A Look Back at Top Restaurant & Hospitality Industry Trends We Saw in 2014

In an industry known as much for the quick-pace as for the long hours, as restaurant & hospitality consultants and operators, we continually focus our efforts on making strides that move our client’s businesses forward. How do we succeed? By making it our business to stay informed on the industry’s latest technologies, food trends, research, and resources. By listening to guests and crafting real solutions for giving them what they want. By looking at the past to help our clients forecast their future. In keeping with that approach, at the onset of 2014 we predicted the 9 Tectonic Shifts &… read more


5 Ways to Gain Restaurant Business With Holiday Parties and Events

The increase in business and activity at bars and restaurants soars during the holiday season each year, as millions of Americans look for places to eat out and celebrate with family and friends. Particularly during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, when most people have off from work, there are a lot of benefits to driving more business during the holiday week. By opening up your restaurant to private parties, special events, gatherings, receptions, and private dinners during this celebratory week, the bottom line can grow, garnering repeat business for not only next holiday season, but throughout the… read more

You’ve Hired the ‘Perfect’ Employee. Now What?

Sure, you’ve spent a great deal of time and effort in courting, testing, and choosing the right candidate. They’ve accepted the job offer and are ready to get started…now what? The process of integrating a new employee into your existing restaurant or hospitality team doesn’t end with their acceptance letter. The steps you and your staff take during an employee’s first few days (and weeks) are crucial in creating not only a welcoming environment for the new hire, and seamless transition for the staff, but long term dedication and performance from the new team member. For solid Intel on continuing… read more

box iG pretzles

How to be Bar Snack Savvy

Elevate your restaurant’s bar snack offerings from the traditional and boring options to the unexpected by livening up your approach with some new, innovative culinary creations that go beyond pretzels or peanuts. The idea is not to put your bar business plan into financial overdrive, but to find creative ways (that fit within your overall concept & budget) to elevate the conventional to the next level, and to keep those bar guests a little bit longer. Typically, it’s best to offer bar snacks that are tasty, tidy, bite-size morsels of culinary love that encapsulate your concept and entice guests into… read more


Orange: The Color of the Season?

Orange abounds in the fall…this warm hue seems to be everywhere from the changing leaves tothe pumpkins at the farm, and at the fall festivals to the glow of the fire pit as we gather with friends for nighttime s’mores or spiced cider. As restaurant and hospitality consultants, our focus is always on the food and beverage side of the experience, so we want to focus on the orange itself – the sweet, healthy, and much loved citrus fruit that is not only delicious, but a versatile menu addition and ingredient. While many think of the orange as a summer… read more

VSAG Client Mama Rouge Southeast Asian Bistro Opens in Washington, D.C.

We are thrilled to announce the opening of Mama Rouge, a new Southeastern Asian Bistro concept at the beautiful Washington Harbour on Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown Waterfront. Mama Rouge is the third restaurant from our esteemed clients, Chef/Owner Aulie Bunyarataphan and her husband and partner, Mel Oursinsiri. After nearly 12 years of operating successful Thai restaurant Bangkok Joe’s in the same spot, they were ready for a change. The pair also owns and operates two additional regional restaurants, T.H.A.I in Shirlington, VA and Tom Yum District in Rosslyn, VA. When Aulie & Mel approached us to create this new 116 seat full… read more

The True Benefits of Team Building

Every good manager knows that team building is an important aspect to aligning company goals, visions, and overall mission, as well as to strengthen the bond between staff. We believe that fostering deeper, professionally driven connections with fellow employees and continuing to build upon them through shared experiences is imperative to a company’s overall success. We believe this so much that we took that sentiment to new heights recently by capping off a busy day of staff meetings and strategy sessions to engage a team building consultant to help us not only unwind, but also celebrate our team ties …… read more

VSAG Principal Dan Simons Featured in the NRA’s Conserve Conversations Sustainability Videos

We are always thrilled to partner with restaurant and hospitality industry innovators and to work with them to get our voices heard on various topics that affect our business. Recently, VSAG Principal Dan Simons was asked to partner once again with the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) Conserve program and their outreach efforts in the newly developed, innovative Conserve Conversations (see additional Conserve VSAG News mention here) where he shared the importance of sustainable practices from his perspective as the head of a group of restaurant managers and operators. As the Conserve Conversations mantra focuses the uniqueness of each restaurant operator’s… read more

Your Desk is Ready: Career Path Options in the Restaurant & Hospitality Industry

We know that the restaurant and hospitality industry is a faced-paced, ever changing, challenging, yet highly rewarding long-term career choice. And, it seems as though the approximate 13.5 million employees agree with us. In fact, a recently released Workforce Research study entitled “An Industry of Opportunity” was conducted by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) from information gathered from nearly 5,100 of the U.S. restaurant and hospitality industry’s current (or former) workers. The study offers compelling insight into the sense of pride, contentment, opportunity, and growth seen at all levels and age groups of the restaurant workforce. Promising news for the corporations,… read more

Celebrating Our Nation’s Kids!

As September marks back to school, this prompted us to think about our nation’s kids and highlight some recent news of amazing programs that the restaurant and hospitality industry facilitate and support in order to bring healthful food options and nutritional education to them every day. The National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell campaign is one that we happily support (click here to view past news feature). We are thrilled to watch this volunteer program not only celebrate its recent third anniversary, but also see it flourish from 19 to now over 150 participating restaurant brands and companies, representing more than… read more