut down the restaurant on the spot.

"Any time I saw something that concerned me, I'd ask about it in an innocent way," said Cole. "At least at the locations that I worked, they had a really good answer and took care of it." 

The show airs Friday at 8 PM ET.

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