Beth Sutter: From Farm to Table (Employee Spotlight)

A former collegiate athlete, it’s no wonder this gal has an affinity for teamwork, dedication, and hard work. Stepping onto the court at the Top Hat, she quickly proved her worth as a valuable part of the team. Smart as a whip, and quick to learn, she got the job done well — and all with a bright smile on her face.

Beth Sutter, Top Hat’s Front of House Manager, rose to the occasion in a hurry. After a few changes in the Top Hat’s staff, Beth became a manager in no time. Basically, she makes sure the Top Hat restaurant area is running at full speed and that service is running smoothly between servers, food runners, etc. If you’re lucky, she might even be your server!

A product of Miles City, Montana, Beth grew up on a small hobby farm just north of town. Throughout her childhood, she had the pleasure of befriending guinea hens, a three-legged cow, horses, rheas, pheasants, chickens, bunnies, cats, and dogs. Eventually, she left her hometown to attend Gillette College in Wyoming. There she played basketball, where she even got to play in the NJCAA National Championship Tournament in 2016. By the way, it’s probably worth stating that she’s 5’10”.

Luckily for the Top Hat, Beth transferred to UM for two years and finished her undergraduate degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders. When she was, as she puts it, “a broke college student without a job” she handed her resume over to the Top Hat and heard back with good news about the job a few days later. Fast forward a year and a half, and Beth seems to be enjoying her role at the Hat. Although she does admit, it doesn’t come without its challenges… most notably, the hardest part of the job “Not eating cheeseburgers all the time.” She gets by though.

Stop by soon to say hello, but before that, keep reading to find out what Beth would tell her 13 year old self and much more.

What’s the best part about working at the Top Hat? 

I really enjoy the people I work with. Top Hat’s crew of workers is like a big family.  We spend a lot of time together at work, and then spend more time together outside of work.  So I guess that has to mean we like each other, or we just can’t find other friends. 

What question do you get asked the most at work?

“What were the side options, again?” or “What are all the beers you have on tap?”

What makes Missoula special to you?

The people and the amount of things to do here.  The people are open and accepting of a lot of things, and we encourage each other’s weirdness. It’s so much more open minded than anywhere I have lived, and I love that.  There is always something going on here. You can never be bored. Whether it be a music event, hiking, skiing, floating the river, attending a sporting event, or eating copious amounts of cheeseburgers, there is always something going on in, or around town.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

There are so many places that I want to see, but my top are probably:  Iceland for hot springs and hiking, Alaska to see the Northern Lights, and Norway to explore and visit extended family.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?

When I have a few days off, I try to make it across the state to see my family as much as possible.  My two younger sisters are in Miles City with my parents, and my older sister lives in Bozeman. Besides family time, I like to stay active, so hiking, running, or playing basketball. I break out my art skills and paint or stipple pretty often, too! 

What was the best concert you’ve been to?

My favorite concert ever was The Rolling Stones in 2006 in Regina, Canada.  I went with my parents because I was only ten. I remember Mick Jagger running up and down the catwalk over and over and over again.  There were also giant flame columns that shot up in front of the stage. I was sitting about half way back in the stadium and could feel the heat they put off. That was my first big show that I had ever been to, so it is very memorable.

Who are you listening to most right now?

I mix up what I listen to a lot, but my top listened to artists right now are Tessellated, Lana Del Rey, Jah9 and Queen.  

What is your favorite movie? Book?

I’m a huge Harry Potter fan.  It’s the only book series that I’ve read the entirety of.  I could sit and watch all 8 of the movies over and over again. 

What’s your favorite meal at the Top Hat?

My favorite meal is the classic cheeseburger medium-rare, no pickles (I’m allergic to cucumbers) and no tomato (I just don’t like them on my burgers) with fries. 

Do you have a favorite lyric/quote?

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for,” John A Shedd (I thought this was an Albert Einstein quote, but I double checked it for this spotlight.  It turns out, it’s a much debated quote and it could be credited to a couple different people. John A Shedd is the most likely.)

If you could instantly learn how to do anything, what would it be?

If I could instantly learn anything it would be how to speak all of the languages of the world, or just know how to play all of the instruments. 

Do you recall an embarrassing/funny moment at work?

I can’t think of anything specific, but I’m incredibly clumsy. I trip on my own feet all the time.  I’ll be walking through the restaurant, and almost fall at least 5 times a day.  

What advice would you give little 13 year old Beth?

  1. 1. Don’t stress so much over school.  2. Dump him. 3. It’s okay to just laugh at yourself. 

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

My super power would be to teleport.  Teleporting would allow me to travel wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted.  I could take mini vacations all the time like to spend the afternoon soaking in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, or getting lunch with my grandparents in D.C. or Cali.  

What’s your favorite drink i.e. certain beer, coffee, gin & tonic, etc?

I change up what I order if I’m getting a cocktail, but if I’m really treating myself at home, I make myself a glass of Tang.  It’s a childhood favorite of mine!

All photos by Mary Kantner (awesome former Top Hat employee and dear friend of Beth)