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Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Kris Wunder

Name: Kris Wunder

Title: Bartender

Tenure: 11 Years

Hobbies: Her Children, Paddle Boarding, Lake, Thrift Shopping, Gardening

Bio: Relationships. It’s not really what one thinks of when it comes to the restaurant business. Typically, customers will come in, get something to eat, and then leave. The nice ones leave a tip. But there’s not much more to it than that. Relationships don’t really matter when it comes to most restaurants. 

But Silver Fox Steakhouse is not most restaurants. And the people who work there value the relationships they build with their customers. 

Take Kris, the bartender, for example: 

Kris Wunder has been working as the bartender at Silver Fox Steakhouse for 11 years. In those 11 years, she’s developed a lot of relationships – with her customers, with her fellow employees, and with her bosses. Relationships are important to Kris. In fact, that’s why she began working as a bartender to begin with.

“So I started bartending about 10 years ago,” Wunder stated. “I bartended at other places before here, and I just kind of learned ‘The Way of The Silver Fox’ from our old school bartender and then I kind of took it and ran with it in a … Read more “Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Kris Wunder”

Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Jason Hankins

Name: Jason Hankins

Tenure: 35 Years

Hobbies: Church, Cars, and Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Bio: Jason Hankins is not a man of many words, but he doesn’t need to be. He lets his actions speak for themselves and those actions prove that Jason is very, very good at his job. 

Jason has been working at Silver Fox Steakhouse for the past 35 years. From day one, Jason was focused on the tasks at hand, no matter what they were. No job was too small, nor too big. 

“He’s the most honest person I’ve ever met,” Gina Michelle, the Front of House Manager stated. 

She’s not wrong. Jason is the kind of person who will look you in your eyes and tell you the truth, no matter what it is. But he’s also gentle. His smile is enough to brighten anyone’s days. And he always leads by example. Jason is a real leader, both in the restaurant and outside of it. 

When Jason says he’s going to be there, he’s there. No matter what. We can count on one hand the number of times Jason has called in. He is reliable and he always shows up to work. Every day, he … Read more “Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Jason Hankins”

Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Philip Bergman

Name: Philip Bergman

Age: 19

Position: Line Cook

Tenure: 2 Years

Hobbies: Playing video games, golf, and basketball.

Bio: There’s something…magical…about working in a busy kitchen. There’s something special about it. And it takes a special kind of person to want to do it.  

Philip Bergman, at just 19 years old, has already proven himself to be a special member of the Silver Fox kitchen crew. And that started the day he walked in. 

“I actually started out as a dishwasher at Silver Fox,” Bergman stated. “I initially was looking for a job and I’ve been longtime best friends with the son of a Silver Fox server. He told me about the job, and so I applied and got hired on the spot. After about a year, I worked my way up and ended up getting on the line.” 

Starting in the dish pit and working your way up to the line is something of a rite of passage in the restaurant world. It’s a way to learn the absolute basics of food preparation, before you’re actually responsible for a customer’s meal. 

“I initially started on weekends, breading and making salads,” Bergman revealed. “Then on weekdays I started making salads … Read more “Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Philip Bergman”

Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Gina Michelle

Name: Gina Michelle

Position: Front of House Manager

Tenure: 24 Years

Marital Status: Married

Hobbies: “I’ve always been interested in psychology, so when I turned 50, I decided to go back to school to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. I hope to be at Silver Fox for another 3 years and then work as an addiction’s counselor for the last 10 years of my working career.” 

Bio: For Gina Michelle, the Front of House Manager for Silver Fox Steakhouse, 1998 was an important year. In 1998, her mother passed away. She also met her husband. 1998 was also the year that she began working for Silver Fox Steakhouse, in Casper.

“I had never heard of Silver Fox when I applied,” Gina said. “When I first started, I worked as a server for 6 years and then took over the manager position from Addie. She just asked one day who would like to learn paperwork and I said I would. The rest is history.” 

History, indeed. It’s not just paperwork that Gina is in charge of, though. Her main priority is managing, mentoring, and teaching the front of house staff at the restaurant. This includes, servers, hosts, bussers, and … Read more “Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Gina Michelle”

Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Leon Maes

Name: Leon Maes

Position: Cook

Tenure: 16 Years

Marital Status: Married

Children: 3

Hobbies: “Yard work, watching movies, and spending time with my wife.”

Bio: When Leon walked through the doors of Silver Fox Steakhouse, he didn’t know that he’d be there for the next 16 years. 

“I saw in the newspaper that Silver Fox was hiring for a dishwasher, so I applied and got the job,” he said.

Leon said he started out as a dishwasher and did that for about a year, learning the ins and outs of the restaurant business. In doing so, he learned a lot about Silver Fox specifically, but also a lot about the industry as a whole. 

After spending a year in the dish line, Leon was promoted to a cook position; a position he has held for the last 15 years. 

In those 15 years, he has developed a relationship with many of his coworkers, including his boss, Chef Bernard. 

“We’re pretty tight,” Leon said of his boss. “He’s a really good boss. I love him to death.” 

Leon said that his favorite part about working for Silver Fox is seeing everybody laugh and smile, from the customers to his coworkers. He … Read more “Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Leon Maes”

Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Tessa Zerkle

Name: Tessa Zerkle

Hobbies: Riding Horses, Spending Time with Family, Raising her Son

Current Position: Server

Started at Silver Fox: 2011, celebrating 10 years!

What Did You Do Before Working at Silver Fox: “This was my first job.”

How Did You Start: “I actually had a friend from high school who helped me get the job. I interviewed with Gina and she was very nice, but professional.”

Starting as a Busser: “I started working as a busser. I loved it. Bussers definitely do a lot. It was a good job, but it’s a little bit different [at Silver Fox]. Everybody is pretty helpful about getting everything done.”

On Transitioning: “After being a busser, I became a host. And then from hosting, I went to serving lunch and then to serving dinner. The process took about a year.”

Coming Out of Your Shell: “When I first interviewed with Gina, I was really quiet. Working at Silver Fox has helped me come out of my shell and feel more comfortable talking with others. [Learning how to be more talkative] comes with the job. It’s just [based on] getting to know your customer, learning how to … Read more “Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Tessa Zerkle”

Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Matt Oltmanns

Name: Matt Oltmanns

Position: Kitchen Manager

Started at Silver Fox: 2001

How Did You Start: “I was working another job and I just came in here [to Silverfox] and applied for the dishwasher job 20 years ago and never really left.”

Favorite Things to Cook: Ribeyes, Hamburgers, and Beef Medallions

On the Turnover Rate at Silver Fox: “I’ve watched some of these people grow up. Some of our waitresses kids were doing dishes when they were young, and now they’re going off to college. I’m getting old, man.” 

Favorite Part of the Job: “The people around me. After you get in here, it’s really like a family environment. Gina and Bernard care a lot. Bernard is like my other father and Gina is like my other mother and everyone else is like a brother or a sister. It’s a family.” 

On Catering: “Going on caters is one of my favorite things about the job, too. You get to meet a lot of different people, some of them in higher-end establishments. Like the Vice-President [Dick Cheney], I’ve met him a few times. We get to do things for the governor [Governor Gordon] here and there too. The best part of a … Read more “Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Matt Oltmanns”

Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Meghan Anderson

Name: Meghan Anderson

Position: Server/Waitress

Started at Silver Fox: 2014

Marital Status: Married

Children: 2

Hobbies: Camping, art, and animals.

Bio: Anybody who has worked in the restaurant industry can tell you that the turnover rate is huge. Nobody stays at the same place for extended periods of time. Restaurant workers are sometimes compared to pirates, albeit ones that give instead of take. They go from restaurant to restaurant, kitchen to kitchen – always on the search for the biggest treasure. And, judging by what Silver Fox server Meghan Anderson says, Silver Fox is actually true gold. 

Anderson began working for Silver Fox Steakhouse in 2014. 7 years in the restaurant industry is like 20 in the “real world,” so the fact that Anderson has spent almost a decade at the same restaurant is truly astonishing. But she’s not the only one to have significant years under her server’s apron. Many of the employees at Silver Fox have been there for years. This is, according to Anderson, because of the family-like atmosphere, the leadership of Chef Bernard, and the desire of the staff to see the entire restaurant succeed; not just their part of it. 

“Bernard is an awesome guy … Read more “Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Meghan Anderson”

Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Raymond Dowler

Name: Raymond Dowler

Position: Server/Waiter/Host

Started at Silver Fox: September of 1991

Most Memorable Experience: Some guy came in one weekend back in ’92 or ’93 and he hypnotized everybody. It was a little show he put on, but he came in for two nights, Friday and Saturday, and it was great. I let him hypnotize me because I didn’t think it would work, but it did! 

On Working with Chef Bernard: We get along for the most part. Working together for so long, I’m sure I get to him sometimes and he gets to me, but he’s a great boss. He’s great to work for and he’s just an all-around great guy. 

On His Coworkers: Everybody helps each other out and everybody communicates with each other. If I walk by your table and see that you have 30 dishes on your table and you were at another table, I would clear the table for you. And people would do that for me. We all pitch in. We’re all here to help each other. 

Advice to New Coworkers: It’s a great place to work, but if you’re not into waiting tables and helping the rest of the staff Read more “Silver Fox Employee Spotlight: Raymond Dowler”

CALF MAGAZINE – Where’s the Really Exceptional Beef?

By Josh and Cassidy Geiger

On the edge of where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains is Casper, Wyo., a town with a deep Western pedigree. Beginning as a frontier outpost and bridge across the North Platte River, it has gone on to be a center for the oil industry, thanks to local refineries and the city’s proximity to the Salt Creek oil fields.

Silver Fox Steakhouse has been serving quality food and excellent service to Casper residents for 40 years – it’s practically an institution that has watched Casper grow and change. Since 2012, it has been owned by the restaurant’s longtime chef, Bernard Ambrosion, who has been highly invested in the local community.

The odd circumstances of the current pandemic have made going out to eat a very different kind of experience than it used to be, but it hasn’t changed what the Silver Fox Steakhouse does best. So my wife and I strapped on our masks to get some truly excellent food. The restaurant’s decor is carefully chosen, and it is classically Western themed, with paintings and other art on the walls depicting wildlife, fishing and Wyoming-inspired scenery. With the dimmed lighting and tall booth backs, … Read more “CALF MAGAZINE – Where’s the Really Exceptional Beef?”