Category: Restaurant Consulting

Spotlight on Sustainability: Dan Simons Speaks at NRA ‘Conserve’ Program Conference

VSAG Founder Dan Simons was recently asked to participate in the National Restaurant Association’s Conserve program expert panel sessions re: one of the most important and viable issues in the restaurant and foodservice industry today: sustainability best practices. One of Dan’s contributions focused on how to develop a sustainability-focused menu, here are a few of his guidelines: Clearly define what sustainability means for your restaurant, whether it means sourcing locally, serving sustainable seafood or supporting area farmers and manufacturers Walk the talk even if some criticize you or customers complain when a favorite item is no longer seasonal and off the… read more

Share

Facebook’s New SinglePlatform Tool Can Drive Guest Trial

As social media continues to grow in value and effectiveness as a marketing tool for the restaurant industry, the many new systems, techniques, and apps regularly coming onto the scene are helping to make strides for how we do business every day. As big believers in the power of reaching guests and potential guests through social media, we know the importance of refreshing social media pages with up to date profiles on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other popular apps, and also mixing it up by changing cover art and images on a regular basis to help keep your social media… read more

Share

Patio Friendly Menus & Seasonal Décor

Warm summer days and balmy nights are the perfect settings for expanding guest services. Patios are a great way to expand your business and offer guests not only great patio menu choices, but also an inviting, seasonal setting to enjoy. As restaurant consultants, we are well versed in creating menus and designing décor, and know that not every item on a menu or element of patio décor may necessarily hold up to an outdoor dining experience. Consider these designer patio menus and seasonal décor that will work to set your restaurant apart this summer. In creating a successful patio-friendly menu,… read more

Share

Summer’s Bounty: Best Fruit Choices for Menus

Now that summer’s arrived, guests are craving dishes that fit the season’s light, airy vibe. And what’s one of the best ways to take advantage of this season’s bounty? Fresh fruit. In our ongoing efforts to consistently help our restaurant consulting clients maintain their food and beverage operations to offer diners options that are always fresh, healthful, and interesting, summer proves one of our favorite culinary seasons, and opens up a lot of possibilities for new dishes. As fresh fruits are packed with healthful benefits, the plethora of summer selections allow the chefs we work with inspired creativity. As their… read more

Share

Grilled to Perfection: Summer’s Bounty on a Plate

The char-lines are unmistakable; vibrant colors appear to jump off the plate; and the amazingly savory, smoky flavor makes mouths water … Yes, we’re talking grilled summer vegetables. As the flavors and local harvests of summer are arriving, adding fresh, grilled vegetables to your restaurant’s seasonal summer selections should be part of your menu development plan and a way to keep guests interested in what’s new. From artichokes to zucchini, and anything in between, adding grilled vegetables (alone or in yummy combinations) will give new life to pizzas, pastas, proteins, seafood, and salads. Another option is to finely chop or… read more

Share

Brand Extension 101

We could liken the task of extending or expanding the familiarity and strength of a brand to the analogy of natural connection and relationship of an expanded sandwich section on a restaurant menu if the restaurant is a leader in that category, or by adding a type of wine to the store shelves due to popular demand by customers. Ah, if only adding elements to connect to your brand was that simple. Well, we’ve discovered that it’s not that far off – and that having a solid product and a well thought out brand development strategy is key. Success comes… read more

Share

5 Tips to Keep Your Restaurant Health Inspection Ready

Is your restaurant ready for a health inspection right now? Chances are, the answer is “Probably not.” If you think your restaurant might be in that situation, there are effective tools to implement quickly and easily to maintain an eatery that is inspection ready – at all times. Our number one tip? Create consistency. As restaurant consultants and hospitality concept professionals, we know that consistency is key in nearly all we do, and is one of our most important industry leadership tactics. Having a trusted plan in place for all systems and operational approaches (from front of house and management… read more

Share

Super Spring Foods to Make Your Menu a Standout This Season

It was a long winter for most of the country, so we’re more than happy to usher in spring and its bounty of fresh ingredients! And with US VegWeek 2014, a week (April 21-27) dedicated to exploring the benefits of vegetarian eating kicking off today, we thought it would be the perfect time to highlight some spring dish ideas utilizing the season’s best harvests. As you (and your chefs) busily prepare spring menu concepts, let vibrant greens (artichokes, arugula, asparagus, baby peas, brussels sprouts, collard greens, cucumbers, dandelion greens, kale & spinach) and reds (beets, cherry tomatoes, radishes, ramps, red bell peppers, red-leaf cabbage, rhubarb &… read more

Share

Stocking the Perfect Bar for Your Restaurant, Part II: Wine + Beer

As part of our “Stocking the Perfect Bar” series, last month we covered essential spirits, elixirs, cordials, and other specialty types of liquors that can help your bar and your restaurant business flourish. This month, we asked Molly Horn, Head Bartender at Farmers Fishers Bakers in Washington, D.C., to highlight some best practices for wine lists and bar programs. Our goal for this bar-centric series is to offer helpful guidelines to achieving higher sales and increasing the appeal of your overall bar program, while showcasing the spirits you offer, along with compelling wine lists + bar offerings – a program, if you will… read more

Share

Get Your Grilled Cheese On! Celebrate this American Classic Year Round

Unless you’re a diehard Grilled Cheese fan, you may have not been aware that April 12 was ‘National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day.’ Yes, there is a day set aside to mark this auspicious American classic – and there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy this delicious sandwich type regularly. Legend has it that the grilled cheese sandwich made its mark on U.S. menus in the 1920s when inexpensive cheese and conveniently sliced bread became readily available. And since then, the tasty, gooey goodness of the grilled cheese sandwich has become a staple in cafes, diners, local eateries, and school cafeterias across… read more

Share