Most people look at entrepreneurs and think "wow, they have it made." We make our own schedules, choose who we work with, and make all the profits. Don't get me wrong, being a small business owner is what dreams are made of, but it isn't for the light-hearted. Being an entrepreneur is TOUGH. It's stressful. It's unsure. It's a lot of hard work and long hours.

I can't wait until I get to the point that my business is self-sustaining, however until then, in order to make my dreams work, I have to work for my dreams. Every year, my photography business grows, but I still figure I have a couple years before I can call it my full-time and ONLY job.

Until then, I am blessed to be working for other people and companies who I truly believe in and love. Today, I'm blogging about the first of my two "other" jobs: Ted's Montana Grill. At Ted's I have many roles: I'm a server, a certified trainer, a team lead, and I'm even beginning bartender training! I've been with the company since March when my location (Easton Gateway) opened it's doors on March 14th. I couldn't be happier to call this company my employer.

In their own words:

"Ted's Montana Grill began with two American entrepreneurs and a dream. As a business leader, philanthropist, environmentalist and avid outdoorsman, Ted Turner decided to share his love of Big Sky Country and its tradition of hearty food. He also wanted to celebrate an American icon: The bison who once thundered across the Great Plains. Ted joined forces with famed restaurateur George McKerrow Jr., a pioneer and leader in casual dining, and together they created Ted's Montana Grill.
The first Ted's Montana Grill opened in Columbus, Ohio, in January of 2002. Thirteen years later, every Ted's is a proud tribute to the ingredients, meals and hospitality that define the Great American West while preserving and building the bison herds in America. By featuring the biggest bison menu in the world, Ted’s Montana Grill has made bison a popular menu choice today in dining, providing incentive for ranchers to actively grow their herds.
Like bison at home on the range, our guests know they will always feel welcome at Ted's Montana Grill. Our commitment to showing guests the genuine hospitality that keeps them coming back is what we call, “Big Sky Spirit.” This is a place where they know they'll always find a greeting and a meal that makes them glad they visited."

Often times restaurants claim to have fresh, never-frozen food. They claim to make everything to order. They say they're being a responsible citizen in their communities by giving back and supporting local vendors. Ted's says all of these things and lives it out every single day. I've been with the company for 7 months now and not only do they hold their standards at the same high level, they hire teams who agree with and abide by these standards.

  • They hand-slice tomatoes for every burger that gets one.
  • They punch and cook their famous fresh-cut fries to order.
  • They hand-cut nearly all of their steaks in house.
  • They hand-grind the chuck for their burgers, twice daily; the morning grind gets sold in the afternoon, and the afternoon grind gets sold in the evening.
  • They have some of the shortest and strictest "shelf-life" standards for their food.
  • They don't have any microwaves anywhere in their building.
  • All of their salad dressings and sauces are made from scratch.
  • They make and bake their cookies fresh daily.
  • If a finished product isn't up to their standards, they throw it out and re-do it without question.
  • The only things that goes into their freezer is Haagen-Dazs ice cream.
  • Their Salt-N-Pepper Onion Rings are hand-breaded.
  • The sour mix that goes into their margaritas is made in house.
  • They hand-slice all of the garnishes for their cocktails to order.
  • They make smaller batches more often throughout the day.
  • They pay close attention to their environmental footprint by using plastic table covers (to save on washing and wasting water) and recyclable table paper.
  • All of their to-go containers and utensils are either biodegradable or recyclable; no plastic!
  • They use non-toxic Borax soap. If you don't know what this is, you absolutely need to try it.
  • The use paper straws in lieu of plastic; also a nostalgic touch to their saloon-style decor. 
  • They hand squeeze the lemons that go into their homemade lemonade... every. single. morning.
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And next time you're in, save room for some of my absolute favorites:

 

Appetizer: Homemade Chips + Dip

Fresh potato chips made every morning and a made-from-scratch creamy Ranch Onion dip.

Cocktail: Buffalo 41

Flirting between smoky and sweet, we combine Buffalo Trace bourbon, wildberry puree, hand-squeeze lemonade, and an orange liqueur to craft this perfect drink.

Salad: Big Sky Grilled Salad

Can't decide between a burger and a salad? No problem... We'll just put the burger ON your salad. Mixed greens with diced egg, cucumber, tomato, croutons, cheddar cheese, bacon, and your choice of dressing!

Burger: The Avalon

An 8 oz. beef or bison patty cooked to order on a toasted Kaiser bun, smothered in garlic aioli. Bleu and gruyere cheese, with a bacon and caramelized onion mixture, with fresh arugula.

Classics: Bison Short Ribs

Only on Saturdays, but worth it. Slow braised bison short ribs with a BBQ gravy, served with our garlic mashed potatoes and buttery carrots.

Steak: Bison Delmonico Ribeye

Well, obviously, you have to go with bison, and the Delmonico Ribeye is perfectly marbled leaving tons of flavor in this healthy 14 oz. steak!

Side Item: Roasted Asparagus

Okay, normally I don't like asparagus, but our chefs sure do know how to roast veggies to get good flavor out of them!

Dessert: Strawberry Shortcake

This one's only going to be around for another couple of weeks so get it while you can! Made-in-house sweet drop biscuit, piled high with two scoops of vanilla bean Haagen-Dazs ice cream, topped with a fresh strawberry sauce and homemade whipped cream. YUM!

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