Category: Restaurant Industry News

VSAG on Menu Trends Watch: Diners Calling for More Healthful Vegetables

More and more diners are eating their veggies! At least according to a recent report by food industry research firm Technomic, which found that diners want to see more healthful veggies on their plate. In their research, Technomic attributes their findings to a number of factors as to why vegetables are taking center stage (or should we say center-of-the-plate?). The factors include:  an increase in prices of proteins, as well as the increase of Americans wanting to eat healthier, as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Other report findings on vegetables and their growing popularity on menus include: in the… read more

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The VSAG Food Imports Watch: FDA Proposes New Regulations

Recent news alerts from The U.S. Food and Drug Administration state that they have proposed new regulations to further ensure that food coming into the country meet the same safety standards as food produced in the United States. Working in conjunction with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the FDA import proposals are deemed as a step forward to reach the goals of improving prevention and modernization practices for our country’s food safety system in the 21st century. According to the FDA, imported food comes into the U.S. from roughly 150 different countries and accounts for about 15% of our nation’s total… read more

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VSAG on Industry Watch: Gluten-Free Seal of Approval

We’ve talked in the past about the importance of educating food service operators as an industry in regards to being conscious of gluten-free and other dietary concerns of guests and providing them with smart food options when dining out. Now it seems as though the millions of those suffering from Celiac Disease or some form of sensitivity to gluten are going to find support, not just from advocates in the restaurant industry, but also on a national scale from the regulators. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a final ruling on what characteristics foods must have in order… read more

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Coffee is King: Big Business in a Cup

Is it just us, or is there a coffee shop, cafe, or specialty sandwich shop serving coffee on every street corner these days? It seems so. And evidently that’s good news for today’s U.S. business traveler, as coffee reigns king on their expense reports. According to a study conducted by the folks at online expense management provider Certify in their recently released SpendSmart™ Report, coffee is big business in a cup… with Starbucks ranking as the number one meal expenditure choice for today’s weary business travelers in need of a cup of joe (and some food). Take heed of these… read more

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Going Global With Menus

Nothing connects you to a place, its people and its culture quite like experiencing the local fare and cuisine. And since a far-flung vacation is not always on the menu, what better way to take diners on a global flavor tour than to incorporate international ingredients into your dishes? We turned to our VSAG resident globetrotter Valerie Zweig, Director of Conceptual Projects, to ask for some of her favorite flavors and dish inspirations that she’s discovered in her travels. With a culinary background and a passion for research, part of Val’s job is to seek out interesting foods and trends… read more

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SEO: Making it Work for Your Business

What business owner doesn’t want to grow, improve and prosper? And navigating through, and making use of, all the tools and assets in the expanding digital world of rankings and search engines is crucial in getting your name our there. Exposure and awareness leads to more business. One important variable and tool stands out among the vast number of options for lead generation and ways to increase visibility, and particularly through leading search engine Google, and others like Bing and Yahoo; it’s SEO – Search Engine Optimization. What is an SEO? Essentially, SEO is described as the process of improving… read more

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Food for Thought: What’s on That Plate?

It seems to be an age-old restaurant industry debate: does plate size really matter? Whether you are an executive chef or operate a full-service restaurant or neighborhood cafe (or wear both hats), plate size and portion size were inevitably apart of your consideration at launch, and continues still as you overhaul menus, create seasonal offerings and change plate presentations to stay fresh. So, at VSAG we got to thinking about the pros and cons of portion extremes: small plates vs family-style servings… Small Plates. Over the past decade or so, small plate-centric restaurants (such as tapas bars and tasting menu… read more

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What Do You Do When Your Restaurant is Attacked Online?

When your restaurant is attacked online your first thought is: How do I combat this? If you envision an unknown assailant spewing negativity from their laptop… and feel helpless and fearful of the outcome. You are not alone! We are here to tell you it is not helpless and that there are ways to protect your brand and your reputation. All you need are the tools to arm yourself and some dedicated time and attention to mitigating attacks. In fact, VSAG’s Dan Simons recently spoke on a panel at the 94th annual National Restaurant Association Show about this very timely… read more

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VSAG on Sustainability Watch: Overfishing Oceans

To say that the folks at One World One Ocean love the ocean is an understatement. From the tropical reefs to the Arctic sea ice, they are dedicated to restoring the world’s oceans back to a wild, healthy natural state and work to help sea life thrive. As researchers, they know something has to be done now about the dangers of overfishing. In fact, their chief advisor, National Geographic explorer in residence and oceanographer Sylvia Earle, says that what we do in the next ten years – either good or bad, to the environment – will set the ocean’s fate… read more

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From Dan Simons: ‘Testing Your Restaurant Concept Prior to Launch’ Featured on RestaurantReport.com

With so much time, effort and money involved in the opening of a restaurant and all the uncertainty that is inherently attached to the process, is there stock in testing your restaurant concept prior to launch? Learn how VSAG Founder Dan Simons uses his vast industry experience with developing and testing clients’ restaurant concepts prior to launch, in both domestic and international markets, in his latest published piece: “Testing Your Restaurant Concept Prior to Launch” featured on RestaurantReport.com. (*As a champion of the independent restaurateur, RestaurantReport proves a valuable informational resource go-to site for industry professionals.) 

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