Undercover Boss Ronald Croatti of UniFirst Gets the Hippie Look

undercover boss Ronald Croatti
undercover boss Ronald Croatti

It's always a challenge to disguise the Undercover Bosses so they'll look believable going from the boardroom to the backroom and not be recognized by their employees. The costume crew did an especially good job working on Ronald Croatti, president and CEO of UniFirst, one of the nation's largest producers of work wear and uniforms. They transformed the sixtysomething executive into an aging hippie, complete with mustache and big, bushy hair.

"I was disguised as a mid-60's hippie, and it was so hot in some places the glue wouldn't hold and my mustache kept coming off," Croatti laughs. "I had to make an excuse of going to get a drink of water to fix it."

But a droopy disguise wasn't his only physical challenge -- Croatti found out that his workers were struggling with up to 150 lb. bags of soiled linen, while the training videos they're shown teach them how to deal with bags that only weigh 25 lbs. One of the important things Croatti learned undercover is that the company's training videos do not exactly reflect what's going on in the field, and he vowed to change that.