Born and raised ATLien Andrea Bess has been a server at our original European spot, Ecco Midtown, for six years and counting. We sat down with her to get the scoop on everything from her favorite workout studios in Atlanta to how she got started in the food & beverage industry. Read on!
How long have you been with Fifth Group?
About 7 years – first as a server at South City Kitchen Midtown, and now at Ecco Midtown.
What is your favorite part about being part of the Fifth Group family?
I love that the food is so consistently good and our chefs are so talented. Plus, as a server with Fifth Group, I have a 401k and healthcare, in addition to perks like employee appreciation month and philanthropic opportunities.
How did your career in hospitality begin?
I’ve been in hospitality since I was 16. I actually started as a hostess for PF Chang’s when I was in high school, then hopped around the country in my 20s, living in San Diego, Virginia and New York and working at various restaurants. I moved back to Atlanta about seven years ago, got the job at South City Kitchen Midtown and have been with FGR ever since!
When you’re not working, what do you love to do?
Hang out with my dog (he’s a Pitbull/Catahoula mix), spend time with friends, and work out.
Any favorite workout studios in the city?
I really like Vibe Ride. I also work out at the dog park often – it kills two birds with one stone!
Where in ATL do you live?
I bought a house about three years ago in Peoplestown – which is right by Grant Park.
What’s your favorite Fifth Group Restaurants dish?
Fried chicken at South City Kitchen! You can’t beat it. And my favorite drink is probably the “Ellis Island” here at Ecco Midtown – it’s our take on an Old Fashioned or Manhattan.
What’s a fun/random fact about yourself?
I can touch my tongue to my nose.
Right now, I’m obsessed with the 70s – Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac are in heavy rotation. I love trap music too – I mean, we’re in Atlanta.
What’s your favorite thing about Atlanta?
I’d have to say how many different neighborhoods there are. Each neighborhood has its own thing, which is really fun to explore.
Favorite celebrity chef?
Richard Blais. And of course shout out to Gizzy at Ecco Buckhead, who was just on Hell’s Kitchen!
What are three adjectives that best describe you?
Outgoing, enthusiastic, caring.
Who inspires you most in your career?
Mark Wilson, Fifth Group’s Director of Operations. When I started with Ecco Midtown, he was GM, and I’ve continued to learn and grow from him since.
If you could invite one person, living or dead, to dinner at a Fifth Group Restaurant, where would you take them and why?
Bette Midler, and I’d take her to Alma.