Category: Restaurant Industry News

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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Protecting Your Restaurant From Theft

When we hear the word ‘theft,’ many of us think of an outsider in a ski mask breaking and entering into our establishment. While that could be the case, in most instances, it’s more likely to be an inside job, where the thief is actually an employee. This month we explore the ever-present industry issue of protecting restaurants from theft from the inside out. It is a common concern in our industry; it might be a meal here, a good bottle of liquor or wine there (or even more) that adds up to affect your bottom line – and hard… read more

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Safely Sweetened Beverages For a Change

As the New York City soda ban controversy continues to make national headlines, the issue has also sparked debate among restaurant industry insiders and health officials alike. Our team has been following the issue closely, and VSAG recently discovered that a group of health advocates and public heath officials have taken this topic from the mayor’s office in NYC to the steps of the Food and Drug Administration in Washington, D.C. – asking the FDA to regulate the amount of caloric sweeteners in sodas and other beverages since the scientific consensus is that the level of added sugars in those… read more

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Achieving Restaurant Customer Loyalty

The definition of “loyalty” is pretty straightforward: “Unswerving in allegiance… faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution or product.” Easily defined, yes, but not always easy to achieve when it comes to purchasing or customer service relationships. Sure, we expect loyalty from a spouse, from friends and even from employees, but can we expect loyalty from guests who frequent our restaurants? We say “Why Not?” We turned to VSAG Founder Dan Simons for some feedback regarding achieving (and keeping) guest loyalty. A natural choice, since building a successful restaurant and hotel consulting firm is all about cultivating relationships/trust and in… read more

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The Global Water Crisis: What Restaurants and Hotels Can Do

In today’s marketplace earth-friendly operations are at the forefront of many restaurant and hotel operations and management teams. Though true sustainable operations and water saving measures may not be possible to retrofit into every concept, more and more restaurants and hotels are finding it possible to take small steps that can make a big difference, both in their location or property and beyond it. The global water crisis is one cause that is being addressed in many ways – and there are many ways to get involved to help in mitigation of this issue. There are outside groups and companies… read more

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Reducing Waste: Good for the Environment and Your Bottom Line

In an effort to recognize Earth Day, Monday, April 22, 2013, we plan to feature a blog about the inception and importance of Earth Day, and what our industry can do to better our environment. And the perfect segue? This week’s blog on the importance of reducing restaurant waste. We at VSAG were inspired to write about this topic after reading about a group of University of Maryland students who were moved to help reduce waste, and in turn their local community, after witnessing the amounts to food being thrown out in campus cafeterias and after sporting events. They created… read more

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March Highlights: National Nutrition Month and National Agriculture Day

As March continues, there are great opportunities to celebrate National Nutrition Month® and National Agriculture Day on March 19, 2013. The VSAG team thought it opportune to illustrate the importance of these initiatives. Initially created as a weeklong event in 1973, National Nutrition Month expanded in 1980 as public interest in nutrition grew. And today, the goal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics remains the same: Focusing national attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating habits. National Agriculture Day was also founded in 1973 by the Agriculture Council of America to increase awareness… read more

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USDA New Poultry Safety Standards

Recent news out of Washington D.C. is that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released new food safety procedures to keep the poultry that restaurants serve, and thus the guests who consume it, safe of food borne illness. Serving poultry is a mainstay for many U.S. restaurants. And according to the National Chicken Council, the numbers for chicken sales and consumption alone are astronomical: As a nation, we spend $70 billion on chicken and consume approximately 83.6 pounds of our favorite protein per person, per year! The new safety measures taken by the USDA and listed below support three core… read more

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Affordable Care Act: Why You Should Start Planning Now

As the Affordable Care Act goes into effect this year, employers will be responsible for providing staff working an average of at least 30 hours a week with health insurance or face fines starting in 2014, making healthcare a huge industry issue. In fact, as reported by the National Restaurant Association the restaurant industry is expected to employ 13.1 million people in 2013, roughly 10 percent of the total U.S. workforce, making it the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer. And as far as healthcare goes in particular, a recent survey by benefits consulting company Mercer states that almost half of hospitality (and… read more

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