Category: Restaurant Consulting

Call to Action: Bettering Our Planet For a Sustainable Future

As active restaurant and hospitality industry participants, we believe in coming together for a great cause. And we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the universal cause of bettering our planet than by highlighting ways to bring about change in our environmental practices. Our Call to Action? Earth Day, celebrated this year on April 22nd, spurs us on annually, but we’re also inspired by the ongoing efforts we see implemented within restaurant kitchen operations every day. For example, cutting food waste and local sourcing offer operators an impactful dip into the sustainability pool, but what we oftentimes don’t… read more

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Protect Your Brand + Reputation: The Social Media Neutralizer

Social media is a contact sport. The sooner that concept is embraced, the better prepared any restaurant business will be. Restaurants are a tough business for many reasons. One underrated issue is word of mouth – reviews are what can provide a boost as well as what can sink a fledgling restaurant. And more likely than not, the one person who has a bad experience at a restaurant will shout the loudest – louder than most satisfied customers. While grappling with this issue, VSAG Founder Dan Simons developed a methodology which he later coined: the Social Media Neutralizer. Creating a… read more

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Best Practices: Streamlining Employee Labor Scheduling

Control your cost of business. Easier said than done? Not for us.  In an industry that serves high costs with oftentimes low profit margins, it’s imperative to put proven staff scheduling restaurant software, technology and systems in place in order to control labor costs without sacrificing service. Hence, allowing you and your managers to not only make the most of your resources to lower costs, but increase performance by getting out in front and working alongside staff – all in the name of bettering your business. Our methods of streamlining labor scheduling for clients, and hence our employee productivity measurement… read more

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The Top 8 Healthy Kids Menu Ideas for Restaurants

Over the years we’ve watched and reported on the healthful kids meals trend. We’re always happy to utilize our client and restaurant industry-centric news blog platform to help shape healthy eating habits for the next, and we might add notoriously skeptical, generation of diners. As busy restaurant consultants, we sometimes get lost in the process of creating and sustaining concepts for our wide range of clients. But, what ultimately makes us tick is that many of us are parents and we want to do right by not only our kids, but your little eaters as well. We’ve stressed the importance… read more

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On Trend: Making All Day Breakfast Work for Your Restaurant

We recently forecasted the rise of the All Day Breakfast restaurant industry trend.  It appears our trend-watching team was right on target as expanding breakfast to other dayparts seems a good bet as traditional breakfast food items are cost effective and the audience is reportedly there. According to a topical report by the National Restaurant Association, seven out of 10 diners say they want restaurants to serve breakfast throughout the day. But, as with any business decision, ask yourself if it makes sense for you. In this instance if you already have breakfast items on your menu that’s a plus…. read more

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The 4 Best Practices for Handling Guest Complaints at your Restaurant

As a restaurateur, we’re pretty sure you’ve heard it all. Guests complaining about service staff, food too cold, sunlight shining in guest’s eyes, and the inevitable for a busy, high-volume restaurants – long wait times. Training, experience, and approach are key in handling restaurant complaints … and vital to keeping staff and guest happy. We went straight to the source, a seasoned restaurant industry insider, for useful advice on best practices and general course of actions for some of the most common restaurant guest complaints and how to tackle them like a pro. Farmers Restaurant Group Managing Partner Kendra Graves was happy… read more

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Valentine’s Day Means Big Business

As Valentine’s Day is huge business for the restaurant industry, we’ve got some great ideas to help fill your seats on this busy holiday. In fact, according to the National Restaurant Association, Valentine’s Day is traditionally the second most popular holiday for dining out, only bested by Mother’s Day. So, as the millions of Americans make their plans this Valentine’s Day, your restaurant concept development needs to be special enough for guests to choose your establishment to celebrate. Love for the Ages. Create a marketing campaign promoting your Valentine’s restaurant specials and prix fixe menus on your website and in-store… read more

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Cabbage: Winter’s Super Star

Cabbage is quickly becoming this winter’s menu super star. The versatility, the health benefits, and the hearty consistency make it the perfect highlight of soups, stews, salads, pastas, and more. As winter foods and ingredients can tend to leave guests feeling full, adding a cruciferous, winter vegetable like cabbage to your seasonal menu can offer just the right amount of balance to any dish. With less than 20 calories per half cup cooked, cabbage health benefits serve up a great nutritional, and cost effective, ingredient for guests. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database*, other health benefits of cabbage, include:… read more

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VSAG on Watch: Going From Restaurant Employee to Owner & Operator

Going from restaurant employee to owner & operator may seem like an insurmountable feat, but our Founder Dan Simons has done just that and is sharing his top three steps here, on how to become a restaurant owner and hence, a successful, bona fide restaurateur. 1) What kind of leader do you want to be? Write a one-page, detailed description of the kind of leader and restaurant owner you envision yourself as, for example: How you will treat staff How you will handle guests (even if they feel they’ve had a negative experience at your restaurant) How you will handle vendors… read more

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Winter Foods & Beverages Trends to Watch

We’ve been tracking winter foods and winter menu ideas for sometime. Compiling information from our very own corporate chefs kitchen, tracking industry research, listening to our client needs, and keeping tabs on what’s trending on restaurant social media sites. Here are a few Winter Foods & Beverages Trends we think will carry us through this season, and beyond. The Next Step in Bar Innovations. We’ve seen industry trends for craft beers and craft sodas take flight, now we’re watching as the season takes winter cocktails to the next level of bar program innovation: in-house distilleries. As the restaurant industry is… read more

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