News/Blog

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

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

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

Dan Simons Speaks to Forbes: The Road to Becoming America’s Most Booked Restaurants, 5-Years Running!

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… read more

Taking Your Brand Global

Taking your brand global is a huge, and many times complicated, undertaking. As markets and businesses expand globally, we asked our Vice President of Conceptual Projects Val Zweig for some intel as to when a restaurant operator should take that leap and take their brand global. Specializing in researching and developing our U.S. and international restaurant projects, we knew Val would be the perfect resource to shed some light on knowing if, and when, a restaurant brand is ready to translate on a larger, global scale. Know who you are. When gearing up to expand globally, the first step is to… read more

Is a Sustainable, Global Food Supply Within Reach?

We offer a hopeful… yes. In these times of burgeoning populations, the strides we’ve made as a company to honor the invaluable service family farms provide our industry, forecasting the developing farmer-owned restaurant concept, and our commitment to offering client guests sustainable menu options at every possible turn, is paramount to our work. We’re encouraged by recent reports from the Environmental Defense Fund indicating that due to initiatives begun at grassroots levels, such as ours that promote sustainable methodology, are having a positive uptick on practical, innovative global food supply efforts and solutions.  Some of those solutions derive from sustainable… read more

Dan Simons Out Front with Forbes: Formula for Leadership Model Success.

Principal Dan Simons was recently approached by Forbes magazine to discuss his business leadership style and recipe for success. When a business industry media giant like Forbes comes calling, what’s one to do? You set forth and provide contributor Jeff Boss with an honest, hard-hitting account profiling your business leadership style – the highs, the lows, the lessons learned.  The result: Why This Leadership Model Simply Cannot be Argued With. Now garnering media and industry attention, Dan wanted to share some snippets from the article outlining our work with longtime VSAG client, Farmers Restaurant Group. “The seed from which a… read more

Dan Simons on Industry Watch

Recently named one of Entrepreneur’s 10 Personal Branding Experts to Follow This Year for his innovative concept development and championing of environmental protection, workers rights, and ethical operations, Principal Dan Simons is oft sought out for his honest, well versed take on the daily challenges of running operations for a successful restaurant consulting company and restaurant group. Now, Dan is out-front once again addressing restaurant & hospitality related topics for consumer and industry operators’ consumption.  With topics ranging from Corporate Responsibility to Handling Explosive Growth to New Business Concepts & Ventures, here’s a roundup of some of Dan’s recent press coverage.*NOTE:… read more

For All You Sweet Potato Lovers…

Oh yeah, February is Sweet Potato Lovers Month! And we concur. Our team loves the yummy, satisfying sweet potato for its naturally sweet taste, nutrition value, and versatility. Bake, boil, roast, mash, sauté, or glaze ‘em – sweet potatoes are one of the most well-loved, versatile, and oldest veggies out there. Fun facts: sweet potatoes come in over 400 varieties, with colors ranging from orange and cream to deep purple and pink, and can be traced back to prehistoric times. So, for all you sweet potato lovers out there… here are some sweet potato nutrition facts, dish ideas, and more…. read more

Let Your Restaurant’s Artwork Speak for Itself

Choosing artwork for your restaurant may seem an arduous task you feel you’re bound to fail. Fear not. We’ve gone straight to our Creative Director Leah Frankl for her aesthetic expertise. As an interior designer and LEED Accredited Professional, Leah’s art & design experience and well-trained eye allow her to guide clients on creating fully functional, cohesive, sustainable design spaces. As artwork is oftentimes an investment, we were interested in exploring this concept. How to choose restaurant art that fits within the design and feel of a space? Are there any general rules of thumb when choosing artwork? How to… read more