Category: Restaurant Consulting

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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What’s Hot in Holiday Flavor Profiles?

‘Tis the season to open your doors and welcome your festive guests, who are ready to get their party on! Now’s the time. Try new, seasonal food trends, popular flavors, ingredients, and preparations. Diners are open to new beginnings and discovering flavor trends for the first time or revisiting nostalgic flavors of holidays past. Either way, position your holiday to take guest’s taste buds happily through the season and into the New Year. Our culinary team, including our in-house R&D Specialist Amanda Webb, is hard at work guiding clients to making the most of their holiday menus. So, like kids… read more

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VSAG Founder Dan Simons Speaks to Responding To Bad Reviews & Coming Out Stronger

For those of us who’ve been in the restaurant business for sometime, we’ve all been served a piece of humble pie a time or two (or three!). But what defines us is how we deal with negativity that is par for the course in this subjective service industry. Bad reviews, negative press, customer grievances, and the like are never a pleasure to read or hear, but there are lessons to be learned IF you’re willing to put your ego aside and listen, analyze, and make necessary changes in order to better your business. Take note. “We’re transparent about who we… read more

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How Restaurant Chains Run Differently than Independent Restaurants?

Always striving for industry insight to better serve our clients, we went straight to our very own, Dan Simons, for his insight on this topic. Is one model better for business? What are the differences? What sets the daily operations of these two entities apart? Here’s Dan’s take: Resources. Chain restaurants have the benefit of more resources. From purchasing and food safety to facility management and more employees to expedite the workload, all can lead to positive results. On the other hand, many independents are under-resourced for these areas of operations and more, oftentimes leaving them feeling like they are… read more

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Fall Foods: Menu Pick

One of our favorite seasonal preparations? Pickling. This popular method of preserving foods with salt water or vinegar (try white distilled or cider vinegars) is a culinary mainstay for fresh vegetables (i.e. low acidic, root vegetables), and a great way to add, new seasonal ingredients to your menu as well as elevate your sustainable practices. As we’re seeing an uptick in sour over sweet in dining trends these days, now’s the perfect time to experiment with pickling. Here are a few fall pickling ideas and tips to enrich your menu this season. House-made Pickles. When most of us think ‘pickling’… read more

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Dan Simons Speaks to the Mission and Success of VSAG Client, Founding Farmers

A great big shout out to our very own Dan Simons on getting out in front of the Farmers Restaurant Group brand, Founding Farmers. His passion and dedication to increasing demand for family-farmed products and educating on the message of family farming vs. corporate farms-industries, is a common thread running through the farmer-owned, Founding Farmers brand. As concept developer and owner, Dan’s commitment to the brand is on display within two significant media pieces. In the recent Huffington Post blog feature, A New Deal for Farmers – How Founding Farmers is Changing the Game, Dan speaks to his belief that “Farmers… read more

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Successful Engagement for a Bright Future

Our business development focus is set on growth within all arenas. For us, one constant that always aligns within our growth structure? The next generation of restaurant operators, and our ongoing efforts to pass the baton – by engaging, inspiring, and supporting them. If encouraging and educating students already interested in a culinary career also appeals to you, here are some great scholarship and outreach opportunities to motivate you. Inspired by the amazing students and hospitality program at Washington, D.C.’s The George Washington University, in 2011 we developed the Scholarship for Sustainable Hospitality. Awarded to GW students pursuing a culinary… read more

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