Category: VSAG Team News

Growing Your Business: Dan Simons Talks Successful Partnerships

Over the years VSAG co-Founder Dan Simons has learned the restaurant business from the ground up. From his front of house-service start to transitioning to a seasoned restaurant consultant and ultimately as concept developer and operator, Dan has learned the value of a great partnership and what they can do to propel the growth of a restaurant concept. Recently, Dan was asked to talk to his experience in a lively radio interview on KFGO radio, out of our client Farmers Restaurant Group’s partner North Dakota Farmers Union territory of Fargo-Moorhead, North Dakota. He was happy to tell his story and that… 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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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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Congratulations VSAG’s Dan Simons: Winner of the Washington SmartCEO Cornerstone Award

Kudos Dan Simons on winning the prestigious Washington SmartCEO Cornerstone Award! Dan was recognized not only for his tireless dedication to our growing company and our entire team, but also for his role as Owner with successful VSAG client, Farmers Restaurant Group (FRG), and in particular their Founding Farmers restaurant located in Potomac*, MD. As the SmartCEO Award was created to celebrate Washington, D.C.-area businesses making their mark within the region as not only economic drivers, but also as companies who’ve successfully made a positive impact on job creation and retention, market competition and innovation, as well as local and regional philanthropy. This… read more

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VSAG Interview: Dan Simons Featured in Food Fanatics Magazine

As restaurant consultants who conduct business in all areas of the restaurant & hospitality industry, we are happy when approached by the media to offer our take on various industry topics. Our very own, Dan Simons, is thrilled to be featured in the Summer 2015 issue of Food Fanatics. A groundbreaking, visually driven magazine giving readers a comprehensive, interesting, and lively look into the business of foodservice, from the latest food trends to industry insights to inspirational business concepts. In this issue, Dan provides an overview, guidelines, and best practices of our business’s approach and methodology to successfully building employee… 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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Guiding a Global Brand into New Hospitality Markets

Our VSAG team was pleased when asked recently to host a private Chinese investment group for a multi-day, thought leadership, in-depth restaurant & hospitality industry fact-finding strategy session that successfully took us from boardroom roundtable discussions to restaurant visits in major U.S. markets such as Washington, D.C, New York, and California. Our Goal? Engaging with industry experts and the best restaurant consulting minds in the business to strategically gauge best practices on guiding a global brand into new hospitality markets. And hence, making the most of business opportunities overseas. Our Strategy? Provide as much usable content related to all facets… read more

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VSAG in the News: “Foodie and the Beast” Talks to VSAG’s Dan Simons & Chef Joe Goetze

Dan Simons and Chef Joe Goetze recently sat down with Washington, D.C.’s popular weekly live radio food and wine variety show, Foodie and the Beast, to chat about client Farmers Restaurant Group’s new restaurant, Founding Farmers Tysons with show host Nycci Nellis. Dan and Chef Joe didn’t waste any time getting right into talking about what everyone loves most: Food! And Chef Joe didn’t disappoint as he showed up with a delicious preview of treats from Founding Farmers Tysons, complete with delicious pastry creme filled Jefferson Donuts as well as the new sweet & savory Farm Bread Grandma Bev’s Ham Cookie Spread for the Foodie and the… read more

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Join the Fight: World Cancer Day

Each year, February 4th marks World Cancer Day. And as restaurant consultants who care about the guests our clients serve in their restaurants every day, we wanted to mark the significance of this day by offering some industry-specific ideas in the hopes of making a difference in the fight against cancer. As current statistics demonstrate, approximately a third of cancers could be prevented through physical activity, diet, and maintaining a healthy weight. Since the restaurant & hospitality industries can use our platform to positively influence two out three of those preventative measures, that knowledge in and of itself makes our industry… read more

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On the Farm: VSAG BarnStorming 101

What better way to pave the road to sustainability than developing a working farm to supply product to your restaurant… and beyond? As curious, inquisitive restaurant consultants we’re always looking for new, exciting opportunities to improve upon our client’s businesses and poise them (i.e. you) for growth and long-term success. We wanted to share a recent information gathering “BarnStorming” (yes, we believe we coined this farm-related term) session we conducted for our Farmers Restaurant Group client Founding Farmers restaurants. Our goal was to not only investigate opportunities to take their already successful farm-to-table concept to the next level, but to… read more

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