Category: Restaurant Industry News

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

The excitement of working in the restaurant industry lies heavily in the constant state of activity, the constant challenge to execute consistently and the relentless need to stay ahead of the curve. From servers dodging oncoming trays and knife-wielding kitchen staff prepping for a busy dinner service to the ever-changing industry regulations, trends, and technologies, there are always new things to learn, improvements to be made, and tactics to apply to generate more success. As restaurant consultants, it’s our job to navigate change by researching, analyzing, strategizing, and forecasting … and in the end – always keeping our clients’ best… read more

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VSAG On Watch: The Great Tipping Debate. Where Do You Stand?

To tip or not to tip? That is the restaurant industry question du jour. So, we ask you: can we decide the following in this one conversation … Will service suffer if we eradicate tipping? Is tipping fair or does it perpetuate inequality among restaurant workers? Will guests welcome a menu pricing increase in order to forgo the extra steps (& a math problem) at the end of their meal? Why don’t restaurants pay servers and bartenders just like other employees get paid? The short answer is “No” we can’t solve all this in one short conversation. But, we’re aiming… read more

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A Look Back at Top Restaurant & Hospitality Industry Trends

In an industry known as much for the quick-pace as for the long hours, as restaurant & hospitality consultants and operators, we continually focus our efforts on making strides that move our client’s businesses forward. How do we succeed? By making it our business to stay informed on the industry’s latest technologies, food trends, research, and resources. By listening to guests and crafting real solutions for giving them what they want. By looking at the past to help our clients forecast their future. Each year we look back at the top restaurant and hospitality industry trends of the year, and… read more

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Standout on Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is November 28 this year. And, if your business has at least one but no more than 25 locations, than you’re already a participating member. We gathered some background information on gaining support for your small business, tips to make your business stand out, and how to participate. What is Small Business Saturday? A national program started in 2010 by American Express which focuses on supporting and promoting local small business owners and their businesses – on not only Small Business Saturday, but throughout the year. In the years since, the ‘Shop Small’ notion has gained such… read more

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Gain Local Exposure, One New Homeowner at a Time

How do you best promote your business’s local exposure? By partnering with your area Chamber of Commerce. As defined by Merriam Webster, your local Chamber of Commerce is: An association of businesspeople to promote commercial and industrial interests in the community. Hence, the perfect platform to maximizing your customer outreach and your local exposure. After joining your local Chamber, many invite member access to any business discounts/special services they offer as well as events calendars, educational services, and networking contacts. Make the most of this access and add real value to your business by developing restaurant marketing concepts according to… read more

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Global Food Trends: Ethnic Cuisine Making its Mark

What does our restaurant consulting team do for fun? Besides gathering to eat the best foods we can find – we find joy in seeking out trends and advising our clients on how to translate them into effective, long-term business strategies. One such trend we’ve been watching: Ethnic Cuisine. Sure, Americans have their traditional favorites (i.e. Italian, Chinese, Mexican), but we see the market going global. With four out of five people surveyed saying they eat at least one type of ethnic cuisine every month and 84% preferring to eat ethnic cuisine at restaurants that focus specifically on that type… read more

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VSAG Client News: Unity Plaza Set to Open

Ah, we love when a comprehensive project with lots of moving parts turns out better than we’d hoped! Kudos to our consulting team for maintaining their focus, passion, and dedication (even through tough days!) in order to bring our client’s vision to reality. As we highlighted our creative partnership in a Unity Plaza news post a few months back, today we’re excited to announce that this project, which we’ve worked tirelessly on with a remarkable team of dedicated development professionals, is moving to the next phase as … Unity Plaza, the dynamic Jacksonville, Fla. non profit, community-based campus, located at… read more

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VSAG on Watch: Protecting Against Credit Card Skimming

As seasoned restaurant consultants, our team has learned (sometimes the hard way) that if attention isn’t paid to, and proven business methods are not implemented in, the back office –there can be no front of house to welcome guests. Enter: Lara Hardcastle. Our smart, savvy Vice President who makes it her business to keep our business, and our client’s businesses, running smoothly from technology perspective. Case in Point. Taking note of recent warnings issued by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI) re: a projected increase of restaurant industry cashiers and servers with credit card skimmers. “Theft is a… read more

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VSAG on Watch: Antibiotics & Food Safety

The call for fewer antibiotics to be used within our nation’s medical system as well as within our food supply has been answered within the hallowed halls of the White House. The catalyst: reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that at least two million illnesses annually in the U.S. alone, and approximately 23,000 deaths, are believed to be attributed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Legislatures recently issued a memorandum to combat these numbers by encouraging responsible use of antibiotics in not only our medical communities, but also within our agricultural system. Namely, to educate food producers (i.e…. read more

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Industry News: Monthly Restaurant Sales Exceed Grocery Store Sales

Great news for the restaurant industry: according to the U.S. Census Bureau, for the first time ever: monthly sales at restaurants exceeded grocery store sales this past December. And the news continues, as this trend has intensified in the months since. Reasons for this unprecedented benchmark have been offered by consumer research* in part as follows: 63% of those surveyed feel more confident in their financial situation 56% revealed that their bank accounts have been buoyed by the recent drop in gas prices 46% said it’s because their household income increased and … overall within the survey, 33% said they… read more

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