Scratch Soda: The Art of a Great Tasting, Fresh Soda

As spring is (finally) on the horizon, so too are efforts to focus on lighter, better-for-you beverages to feature on seasonal bar menus. This isn’t about alcohol or bar cocktail trends; it’s about artisan soda, and finding a fresh and delicious alternative for non-spirits-imbibing guests. Enter: scratch made sodas. Embracing the process of crafting soda offerings that are actually better for guests is not as daunting as you might think. Why serve scratch sodas? You can get really creative with flavor profiles and seasonal inspirations to complement food menu offerings The simplified ingredients can be cost effective if you purchase… read more


VSAG on Industry Watch: National Restaurant Association (NRA) Releases New Restaurant Industry Forecast

  The numbers are powerful… $709.2 billion: restaurant industry sales projected this year 14 million: people expected to be employed in the restaurant industry this year alone (translates to about one in 10 working Americans) Nine in 10: Americans say they enjoy dining out 7 million: restaurant industry jobs expected to emerge over the next decade (with employment reaching approx 15.7 million by 2025) 16 years (& counting): years the restaurant industry has outpaced other U.S. industries in job growth The NRA’s 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast is an overall look at the U.S. restaurant industry, segmented into six comprehensive topic… read more

Global Recruiting: Best Practices in the Middle East

Conducting business abroad is always a lesson in best practices, cultural discovery, and mutual respect. And we welcome any opportunity to improve our business – at home and overseas. For example, last month we featured a news story outlining our experience conducting a global business fact-finding strategy session we spearheaded for a private Chinese investment group looking to venture into the U.S. restaurant & hospitality industry market. Now, we switch gears to another intriguing global business destination: the Middle East. The region is experiencing exponential growth due to the likes of mass pipeline construction and a subsequent boom in the… read more

Who’s Spending What & Where?

Utilizing key demographic and psychographic data representing area resident’s needs, wants, habits, and the like is a great way to glean insight into who your guest really is. Demographic data is valuable in understanding geographic density and income levels, but combined with psychographic data and related research, demographic data can also help direct your menu offerings, pricing strategies, and services. As well as serve as a guiding principal for target marketing and outreach programs far more effectively than with just one of these data sets. As the most recent U.S. consumer spending data was released by the National Restaurant Association… read more

Guiding a Global Brand into New Hospitality Markets

Our VSAG team was pleased when asked recently to host a private Chinese investment group for a multi-day, thought leadership, in-depth restaurant & hospitality industry fact-finding strategy session that successfully took us from boardroom roundtable discussions to restaurant visits in major U.S. markets such as Washington, D.C, New York, and California. Our Goal? Engaging with industry experts and the best restaurant consulting minds in the business to strategically gauge best practices on guiding a global brand into new hospitality markets. And hence, making the most of business opportunities overseas. Our Strategy? Provide as much usable content related to all facets… read more

VSAG in the News: “Foodie and the Beast” Talks to VSAG Principal Dan Simons & Executive Chef Joe Goetze

Our Principal Dan Simons and Executive Chef Joe Goetze recently sat down with Washington, D.C.’s popular weekly live radio food and wine variety show, Foodie and the Beast, to chat about client Farmers Restaurant Group’s new restaurant, Founding Farmers Tysons with show host Nycci Nellis. Dan and Chef Joe didn’t waste any time getting right into talking about what everyone loves most: Food! And Chef Joe didn’t disappoint as he showed up with a delicious preview of treats from Founding Farmers Tysons, complete with delicious pastry creme filled Jefferson Donuts as well as the new sweet & savory Farm Bread Grandma Bev’s Ham Cookie Spread for the Foodie… read more

Founding Farmers Tysons Opens! It’s All in The Details

As any restaurant consulting company can attest, watching your team’s hard work come to fruition is nothing less than thrilling. And for our team of food & beverage consultants, today is one of those great days – as we witness our client, Farmers Restaurant Group, open the third installment in their highly successful Founding Farmers brand of restaurants. Located in Tysons, VA, Founding Farmers Tysons pays homage to rustic life on a Virginia farm while offering guests all the modern amenities, engaging and whimsical spatial design, and delicious, fresh-from-the-farm food they’ve grown to love from the Founding Farmers franchise. As the… read more

Join the Fight: World Cancer Day

Each year, February 4th marks World Cancer Day. And as restaurant consultants who care about the guests our clients serve in their restaurants every day, we wanted to mark the significance of this day by offering some industry-specific ideas in the hopes of making a difference in the fight against cancer. As current statistics demonstrate, approximately a third of cancers could be prevented through physical activity, diet, and maintaining a healthy weight. Since the restaurant & hospitality industries can use our platform to positively influence two out three of those preventative measures, that knowledge in and of itself makes our industry… read more

On the Farm: VSAG BarnStorming 101

What better way to pave the road to sustainability than developing a working farm to supply product to your restaurant … and beyond? As curious, inquisitive restaurant consultants we’re always looking for new, exciting opportunities to improve upon our client’s businesses and poise them (i.e. you) for growth and long-term success. We wanted to share a recent information gathering “BarnStorming” (yes, we believe we coined this farm-related term) session we conducted for our Farmers Restaurant Group client Founding Farmers restaurants. Our goal was to not only investigate opportunities to take their already successful farm-to-table concept to the next level, but… read more

Meat Lovers Rejoice!

Who knew? January is National Meat Month. And even with the meatless Mondays trend and the growing desire for meatless options, there’s still another six days of the week! The wintery blasts of arctic air ushers in the perfect opportunity to highlight some fabulous, flavorful meat dishes on your seasonal winter menu offerings. From freshly roasted brisket to hearty rib eyes served with classic, hand whipped mashed potatoes to a heaping plate of savory slow-braised beef short ribs; the delicious dish possibilities for celebrating meat lovers this month are infinite. One of our all-time favorite seasonal meat dishes? Warm and… read more