News/Blog

VSAG on Watch: Pisco Takes Center Stage

South of the border spirits are taking center stage as we see an influx of delicious, interesting new spirits coming from and inspired by the tastes of South America. Spirits such as Brazilian cachaca, Peruvian pisco, and Bolivian singani (all of which are in the port wine, brandy, rum families but each have their own, distinct persona), are entering the U.S. market and being paired with citrus/fruits, chilies, and herbs making for some delicious, smooth, and flavorful cocktails. All are quickly becoming favorites on the American bar scene, but we see a standout: Pisco. What is pisco? Pisco is described… read more

Share

Product Branding: Is it for You?

Expansion is good for business. But, as many elements come into play, from budgets and business plans to raising additional capital and fulfilling a niche in order to succeed, as with almost everything else in life… timing is everything. And only you, as operator, will know when the time is right. In order to offer clients the best restaurant consulting practices we can, we look at all dimensions. Recently, we delved into the notion of taking your brand global, offering key techniques and concepts, such as: Know who you are. Know what you are looking to achieve. Know where you want… read more

Share

Beverage Journal Speaks to Our Very Own Jon Arroyo

A big VSAG shout out to our very own Jon Arroyo for a great feature in Beverage Journal. As our award-winning Beverage Director, Jon knows a thing or two about bar & beverage service. And when Beverage Journal came calling to talk to him about his specialized, innovative work in creating the custom-built, fully functioning micro-batch distillery housed within client Farmers Restaurant Group’s latest Washington, D.C. outpost Farmers & Distillers, Jon was happy to speak about Founding Spirits. In keeping with the restaurant group’s commitment to farming, especially with their ongoing partnership with North Dakota Farmers Union, and their local… read more

Share

VSAG Client News: Big Wins for MoCo’s Founding Farmers!

A great, big VSAG shout out to our Farmers Restaurant Group (FRG) client MoCo’s Founding Farmers in Potomac, MD for taking home not one, not two, but three Best of Bethesda wins! Best Bar, Best Brunch, Best Potomac Restaurant… plus, special runner up recognition for Best Neighborhood Restaurant. Hosted by Bethesda magazine, these awards are voted on not only by the magazine’s editors, but also the magazine’s readers, who we might add, have some really amazing local, Washington, D.C.-area restaurants and bars to choose from. As restaurant and hospitality consultants we’re not just in the business of enjoying excellent food, drink,… read more

Share

Giddy Up! Effective Time Management Tools We Should ALL Live By

Time waits for no one. Ain’t that the truth? Especially true of the incredibly faced-paced restaurant & hospitality environment. Every guest, every dish, every interaction, every table turn time… it all adds up. Quickly. As BIG believers in not only how to improve time management skills but also in applying ‘em to improve time efficiency, we train staff, impart smart, daily time management tips, and our management teams take their influencer roles to heart. Our BIGGEST time manager fan? Principal, Dan Simons. Our staff loves attending his insightful, energetic, everyone-participates classes on topics such as, yeah you guessed it, time… read more

Share

VSAG on Watch: Pros & Cons of Offering a Restaurant Delivery Service

You decide. We’re breaking it down. Is offering delivery service worth it for you? What are the pros? The cons? Are the projected added costs of hiring drivers/increased insurance/the chance you take with food quality, issues you’re willing to tackle? As background, we recently explored the uptick in delivery-only restaurant concepts making its mark on a new generation of restaurant owners and operators. Sure, these online restaurant prototypes are a sensible way to run one’s operating costs, since there’s no design/brick and mortar space/running restaurant operating costs, etc., but if you’re looking to expand your services (and your brand), eventually… read more

Share

What’s the key to Maintaining Restaurant Quality & Consistency?

It ain’t always easy… but we’re here to tell you that it can be done. As our team regularly seeks ways to improve our quality control procedures and methodologies, we wanted to delve deeper into this topic: how to best guide our clients to successful restaurant quality control, all while running a busy restaurant. We’re lucky to have a plethora of enthusiastic partners to extol their secret weapons to us. One such willing participant? Farmers Restaurant Group (FRG)Managing Partner Fran Lake. What does Fran think quality & consistency boils down to? “Really, it comes down to commitment and creating an… read more

Share

Simons Says: Our Clients are Open For Business with OpenTable!

Dan Simons is a huge fan of data. As a matter of fact, Dan says, “I love the people, but I love the data.” It’s all encompassing for Dan and his team. The process of collecting it. The knowledge that comes with it. The power that it can yield. The direction it points you in to make your business better. In fact, Founding Farmers Marketing Director Meaghan O’Shea adds, “Anytime you can make a decision that’s based on the facts and not necessarily just gut instinct, you’re going to feel more confident with it.” Where does that confidence come from? A successful… read more

Share

Dan Simons Weighs In: How Big Brands & Big Businesses are Aligning Their Missions With Gen Z & Millennial Consumers

“With the Gen Z and Millennial consumers, it’s clear what matters to them. They want to be part of making the world a better place in everything they do. For us, this is good news. This was our original mission behind sourcing food products in a way that aligned with our sustainability vision.”— Dan Simons Dan recently had the opportunity to discuss this relevant industry topic of how big brands and big businesses need to set themselves apart in today’s market, focusing on the next generation. In a well received article for Forbes, which was also referenced by The Huffington Post,… read more

Share

How OpenTable Works For Us

My epiphany with OpenTable struck in the fall of 2008. Mike Vucurevich and I had just opened our first Founding Farmers in Washington, D.C. The restaurant opening had all of the usual panic, fear, and excitement, but magnified by the world dangling over the economic precipice as markets cratered and the Great Recession set in. I knew we were birthing our little company in a recession. I knew that meant our odds of failing as a business just went into the stratosphere. We were going to need to think differently, act differently, and we’d need to challenge ourselves to develop new… read more

Share