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Wild Wing CEO goes undercover

croppedLast Thursday, Wild Wing founder and CEO Rick Smiciklas did everything from wiping down tables to making drinks on Undercover Boss Canada.

Disguised as ‘Angelo’ from Chicago, Ill., Smiciklas wore a wig and jeans that didn’t fit and had his teeth moulded to appear sharp, pointy and yellow. He worked with his staff, who believed they were training a new employee, at franchises in Ottawa and Oshawa, Ont., by serving customers, cleaning windows and helping out in the kitchen.

In an interview with Huffington Post TV Canada, Smiciklas said his favourite part of being on the show was joking around with the team and engaging with customers. More significantly, he says the show has led to a full turnaround for the company.

“We’re humming, we’re doing well,” he said. “The franchisees are positive and motivated. They’re all in here hugging me, thanking me. We’re all on the same page. It’s been phenomenal. At one point I had 58 employees in our office, then I went down to 29, then about 15. After the show, I started bringing back all of the great employees I had. Now when you come into this office it’s just full of energy. It’s partly because that show came into our life at the right time. The show is a big, big positive. I can’t emphasize it enough.”

Smiciklas founded Wild Wing in March 1999 in Sunderland, Ont. Today, there are more than 100 locations across Canada.

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