Category: Restaurant Industry News

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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Summer’s Top Beverage Trends ’15

Some of the summer drink trends pouring onto beverage menus this season are fresh, healthy, and delicious. From creative juices flowing from fresh and yummy juice bars to refreshing twists on the timeless iced tea, we love these summer beverage trends! The Juice Bar. Can prove a risky business venture as juicing programs feature fresh fruit (thatcan turn on a dime) and costly cold press equipment, and the like. But the benefits of offering diners healthy freshness in a bottle often outweighs the risk for those willing to dedicate themselves to devising a streamlined, innovative program that sets them apart…. read more

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NRA Study Reveals: Restaurant Employees are Proud of What They do

And why shouldn’t they be? The restaurant industry has witnessed continued growth within recent years and compelling new research focusing on Who Works in the U.S. Restaurant Industry released by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) reveals that employees are proud of what they do. In fact, as one in three Americans got their first job in the restaurant industry, many have built life long, successful careers as restaurant owners, operators, and chefs. With that dedication and success also comes great pride for their chosen field. Some top percentage statistics from those employees surveyed that are proud to work… read more

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VSAG on Transparency: Top 3 Tips for Designing an Open Concept

Miriam Webster defines “transparent” as: able to be seen through, easy to notice or understand, honest and open, not secretive. What better way to welcome your guests and have them connect with your space the minute they walk through the door, then with the transparency of an open design concept? While it may not be your style to put your full restaurant on display, carving out specific areas where guests can get a great view of your team and their culinary skills (i.e. a portion of your kitchen or a dessert station), is great for the business of transparency. Bonus:… read more

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Seasonal Servings: Top 3 Summer Food Trends Direct from our Kitchens

Summer is here! Time to revamp menus to reflect the lighter, refreshing foods and ingredients of the season. We’re diving into summer with great ideas from our culinary R&D Specialist, Amanda Webb, and her team. Let’s see what seasonal superstar dish components and food trends they’ve uncovered. Farro. This Mediterranean grain is quickly becoming a popular alternative to couscous and other small grain pastas. Farro’s consistency proves perfect for incorporating into salads and soups as it really envelops the flavors added to it. This summer, expect to see farro as a nutritious addition to green salads with spinach, kale and arugula,… read more

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Craft Beers Take Center Stage

Whether brewed on premises or fashioned in nearby craft breweries, craft beers are making their mark on the beer and beverage industry. As craft beers and the art of creating a specialty and/or seasonally influenced beer are gaining popularity with guests across the country. In fact according to CraftBeer.com, the average American lives within 10 miles of a craft brewery. And the Brewers Association reports that craft beer volumes are steadily achieving double-digit market growth. The typical American craft beer brewer is defined by the Brewers Association as having three major components: Small: annual production of six million barrels of beer or… read more

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Great Spring Ingredients: Foods to Highlight on Menus

Reworking menus to focus on spring menu ideas is a great way to experiment with and incorporate seasonal ingredients into dishes. So, we peeked into the kitchens of our resident culinary R&D Specialist, Amanda Webb, to find out what’s cooking. And true to form, Amanda shared an array of amazing spring ingredients, components, and ideas that are captivating her and her team this season. Infused Waters. Coconut water was arguably the first, but now we’re seeing all types of infused waters (maple, artichoke, and even cactus and aloe) popping up on beverage programs. In fact, we recently developed a popular infused… read more

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VSAG on Beverage Industry Trends Watch: Spring Cocktails to Share

As you open your restaurant’s windows and patio doors to usher in the warmth of spring, it’s a great time to focus on your spring cocktails and beverage trends. Guests want something new, light, and refreshing … to share. Yes, we said ‘share.’ From posting to tagging to following friends online, the concept of sharing abounds for today’s social media savvy consumers. So, why not make the most of that concept at your bar and offer guests a selection of shared cocktails to enjoy with friends on a fun night out? Festive punch bowls filled with spiced rum and great,… read more

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VSAG on Industry Watch: National Restaurant Association (NRA) Releases New Restaurant Industry Forecast

  The numbers are powerful… $709.2 billion: restaurant industry sales projected this year 14 million: people expected to be employed in the restaurant industry this year alone (translates to about one in 10 working Americans) Nine in 10: Americans say they enjoy dining out 7 million: restaurant industry jobs expected to emerge over the next decade (with employment reaching approx 15.7 million by 2025) 16 years (& counting): years the restaurant industry has outpaced other U.S. industries in job growth The NRA’s 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast is an overall look at the U.S. restaurant industry, segmented into six comprehensive topic… read more

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