427: Put your nose down and shine- Bill Fuller

In this episode with Chef Bill Fuller, we discuss:

  • how Chef Fuller got his start in the industry,
  • where the culture of being “hard” in the restaurant industry comes from,
  • correcting the behavior, not the person,
  • as sous, how to handle an executive chef that is less qualified than you,
  • being mindful of your mood and how you influence those around you,
  • the impact of promoting from within,
  • transitioning from working on the business to in the business,
  • hiring people who are better than you at things,
  • the value of annually self-reviews,
  • and the result of limiting hours worked to 40-45 hrs for line staff and 5-55 hrs for management.

Hitchhiking his way from his hometown of Dubois at 18 to venture the country, Bill settled in D.C. as a line cook while studying for his B.S. in Chemistry at GMU. He abandoned his scientific pursuits, trading his lab coat for a chef’s jacket. Bill eventually made his way back to Pittsburgh and into the kitchens of Big Burrito Restaurants, and has served as the Corporate Chef since 1997. Today Chef Fuller has garnered the additional title of partner of the Big Burrito Restaurant Group and oversees a total of 19 locations.

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“keep your eyes open, ass moving, and mouth shut.


Today’s Sponsor



Knowledge bombs

  1. Which “it factor” habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?

    • Fear of failure.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • Fear of failure.
  3. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    • look for people who are engaging and interesting.
  4. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • People, specifically, immigration.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.

    • Treat everyone with respect, including yourself
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?

    • No is not in your vocabulary.
  7. Share an online resource or tool.

  8. What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

  9. What’s one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?

    • The smart phone.
  10. If you got the news that you’d be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be?

    1. The Heinz Ketchup rule.
    2. Everyone you know is someones brother or sister, so treat them like a human.
    3. Drink good wine and eat good food.

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Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to Chef Bill Fuller for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!