Category: Restaurant Industry News

Six Top Ways to Improve Margins for Your Restaurant

Great news! Our very own, Dan Simons, just wrote a guest blog post for online industry resource Restaurant Discount Warehouse entitled Six Top Ways to Improve Margins for Your Restaurant. Check it out and let us know your thoughts.

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Improving Your Restaurant Business

At VSAG we are always looking to discover or develop innovative systems we can store in our ever-growing arsenal of tools we use to help clients improve and customize their restaurant business strategies. We love that business strategies now include technological advances at every turn. For example, the time has come where guests can pay for meals through a phone, like the mobile payment systems of Square and LevelUp. Unexpected? Not really. So, we’re highlighting a couple business strategies and technical tools that are standouts as valuable means of enhancing reporting, analyzing sales figures and data, and possibly the next… read more

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A Manager in Training Program: Why it’s Worth Implementing

The word “manage” means to “direct, control, handle.” So, isn’t investing in your staff by teaching them to direct, control and handle the running of your restaurant in the same manner as you do worth it? According to the National Restaurant Association, eight in 10 restaurant owners say they got their first industry job in an entry-level position. The message here: In order to grow great managers, they need to work all facets of the restaurant. From the ground up. At VSAG, our restaurant consulting team believes in training and investing in staff, hence building loyalty and trust, and diminishing… read more

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2013 Industry Trends

The New Year has arrived…And as holiday celebrations end, planning for the upcoming year begins, and should be an important part of any company’s “Look back and aim forward” strategy. As part of our planning process, VSAG looks to our friends at the National Restaurant Association for their annual “What’s Hot” Culinary Forecast of Menu Trends as one resource of ideas and information for a small part of what we do. As a company that encourages our clients to implement sustainable practices whenever possible, we are happy to see a strong representation of sustainable trends this year. For example, locally… read more

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Farm Water Conservation Infographic

The folks at Seametrics Inc. created this ‘Interesting Facts About Farm Water Conservation’ Infographic, which we indeed did find interesting and wanted to share. As designers and manufacturers of innovative flow metering products (such as: industrial water treatment, energy management, irrigation, utilities, transportation, and chemical handling), Seametrics has a unique vantage point in shedding light on the issue of farm water conservation. With sustainability as a growing concern among the hospitality community, looking to American farmers for insight on innovations in helping to conserve resources is a smart move. Our farmers are the stewards of our land, and their guidance and… read more

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Keeping Staff Cheer In Check

With the holidays right around the corner, our VSAG team began thinking about keeping cheer in check as staff collectively starts to celebrate the season. We at VSAG believe that guiding our hospitality consulting and restaurant consulting clients to create crystal clear policies regarding alcohol consumption by off-duty employees is vital. Our experience has proved that companies can find a balance between allowing team members to enjoy the privilege and camaraderie of a beverage (or two) while still ensuring everyone’s safety. But, this balance will not occur on its own. It takes policies, training and enforcement of this very important… read more

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Investing in Your Team

After reading a story about a seasoned Bethesda, MD chef who decided to do something he had not done in his 14 years as a restaurateur: Make his top five longest-serving employees part-owners of his latest restaurant – we were intrigued. Could this approach be the new wave of making restaurant concepts succeed beyond the current five-year average? It just might be. Many restaurant brands talk about “ownership” and about their senior staff and employees being brand ambassadors. But this concept literally puts a personal stake in the success or failure of the business, with a percentage share of profits… read more

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Cooking Oil and Your Carbon Footprint. What’s the Connection?

As we watch oil prices and concern over greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels increase by the hour it seems, the recycling of cooking oil is a hot restaurant industry topic. So, on the heels of our recent blog post Go Green … and Your Restaurant’s Bottom Line will Thank you, we wanted to dig deeper. Our findings: recycling cooking oil and turning it into biofuel (which produces near zero emissions) to replace coal and other fossil fuels for heat generation and powering equipment has become a driving force for restaurants to up their sustainable practices ante and reduce their… read more

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What the Midwest Drought Means for Your Restaurant

The news out of the Midwest is difficult to digest: Mother Nature has devastated the area with a severe drought. And the impact is sure to have a lasting effect on not only the availability and conditions of crops (such as corn, wheat, soybeans and rice), but also animal feed and grazing pastures, all ultimately adding to a rise in food costs for years to come. According to U.S. News & World Report, increases are gaining speed with overall crop prices on track to jump another three percent this year on top of the more than eight percent uptick last… read more

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Is Chocolate Really Good for You?

Yes! A recent study performed by the University of California, San Diego Department of Family and Preventative Medicine and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggested that those who consumed chocolate more frequently had a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who did not. Since these findings challenge the common belief that enjoying something as decadent as chocolate can actually be good for you, we wanted to know more. The study’s authors think the findings may be connected to the fact that chocolate (especially dark chocolate) is rich in antioxidants and hence beneficial for metabolic function, reducing inflammation… read more

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