William is the founder of W.H. Bender & Associates, a premier Restaurant and Foodservice consultancy providing management advisory services (MAS). He has provided restaurant operations best practices leadership while working and consulting in all foodservice industry segments. Additionally, Bill serves as a vice president of management to Ken Schwartz, FCSI, the CEO of SSA Foodservice Design + Consulting, Tampa, Florida.
Bill joined Steak and Ale Restaurants and quickly worked through entry-level positions to become the Kitchen Manager of the 19th unit and east coast training restaurant in Rockville, Maryland. This enabled him to work alongside many of today’s industry leaders as the Steak and Ale Casual Dining brand skyrocketed under the leadership of Norman Brinker and Vice President of Operations Carl Hays. He served on the new store opening team for the region before being transferred to the high-volume Gulf Freeway unit in Houston, Texas, where he served as Kitchen Manager and Bar Manager.
He was then recruited to open T.D. Hays Steak House in San Diego. This team formed Oceans 8 Inc. and opened Steak, Seafood, and Entertainment concepts at four separate locations during the next twelve years. The partners promoted Bill to General Manager and then Director of Operations, responsible for multiple units.
William joined consulting firm Results in Management, specializing in restaurant operating systems and cost controls, in 1987 as a Director and opened his own office in San Jose. Client Upscale Food Outlets/Monterey Pasta Company recruited him in 1993 to become the Vice President of Operations for their fast-casual start-up concept. He was a member of CEO Lance Mortensen’s executive team that completed the Initial Public Offering (PSTA), raising over twelve million dollars for the company. The company opened 42 restaurants in 24 months.
Bill returned to consulting with his own firm in 1996. His background in foodservice management provides a unique insight into running a profitable restaurant operation in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace. Using a tight focus on restaurant fundamentals, he obtains results for clients – high volume independents, regional and national chains, and start-up concepts. He has written and produced proprietary training systems/processes – FutureView™ Strategic Planning, ServPoints Sequence of Service™, and ProActive Management™ for clients and has implemented these systems at the unit and company level. Bill’s creative force, communication style, and sense of humor provide lasting results when training and motivating teams.
He has consulted with numerous institutions in various segments throughout the industry. They include Famous Dave’s, Cheers Boston, Laramar Group, The Loop Pizza Grill, Jumburrito, B.D.’s Mongolian Barbeque, Erik’s DeliCafé, Host Marriott, Century Theatres, Cattlemens, Hennessy’s Taverns, Moss Beach Distillery, Takara Japanese Restaurants, and a host of others.
Bill is a sought-after speaker and presenter of training sessions and strategic planning for organizations and company conferences/retreats. He was a speaker for the National Restaurant Association at its Chicago Show and the FCSI World Conference. He has presented training for the California Restaurant Foundation, the California Department of Education – Home Economics Careers and Technology Education Conference, Professional Culinary Institute, Art Institute, Mission College Hospitality Management, and Howard Community College.
Bill has been a Professional Member of the Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) since 2000. This international society promotes professionalism in food service and hospitality consulting with stringent membership requirements. He has served as a member and chair of FCSI-The Americas Council of Professional Standards.
He is an active member of the California Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association. Bill has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the California Restaurant Foundation since 2009 and is now an Emeritus Board Member.
Bill lives in San Jose, California, with his wife, Pamela.