As an experienced, sought-after restaurant & hospitality consultant, VSAG Principal Dan Simons has morphed his years in the industry into an acquired narrative of the business of running successful restaurants and keeping a keen eye on what diners want. Dan loves participating in open, honest, valuable conversation about the industry he loves.
One such conversation recently took place with Forbes contributor Brian Rashid.
The outcome: How Founding Farmers Became the Most Booked Restaurant in the U.S. for 5-Years Running, where Dan dished on the amazing success of VSAG client, Founding Farmers, and the journey Dan has taken with Farmers Restaurant Group, from developer and manager to owner and operator.
It all started with a phone call from the American family farmers at North Dakota Farmers Union that led to the opening of Founding Farmers’ DC flagship in 2008. As the brand has grown, so to has their following. So much so, Founding Farmers continues to hold the top spot on OpenTable’s U.S. ranking of Most Booked Restaurants, five years running. *With their Founding Farmers Tysons restaurant, nestled in Tysons, VA, holding spot #2.
What’s their secret?
- Getting To Know Guests. For Dan and his team that means not only serving high-quality food, a commitment to family farms and sustainability, but also installing the latest smart tools to help serve guests better. It boils down to: paying close attention to and understanding what guest like about the restaurant(s), what they want, and exceeding their expectations every day.
- Variety Is The Spice Of Life. Founding Farmers, and sister restaurants Farmers Fishers Bakers and Farmers & Distillers, are known for their large, varied, delicious food & beverage menus. “We design our menus with approachability in mind for the many versus the few. Our menus have proven to be a popular draw,” says Dan. “Part of our brand is classic American food, from meatloaf with gravy to shrimp and grits, but with our own unique spin on each dish. We want everyone to be able to get something they’ll like.”
- Catering To Guests. “We want our guests to feel that we are taking care of them, all the while taking care of this land we all call home and our family farmers,” says Dan. “We meet them where they are, in the complexity of their lives and give them a comfortable seat, tasty food and drink, and good service. It’s that simple, regardless of how complex it might be to execute.”
*Read the full article here.