Category: Restaurant Consulting

VSAG on Watch: Pros & Cons of Offering a Restaurant Delivery Service

You decide. We’re breaking it down. Is offering delivery service worth it for you? What are the pros? The cons? Are the projected added costs of hiring drivers/increased insurance/the chance you take with food quality, issues you’re willing to tackle? As background, we recently explored the uptick in delivery-only restaurant concepts making its mark on a new generation of restaurant owners and operators. Sure, these online restaurant prototypes are a sensible way to run one’s operating costs, since there’s no design/brick and mortar space/running restaurant operating costs, etc., but if you’re looking to expand your services (and your brand), eventually… 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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Taking Your Brand Global

Taking your brand global is a huge, and many times complicated, undertaking. As markets and businesses expand globally, we asked our Vice President of Conceptual Projects Val Zweig for some intel as to when a restaurant operator should take that leap and take their brand global. Specializing in researching and developing our U.S. and international restaurant projects, we knew Val would be the perfect resource to shed some light on knowing if, and when, a restaurant brand is ready to translate on a larger, global scale. Know who you are. When gearing up to expand globally, the first step is to… read more

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Dan Simons Out Front with Forbes: Formula for Leadership Model Success.

Dan Simons was recently approached by Forbes magazine to discuss his business leadership style and recipe for success. When a business industry media giant like Forbes comes calling, what’s one to do? You set forth and provide contributor Jeff Boss with an honest, hard-hitting account profiling your business leadership style – the highs, the lows, the lessons learned.  The result: Why This Leadership Model Simply Cannot be Argued With. Now garnering media and industry attention, Dan wanted to share some snippets from the article outlining our work with longtime VSAG client, Farmers Restaurant Group. “The seed from which a business… read more

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Let Your Restaurant’s Artwork Speak for Itself

Choosing artwork for your restaurant may seem an arduous task you feel you’re bound to fail. Fear not. We’ve gone straight to our Creative Director Leah Frankl for her aesthetic expertise. As an interior designer and LEED Accredited Professional, Leah’s art & design experience and well-trained eye allow her to guide clients on creating fully functional, cohesive, sustainable design spaces. As artwork is oftentimes an investment, we were interested in exploring this concept. How to choose restaurant art that fits within the design and feel of a space? Are there any general rules of thumb when choosing artwork? How to… 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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Where Can I Find the Best Market Research on Restaurant Industry Trends?

What helps define a brand from the get go? Their clientele. Many restaurant brands have a wide lens when envisioning what they hope their restaurant will become. But in our experience, that lens usually needs refining in order to set a restaurant business apart and find their niche… to not only get customers in your door, but keep ‘em coming back. As such, a concept’s focus should be routed in and shaped by the audience to which they speak to, cook for, and foster relationships with. Enter: the value of Market Research. What are the characteristics of a population? Where… read more

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5 Tectonic Shifts and Challenges Facing Restaurant Owners and Operators in 2017

As we move into 2017, our team is ready to take on new business and guide our established clients to successful restaurant and hospitality endeavors. An important part of our business practices is forecasting the trends we see as viable industry practices, ideas, and evolutions for the coming year. Our biggest callout? Sustainability. The importance of leaving this planet better than how we found it, is a continued, evolving source of interest, education, and involvement. Here are the Top Five Tectonic Shifts and Challenges We See Facing Restaurant Owners and Operators in 2017. Food Trend: Hand-Pulled Noodles. One of the most beloved,… read more

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A Look Back: Top Restaurant & Hospitality Industry Trends We Saw in 2016

As we end one year and plan for the next, we believe in taking a look back in order to clearly see our future: for our team, our clients, and our industry. This year brought us the power of guest appreciation = great business. In this subjective, and albeit crowded, industry we believe that it’s always a smart move to recognize loyal guests. Not only to foster and strengthen relationships, but it can also have a lasting effect on your brand’s longevity – as happy guests will surely return and recommend you to family and friends. We also saw top… read more

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