====Feb. 20, 2014====
By ELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times
For the fifth year in a row, Liberal’s own Billy’s Blue Duck BBQ has been ranked by the restaurant guide “Where the Locals Eat” as one of the top restaurants in Kansas. The restaurant was chosen based on the review of an anonymous customer on the guide’s website. “Every year, we’ve known nothing about the customer that comes in or anything like that,” said employee Kelly Hill. “We’re just doing our normal business operations and trying to be the best that we can be because that’s how you run a business and keep the customers happy by putting the best product on the table every time.”
Previously, the restaurant had been simply ranked, and then the last two years, the restaurant has been ranked in the Top 2 percent of the guide’s rankings, and this year, Billy’s was propelled into the Top 2 percent of the Top 2 percent of the guide’s rankings for the first time.
“It’s a very big award for us,” said Billy’s owner Bill Hill. Bill says he received word of the new ranking in the mail near the end of January but decided to keep the news under wraps until after the busy Valentine’s Day holiday. The restaurant’s employees and staff were pleased when they heard the news. “It’s satisfaction to begin with because you know you wouldn’t be at this stage and receiving these awards if your customers weren’t coming and being a part of the restaurant,” Kelly said. “With all the other events and everything that we do as far as our car show and other things, we feel that we bring a lot to the community and this just recognizes those things we are doing.” Tenille Ulery, who has been a waitress at Billy’s for the last two years, says that the news of this new ranking gives her even more pride about working in the restaurant. “I’m stoked,” she said. “It makes me feel good that I work at a place that everyone loves, and it makes me excited for my bosses and excited for us because we’re here and get to be a part of it. With the ranking being based on customer feedback, the employees say that they won’t be slacking off anytime soon. “Now we have to set our goal higher, and we have to keep going,” said employee Woody Guffy.
“We don’t want to be ranked in the Top 2 percent and then get nothing the next year because that means you failed. So you have to keep striving for better and 100 percent excellence every day, all day long.” Bill said this determination from the restaurant’s employees signals good things for the restaurant. “We started from scratch and built up to this, so the future looks really bright at Billy’s and for Billy’s and for the kids and employees,” he said.