Restaurant and Company History
The story of Fulin’s founding is a familiar one often told in American history books — a hopeful immigrant, dreaming of a better way of life, leaves his homeland to come to America and then, starting at the bottom and learning as he goes, works hard to become successful.
In the late 1980s, a teacher from a small village in Fujian Province on the coast of the South China Sea, David Lin became disillusioned and disheartened after the Chinese government’s forceful crackdown on the student-led, pro-democracy Tiananmen Square protests.
Seeking the freedoms and opportunities of America, Lin legally immigrated to the United States in 1993, settling in New York City. There, he found work in Chinese and Italian restaurants, washing dishes and helping in the kitchen while learning as much as he could about cooking, cuisine, serving customers and operating a restaurant.
From Server to Manager of Nashville Chinese Buffet
In 1999, Lin moved from the hubbub of New York to the more family-friendly Nashville area, where he got a job as a server in a Chinese buffet. His family joined him in the U.S. in 2000. Afterwards, Lin managed a number of New Chinese Buffet and Grill stores across the Middle Tennessee area.
Founded Nashville’s Toyoma Steakhouse 2007
In 2003, Lin and several financial partners founded GL Restaurant Management Inc., to provide more purchasing leverage for the several buffet-style restaurants they owned and managed. In 2007, GL opened Toyama Steakhouse (a Japanese steakhouse and hibachi grill) in Nashville (sold in 2009 and currently in operation).
First Fulin’s Restaurant opens Brentwood TN
In November 2004, GL Restaurant Management opened the first Fulin’s Asian Cuisine in the Shoppes of Brentwood, Tennessee. The restaurant was immediately successful, and the second Fulin’s opened a year later in Mt. Juliet. In quick succession, the company opened additional Fulin’s Asian Cuisine restaurants in Hendersonville, Murfreesboro, Decatur (AL), Spring Hill, Cleveland (TN), Madison (AL), Knoxville and Franklin. Further expansion is in the planning process.
The Fulin’s Concept
Often imitated, but never duplicated, we are one of the first or one of the few Chinese restaurants to hire completely within our local areas, providing hundreds of job opportunities to this great nation’s economy. In addition of giving our thanks to the benefits we received from this country, G.L. Restaurant Management Inc. also holds several other distinguished individuals. For example, Out of the seven members of the board, four of them have had experiences in teaching within American Universities.
In 2004, David Lin and his partners took a bold, exciting risk to venture outside the concept of a typical Chinese buffet and carryout restaurant. Instead, they knew that the exotic flavors and exquisite meal presentations of traditional Asian cuisine were more suitable for fine dining.
So, when they opened their first Fulin’s Asian Cuisine in Brentwood, they first invested in the restaurant’s appearance, to create an ambiance of elegance and gracious hospitality. They then committed to preparing all meals with superior ingredients, to please the palates of the most discriminating diner. This combination of ambiance and fabulous meals became an immediate formula for success.
Within six weeks of opening Fulin’s doors, the restaurant had garnered so much praise and patronage that the company was able to open a second restaurant in Mt. Juliet just over a year later. Today, Fulin’s Asian Cuisine includes twelve restaurants, with more in the planning stages.
In essence, Fulin’s Asian Cuisine introduced the Chinese and Japanese fine-dining concept to Middle Tennessee and northern Alabama, based on a commitment to providing not just a meal but instead a premium dining experience.
Our Restaurant Logo
The Fulin’s logo, which we designed ourselves, is very special to us. Full of symbolism, it represents many of the values and beliefs that our family and all of us at Fulin’s hold most dear.
At the center of the logo, in gold, is the American eagle in flight, which we chose for several reasons. The eagle stands for strength and bravery, and embracing these values helped fortify us when we left our home in China to fly to a far-away country to make a better life for our family. The gold color represents wisdom and courage, and we rely on wisdom to help us make choices for the benefit of our customers and for our business.The figure of the eagle, if you look closely, also appears to be a stylized letter “f” — representing Fulin’s, Family, Friends, Food and to Fly.
The red in our logo stands for sunshine, reflecting our passion for providing good service, and warmth, which we hope to bring to all our customers, both in our service and in our food.The green represents nature and the environment, reflecting our passion for and commitment to fresh, healthy food.
These are the things that guide us and inspire us in everything we do. For us, they give meaning to life.