Category: VSAG Team News

GM Interview: Terrapin’s Brian Williams

Brian Williams, General Manager and Sommelier of Terrapin Restaurant in Virginia Beach, keeps his establishment running in tip-top shape and makes sure his guests leave happy.  VSAG was lucky enough to snag a few minutes of his time between the hustle and bustle of managing a successful restaurant to get some insight into Brian: 1. What first interested you in the restaurant industry? Being in and around good food and learning about wine — it was everything I wanted my life to be. 2. How did you evolve to be where you are today? I started as a busboy in… read more

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3-Minute Interviewee Dan Simons on Founding Farmers

VSAG Founder Dan Simons was featured in the Washington Examiner’s 3-Minute Interview Column.  This recurring column provides a sneak peek into the professional lives of DC-area locals. Dan was asked about his work with VSAG client Founding Farmers: the impetus behind the development of the popular restaurant, the ongoing commitment to being green and what it feels like to be a part of the team that keeps the Greenest Restaurant in Washington, DC serving up delicious fare every day.

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Staying on Trend, Without Being Trendy

Healthful kids’ meals. Locally sourced meats and seafood. Sustainability. Gluten-free/food allergy-conscious items. These are only some of the top 2012 food/menu trends recently revealed by The National Restaurant Association. But, staying on trend without becoming too trendy is an art – a tricky one at that.  And as you develop and create your restaurant business plan, menu content, menu design, restaurant design and even name, it’s important to keep the mantra of being on trend versus being trendy in mind. “There is a value in this business to staying on trend, without jumping on the bandwagon and being TRENDY,” says… read more

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How To Successfully Conduct a Capital Raise

What is a capital raise? Basically, a capital raise is obtaining capital (i.e. cash money) from investors to help fund new or growing business ventures, where the investors will own a share in the business in exchange for their investment. A capital raise is a great option for many start-up hospitality businesses, especially those that are not self-or bank-funded.  Investors can be found anywhere: from family and friends to like-minded business people within your community. That said, a capital raise is certainly one of the most difficult parts of opening a new business, and like anything, the more prepared you… read more

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Just Call Him Professor Dan

VSAG Founder Dan Simons has a new peg to hang his hat on: Professor!  Dan is just coming off a stint teaching a 7-week course at The George Washington University School of Business.  Dan shared his valuable business insight and intel with 20 up-and-coming GW School of Business Students who will surely keep his tips and secrets with them as they embark on what will certainly be successful careers.

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March is National Nutrition Month®: Who Will you Support? VSAG Loves DC Central Kitchen

A food service and education pioneer, DC Central Kitchen’s mission is clear: “To use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities.” DC Central Kitchen’s programs provide a comprehensive continuum of care to the people they serve. This is an admirable mission statement any day of the year. But during National Nutrition Month, sponsored every March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to focus attention on the importance of making informed, nutritious food choices, DC Central Kitchen’s mantra is especially poignant. But, just how does DC Central Kitchen complete their mission? Everyday, DC Central Kitchen… read more

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The George Washington University Honors VSAG’s Dan Simons at Alumni Event

Congratulations to VSAG Founder Dan Simons on receiving the first annual George Washington University’s “Business Gives Back Distinguished Alumni Award.” This prestigious recognition was created this year as a part of the 2nd annual “Business Gives Back” honors, where GW School of Business alumni and students are acknowledged for their commitment to teaching responsible business practices and empowering students to impact positive social change. Held this past weekend in Washington D.C., the “Business Gives Back” awards event brought together students, professors, alumni and members of the DC business community not only to celebrate the honorees, but to also raise funds for… read more

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Better Tiki Than Tacky

Farmers & Fishers brings a popular cocktail movement back into vogue with the launch of a new bar program that embraces the art of the Tiki bar, and specifically, the classic art of making a delicious Tiki cocktail. The Washington Post recently profiled the history of the Tiki cocktail and Farmers & Fishers Chief Mixologist Jon Arroyo was featured. Read more here: http://bit.ly/36m9Ui.

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VSAG Names Scholarship for Sustainability

Soon the school year at George Washington University will come to a close, and one student in particular has VSAG, Founding Farmers and Farmers & Fishers restaurants in her corner, with a $5,000 scholarship to help get her closer to her BBA from the GW School of Business in 2012. Lily Belter was selected as the first recipient of the new Scholarship for Sustainable Hospitality, and over the next four years four other students will be selected to receive the $5,000 prize. Last fall, VSAG co-Founder and GW School of Business ’92 alumni Dan Simons presented the award to Lily… read more

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The Key Ingredient: Genuine Collaboration

As co-Founder of a firm with a wide range of services, I often find myself working with other service providers where there is some overlap between our scope of services. Oftentimes, it’s one of the hurdles of a project – the more people involved, the more opinions that may differ from your own.   But sometimes you find the holy grail of collaboration – when a group of people come together and are inspired and energized by each other, as opposed to competitive.  We always recommend our clients seek a team of advisors (consultants, designers, branding firms) that will create a sum… read more

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