Jason Long, general manager of The Melting Pot restaurant in Warrington, is up for a huge promotion, and the world can watch him battle for it Sunday on the A&E reality show Be the Boss.
Long, 39, of Doylestown Borough, knows whether he won the top prize , ownership of a Melting Pot franchise, but he’s not allowed to give away the results before the show airs at 11 p.m.
The second show of the Be the Boss series pits Long against Terry Love, lead server at The Melting Pot in Louisville, Ky. They’re told they are competing for a senior management position – director of team member communications – and are put through a series of challenges by company CEO Bob Johnston.
The competition and the prizes were “a big surprise,” Long said Friday.
“This was presented to me as a documentary,” he said. “I didn’t know there was a show till I got out of the minivan at a farm. We had no clue what we were going there for.”
Johnston outlined the challenges and the prize of a senior corporate position. Long said he could not discuss the challenges before the show airs, “but as a fondue restaurant, they revolved around cheese,”
The challenges were filmed at a cheese farm in Wisconsin and a Melting Pot restaurant in Florida.
It wasn’t till the filming of the final scene that the contestants were told the runner up would get the promotion to corporate headquarters in Tampa, and the winner would get the chance to be his own boss, as owner of a franchise worth $850,000 to $1.5 million.
“It was a big surprise for everyone – even the cameramen,” Long said.
Long has been in the restaurant business for 26 years, starting as a dishwasher at a diner in his home town of Allentown, Pa. He served as front of the house manager at The Melting Pot in Bethlehem before transferring to the Warrington restaurant on Easton Road 2½ years ago.
Long, who is single, will watch the show in the restaurant’s private dining room with family and co-workers.
“The restaurant business doesn’t leave me much time for a social life,” he said.
Maybe that will change if he becomes the boss.