If you’re trying to keep your consumption of refined carbs to a minimum, you are best off avoiding tonight’s episode of Undercover Boss. This episode is all about sweets, sweets and more sweets! Watching a CEO tour multiple shops full of delicious candy and soda is enough to make the most disciplined health nut run for the gummy bears. But it’s also fascinating to see the inner workings of the Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shops.
Candy just isn’t what it used to be — but the very nostalgic Robert Powells aims to change that. Rocket Fizz, his beloved chain of candy and soda stores, sells a number of old favorites, as well as some newer and equally tasty sweet treats. One of his main goals (besides satisfying customers’ sweet tooth) is to entertain visitors at his stores, which are located all across the United States. He eventually wants to expand his business to Asia.
Upon seeing Robert Powells’ perfectly normal physique, it’s natural for members of the Facebook community to wonder how in the world he manages to keep his weight under 400 pounds. Let’s hope he provides decent health insurance for his employees, because after any period of time in Rocket Fizz shops, adult-onset diabetes seems inevitable.
Robert’s road to success has not been easy, for, in the early days of Rocket Fizz, his girlfriend committed suicide. Instead of grieving, he focused on the rapidly-growing company. He claims to spend over eighty hours each week at work and while this is exhausting, he’s proud to say that he loves his job.
Now that Rocket Fizz is super successful, Robert is eager to learn more about the behind-the-scenes store operations. He’s worried that the chain’s infrastructure may not be keeping up with its explosive growth. After taking on the disguise of a timid office drone, Robert’s alter-ego (otherwise known as Lee) meets Kim, a self-described Fizzateer. Kim works with an old-school cash register and, while she has every right to complain, she manages to remain positive — even as “Lee” messes up a very impatient customer’s order. Later, Robert and Kim chat while putting together gift baskets. He learns that she’s currently studying to be a sign language interpreter. He almost gives away his identity by telling her that she “did a great job,” which doesn’t sound like the sort of thing that a guy in the midst of job shadowing would tell his mentor.
Next, Robert meets bottling expert Ben, who thinks that “Lee” looks super dorky. The CEO is introduced to the machines that clean the soda bottles and fill them with liquid. He’s charged with the task of loading bottles into the machine and, surprise, surprise — he’s awful! Robert acknowledges this, admitting, “I suck. I totally suck.” He even compares working the line to “swimming up Niagara falls.” Robert later compliments Ben, who is a super efficient employee. He learns a bit about Ben’s back story — the poor guy lost his brother. In spite of this, he’s a very optimistic guy and an amazing father.
Now that he’s met Kim and Ben, Robert is ready to shadow a franchise owner. His first encounter with franchisee Marianne is a bit awkward, as the mere sight of all the candy transforms “Lee” into a space cadet. The two work together on a very outdated approach to tracking inventory and Robert is dismayed to learn that his chain needs yet another tech update. Marianne is incredibly frustrated, for, whenever she deals with pricing, she’s forced to ignore her valued customers. Later, while chatting with the franchise owner, Robert learns that, like Ben, Marianne has been forced to say goodbye to a sibling far too soon.
For his final job shadowing experience, Robert visits a Rocket Fizz warehouse. He helps Daniel move boxes and then loads a truck with the help of a forklift. He predictably struggles with both tasks. Daniel’s a nice guy, but he thinks that “Lee” is a complete disaster. He tells the disguised CEO a bit about his background, including his terrible relationship with his dad. He credits his wife with saving his life, but now, he feels awful that he can’t do a better job of providing for her. She has lupus and her insurance doesn’t cover all of the associated medical bills.
Finally ready for the big reveal, Robert removes his ugly wig and glasses. His employees go through the usual pattern of confusion and nervousness, but they have nothing to fear — Robert was impressed by each and every one of them. He tells Marianne that he fully intends to give her a free point of sale system. He was saddened to hear of the loss of her brother, but feels that he can help ease some of the pain by dedicating one of his soda brands to him. Marianne is super grateful and is excited to see her brother face on the soda bottles at her store. She also scores a trip to Spain!
During his meeting with Ben, Robert compliments his impressive job performance. He sets up a college fund for the employee and gives him $20,000 to use as he pleases. Kim also receives college money, as well as an offer for help with opening her very own Rocket Fizz franchise.
Robert’s last mentor left the biggest impression on him. He was touched by Daniel’s story, and, as such, he decides to bottle a soda with his wife’s name on it. The profits from this product will be used to pay for her lupus treatments. Daniel also scores a new car, plus a very generous $25,000. Daniel may use the word “bro” a bit too much, but he’s a good guy at heart — and so is Robert Powells!
Rocket Fizz is one of the coolest businesses featured on Undercover Boss as of late and definitely deserving of a visit! Do you agree? Sound off in the comments section below!