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 more. She also develops relationships with new and longtime guests, ensuring a quality experience for every person that walks through the doors.
“My favorite part of my job is seeing young employees grow and learn skills that they can take with them for the rest of their lives,” Gina stated. “I have built many relationships over the years with both employees and many customers, and that is what makes my job fulfilling. I’m very grateful for the opportunities my job has given me.”
And many of those opportunities came from Chef/Owner Bernard Ambrosino.
“I really didn’t know Bernard all that well in those first 6 years,” Gina remembered. “But as we became a team, we have become very good friends. I look at him as one of my best friends and as a mentor, in terms of how he gives back to his employees and the community. He has shown me that with hard work, you can achieve anything.”
That is one of the most important things Gina has learned throughout her career at Silver Fox.
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that with hard work comes success,” she said. “When I started working at Silver Fox, we were solely a Special Occasions restaurant. We have adapted over the years and have grown tremendously, in the last 10 years especially. I’ve also learned that there is nothing wrong with making serving or managing a restaurant a career choice.”
And that’s an important lesson for current and future employees. For some, working in a restaurant may just be a means to an end; a way to pay bills while going to school or preparing for some other life venture. But for others, especially for many of the employees of Silver Fox, it’s a legitimate career path; one that has lasted decades.
Much of that pride comes from the response from customers. Many of Silver Fox’s customers continue to come back to the restaurant, not just because of the food (which is excellent), but because of the service.
“We always try to treat our customers and our employees like family,” Gina said. “It’s not just a catchphrase. To be successful in this business, you need to care. Bernard and I, and our staff, care. I just won’t hire anyone that doesn’t understand that. We have seen generations of families grow up with us and that is fun and rewarding. It’s not just about making money; we try and provide an experience for our guests and employees that makes them feel appreciated.”
And they do. Restaurants typically have a very high turnover rate; it’s just the nature of the business. But multiple Silver Fox employees have stayed with the restaurant for 5, 10, 20 years. In the restaurant business, that is an incredible feat and it just goes to show much Gina and Bernard value their employees and their guests.
“To our employees, my message is this,” she stated. “All I ever ask is for you to care and do your best. Respect what we do here and make the most and best of it while you are here. I appreciate each and every one of you, I really do.”
“I don’t have any children, but I’ve always thought of the many kids our employees have as God’s way of giving me children and grandchildren,” Gina said.
It sounds cliché, but it’s true: Silver Fox is a family. They work together, play together, learn together, and grow together. For Gina Michelle, it’s been the experience of a lifetime, and it’s something she will never forget.
“My journey with Silver Fox has been life changing,” she said. “I will forever be grateful to our community and my Silver Fox family. Silver Fox appreciates our community support and we have been privileged to serve it for more than 40 years!”