Category: Founding Farmers

Out in Front: Dan Simons Talks Restaurant Trends

As co-owner in VSAG client Farmers Restaurant Group’s growing Founding Farmers farmer-owned brand of restaurants, Dan Simons is asked to represent VSAG and our clients on a regular basis. Dan loves getting involved and participating in restaurant and hospitality industry conversations that lead to open discussions, and in turn shared education and progress. Recently, Dan was invited to join Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards, and a  handful of other experts, in a lively panel discussion about industry trends targeting the future, and development of, suburban areas such as Pennsylvania’s King of Prussia district. Why King of Prussia? Because the… read more

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Summer Food Feature: Part One

Summer is here. That means more & more seasonal summer food, easy summer recipes, and light, refreshing drinks to keep guests well fed, satiated, and happy. One current food trend we’re loving these days (and we’re guiding our clients to implement with ease)… house-made specialties, such as scratch sodas and hand-pulled noodles. We’ve gone straight to our expert sources (i.e. our amazing, in-the-know culinary team, including R&D Specialist Amanda Webb) to get the Summer Food 411 on what makes house-made specialties – well, so special. Top of the list: taking that extra step showcases to guests that you’re willing to… read more

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VSAG on Watch: Pisco Takes Center Stage

South of the border spirits are taking center stage as we see an influx of delicious, interesting new spirits coming from and inspired by the tastes of South America. Spirits such as Brazilian cachaca, Peruvian pisco, and Bolivian singani (all of which are in the port wine, brandy, rum families but each have their own, distinct persona), are entering the U.S. market and being paired with citrus/fruits, chilies, and herbs making for some delicious, smooth, and flavorful cocktails. All are quickly becoming favorites on the American bar scene, but we see a standout: Pisco. What is pisco? Pisco is described… read more

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Simons Says: Our Clients are Open For Business with OpenTable!

Dan Simons is a huge fan of data. As a matter of fact, Dan says, “I love the people, but I love the data.” It’s all encompassing for Dan and his team. The process of collecting it. The knowledge that comes with it. The power that it can yield. The direction it points you in to make your business better. In fact, Founding Farmers Marketing Director Meaghan O’Shea adds, “Anytime you can make a decision that’s based on the facts and not necessarily just gut instinct, you’re going to feel more confident with it.” Where does that confidence come from? A successful… read more

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How OpenTable Works For Us

My epiphany with OpenTable struck in the fall of 2008. Mike Vucurevich and I had just opened our first Founding Farmers in Washington, D.C. The restaurant opening had all of the usual panic, fear, and excitement, but magnified by the world dangling over the economic precipice as markets cratered and the Great Recession set in. I knew we were birthing our little company in a recession. I knew that meant our odds of failing as a business just went into the stratosphere. We were going to need to think differently, act differently, and we’d need to challenge ourselves to develop new… read more

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Dan Simons Speaks to Forbes: The Road to Becoming America’s Most Booked Restaurants, 5-Years Running!

As an experienced, sought-after restaurant & hospitality consultant, VSAG Founder Dan Simons has morphed his years in the industry into an acquired narrative of the business of running successful restaurants and keeping a keen eye on what diners want. Dan loves participating in open, honest, valuable conversation about the industry he loves. One such conversation recently took place with Forbes contributor Brian Rashid. The outcome: How Founding Farmers Became the Most Booked Restaurant in the U.S. for 5-Years Running, where Dan dished on the amazing success of VSAG client, Founding Farmers, and the journey Dan has taken with Farmers Restaurant Group,… read more

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Is a Sustainable, Global Food Supply Within Reach?

We offer a hopeful… yes. In these times of burgeoning populations, the strides we’ve made as a company to honor the invaluable service family farms provide our industry, forecasting the developing farmer-owned restaurant concept, and our commitment to offering client guests sustainable menu options at every possible turn, is paramount to our work. We’re encouraged by recent reports from the Environmental Defense Fund indicating that due to initiatives begun at grassroots levels, such as ours that promote sustainable methodology, are having a positive uptick on practical, innovative global food supply efforts and solutions.  Some of those solutions derive from sustainable… read more

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For All You Sweet Potato Lovers…

Oh yeah, February is Sweet Potato Lovers Month! And we concur. Our team loves the yummy, satisfying sweet potato for its naturally sweet taste, nutrition value, and versatility. Bake, boil, roast, mash, sauté, or glaze ‘em – sweet potatoes are one of the most well-loved, versatile, and oldest veggies out there. Fun facts: sweet potatoes come in over 400 varieties, with colors ranging from orange and cream to deep purple and pink, and can be traced back to prehistoric times. So, for all you sweet potato lovers out there… here are some sweet potato nutrition facts, dish ideas, and more…. read more

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Ongoing Investment in Food & Restaurant Technology

As we look to the future, making an ongoing investment in food and restaurant technology will help you grow as a brand and as a company. Food Science & Technology. An interesting topic as it’s continually evolving. Defined by the Institute of Food Technologists as the study of the physical, nutritional, and chemical makeup of food, food science also seeks to uncover the causes of food deterioration. Whereas, food technology applies those disciplines to the selection, processing, packaging, and preservation of food. In short: maintaining food safety and making a conscious effort to impart advanced, sustainable, repurposing methods to reducing… read more

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VSAG Client News: Farmers & Distillers Opens!

The reservation call center is busily up & running, the staff is trained and happily serving hungry guests, the booze is flowing, and yes, the doors are open. We’re thrilled to announce that our longtime client, Farmers Restaurant Group, has opened their latest venture. Located in the cool, culturally diverse Mt Vernon Square neighborhood in the heart of Washington, D.C. Farmers & Distillers is primed to be the next successful venture in this growing restaurant group. Along with sister restaurants, Founding Farmers and Farmers Fishers Bakers, Farmers & Distillers continues the brand’s farmer-owned concept, but with a twist: this restaurant… read more

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