News/Blog

Guest Appreciation = Great Business

Showing guests love for their loyalty equals great business. And the good news that aligns with that sentiment? If they’re repeat customers, you’re obviously doing something right! Kudos to you and your team! Keeping that connection on your radar is vital to your business as these are the guests who will come back again and again, refer diners, host events in your space – and ultimately help keep you afloat. Precisely why we advise our restaurant clients to show devoted guests love and appreciate for their loyal patronage. One such program our client, Farmers Restaurant Group (FRG) has put into… read more

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VSAG on Watch: Client News

In our efforts as restaurant consultants to assist clients in implementing their vision for the business of operating a thriving restaurant, we’re always thrilled to celebrate their ongoing accomplishments. One such success story, Drift on 7th – a local, Washington, D.C. client we’ve guided in reworking their concept, menu, interior décor, and layout – is getting lots of local buzz lately. Recent coups include Drift being named one of DC’s 11 New Restaurants You Should Try Right Now and a great feature write up in The Washington Post touting their commitment to deliciously enticing, sustainable fish dishes (such as Maine… read more

Summer Food Feature: Part One

For our inaugural Summer Food Feature, we’re inspired by our recent discovery that July is National Picnic Month. Yup, who knew? As a company that believes in American farming communities, tradition, and family, we love the idea of tying National Picnic Month back to restaurant and hospitality-centric concept ideas and related menus. Creating specialized July picnic-food-centric offerings for your patio or any outdoor space – or if you don’t have an outdoor area, developing your To Go services so guests can take their meal to their own backyard or local park – is a great way to usher in a… read more

Top 5 Restaurant Apps & Platforms You Need to Bookmark Now

Our staff loves being in the know. And, we might add, seeing their tips, tricks of the trade, and industry know-how highlighted here on our news blog pages. The focus today? Our team’s top go-to restaurant and hospitality industry apps & platforms. There are lots out there. In order to whittle it down to our team’s top-5 suggestions to get you started on your go-to list that’ll work within your business’s confines, our team offered up their favorites and we took it from there. 1) OpenTable. Aka the “big-daddy” of restaurant industry apps. Sure, maybe a slight overstatement but OpenTable… read more

Welcoming Guests: From Around the Corner and Around the Globe

As restaurant consultants, we advise clients on the art, and importance, of welcoming guests to their establishments. Good for business? Of course. Welcoming guests to your eatery, through universal touch points such as gracious, engaging service, inviting aesthetics, and great food, is the initial step to delivering a full, enjoyable guest experience – all in an effort to capture your audience and help guarantee return business. As these universal touch points should be part of your daily playbook, we always look for new opportunities to advise clients on ways to keep growing and widening their scope of clientele and service…. read more

VSAG on Watch: Restaurant Industry Minimum Wage-DC Vote & Beyond

It was announced that Washington, D.C. is poised to join other cities, such as San Francisco and Seattle, in increasing minimum pay wages to $15. In a unanimous City Council vote, set to be ratified next month, the wheels are in motion for legislature to gradually raise the District of Columbia’s minimum wage to $15 by 2020. Along with this increase in the minimum wage, is an increase in the “tipped minimum wage” from the current $2.77 per hour to $5.50 per hour. This is where the devil is in the details, unknown outcomes, and potential for unintended consequences. Tipped… read more

Up Your Artistry: Lighting as Art + Design

Lighting sets the mood of your space. It highlights your guests and your food. So, having the perfect restaurant lighting to enhance your space is a must. As we’re lucky enough to work with the amazing, artistic team at Stroik Lighting Design (SLD) on an innovative, new restaurant project for our Farmers Restaurant Group client Farmers & Distillers, we approached our friend and colleague at SLD, Christopher Stroik, with a Q&A so he can offer us, and our clients, ideas and best practices re: the concept of Lighting as Art + Design. TELL US ABOUT SLD’s DESIGN APPROACH & PROCESS. Founded… read more

VSAG on Seasonal Success: Top 3 Summer Menu Trends

Introducing seasonal ingredients, flavor profiles, and trends not only keeps menus interesting, but it also allows for more creativity in the kitchen. We discovered some seasonal trends we think are worth adding to your flavor profiles this summer. Wood-fire Cooking. Nothing says summer like some great, downhome bbq. And we couldn’t be more excited that the trend of authentic, rustic, wood-fire cooking is getting fired-up (yes, we went there!) this season. What’s not to love about the slow-roasted, natural, smoky flavor? Take your wood fire game up a notch by infusing flavors such as fruit woods like apple, apricot, and… read more

VSAG Client Expands Restaurant Group

Guiding our clients through a restaurant expansion is many times a long, and difficult road … but a journey we’re always happy to take. Recently we helped our client, DC-based Farmers Restaurant Group’s brand of restaurants Founding Farmers, do just that – as they recently announced that they are opening their first outlet outside the DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) region in: King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.  Located just outside the great city of Philadelphia, PA, Founding Farmers King of Prussia is slated to open in spring of 2017 within the King of Prussia Town Center, a state-of-the-art dining, retail, and residential destination. Founding… read more

VSAG on Watch: Taking a Page from our Client’s Manager in Training Program

Train your staff. Probably one of the most important restaurant success lessons you’ll read today. Whether your enterprise is large or small, your business and your staff will reap the rewards of implementing a comprehensive, consistent training program. Our operations management team oversees our Restaurant Staff Training and Development services, helping to guide our clients on creating proven training programs. Here’s a general overview of our Manager in Training (MIT) guidelines. Start at the Top. GM’s should be brought in to not only oversee the execution of your MIT program but to help streamline its focus and teachings. Your restaurant… read more