By Haley Harward
Sophie Seltzer, Senior Manager
Ted’s Montana Grill, Buford
Though she never saw herself going into the restaurant or food service industry when she was growing up, Sophie Seltzer, 30, has found her niche in front-of-house and heart-of-house management at Ted’s Montana Grill.
Seltzer joined the Ted’s team in 2014, working as a server and then bartender. From serving tables to slinging drinks, Seltzer quickly developed a passion for hospitality and leadership that didn’t go unnoticed by the management team. She worked her way up the ranks, mastering the dish and prep stations before being promoted to Certified Trainer and Team Lead in 2016. But Seltzer didn’t stop there.
Her determination, knowledge, and admiration for the job led her to become a manager at Ted’s Buford location, which doubles as a corporate training facility. Here, she gets to work with people from different ranks and concepts who share her passion for creating unforgettable guest experiences.
When it comes to cultivating a hospitable environment for guests and employees, Seltzer values open communication and accountability.
“I don’t believe in hostility. I don’t like the passive-aggressive management style,” Seltzer says. “I get to observe a lot of different management styles, and I can kind of tailor my style to just, you know, don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want to see happen in your kitchen.”
Seltzer also routinely goes above and beyond in managing the service and hospitality at Ted’s, gathering guest information and spending hours making calls to follow up on their experience. And, when she’s not collaborating with the team or going out of her way to make diners feel at home, Seltzer is an incredible culinary member of the team, drawn to the kitchen out of curiosity and appreciation for ethically sourced and prepared foods.
“I was a vegetarian for a decade prior to joining the concept, and a lot of the [reason] for it was about the ethics of how food is created in restaurants,” says Seltzer. “When I was able to go back and see how sustainably and how consciously this could be done, I thought it was super groovy. I loved it.”
Looking towards the future, Seltzer says learning is a big objective for her. She’d like to continue honing her skills and pursuing what piques her curiosity. Her passion, work ethic and drive to continue learning and improving will undoubtedly take her far in the restaurant industry.
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