Global Food Trends: Ethnic Cuisine Making its Mark

What does our restaurant consulting team do for fun? Besides gathering to eat the best foods we can find – we find joy in seeking out trends and advising our clients on how to translate them into effective, long-term business strategies. One such trend we’ve been watching: Ethnic Cuisine. Sure, Americans have their traditional favorites (i.e. Italian, Chinese, Mexican), but we see the market going global. With four out of five people surveyed saying they eat at least one type of ethnic cuisine every month and 84% preferring to eat ethnic cuisine at restaurants that focus specifically on that type… read more


VSAG Client News: Unity Plaza Set to Open

Ah, we love when a comprehensive project with lots of moving parts turns out better than we’d hoped! Kudos to our consulting team for maintaining their focus, passion, and dedication (even through tough days!) in order to bring our client’s vision to reality. As we highlighted our creative partnership in a Unity Plaza news post a few months back, today we’re excited to announce that this project, which we’ve worked tirelessly on with a remarkable team of dedicated development professionals, is moving to the next phase as … Unity Plaza, the dynamic Jacksonville, Fla. non profit, community-based campus, located at… read more

VSAG on Watch: Protecting Against Credit Card Skimming

As seasoned restaurant consultants, our team has learned (sometimes the hard way) that if attention isn’t paid to, and proven business methods are not implemented in, the back office –there can be no front of house to welcome guests. Enter: Lara Hardcastle. Our smart, savvy Vice President who makes it her business to keep our business, and our client’s businesses, running smoothly from technology perspective. Case in Point. Taking note of recent warnings issued by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI) re: a projected increase of restaurant industry cashiers and servers with credit card skimmers. “Theft is a… read more

Back to School: Healthy Kids Menu Options & Ideas

Our nation’s children head back to school in droves this month. As many of us hold gold memberships in the ‘busy parents club,’ we know just how especially hectic this time of year can be. And as food & beverage consultants, we also know that as errands and carpools are run, families can often find solace in gathering and enjoying a casual meal together at a local restaurant. So, each year we remain mindful that a healthy body promotes a healthy mind and aim to post a back to school piece: celebrating our nation’s kids, our support of programs we’re… read more

Time is Money: The Benefits of Creating an Effective Daily To-Do List

We’ve all been there. Not enough hours in the day. Days in the week … You know the drill. Time is precious. Working within the fast-paced realm of the restaurant & hospitality industry as food service consultants, we put out fires (sometimes literally!) daily. Within such a busy and demanding environment, daily tasks constantly get placed on the backburner. But, we fortunately have a Principal, Dan Simons, who is a little (dare we say?) obsessed with time management and how to BEST utilize your time. We love the methods and tactics Dan shares with us during training sessions – and… read more

Congratulations VSAG Principal, Dan Simons, on the Washington SmartCEO Cornerstone Award Win

Kudos to our Principal, Dan Simons, on winning the prestigious Washington SmartCEO Cornerstone Award! Dan was recognized not only for his tireless dedication to our growing company and our entire team, but also for his role as Partner with successful VSAG client, Farmers Restaurant Group (FRG), and in particular their Founding Farmers restaurant located in Potomac*, MD. As the SmartCEO Award was created to celebrate Washington, D.C.-area businesses making their mark within the region as not only economic drivers, but also as companies who’ve successfully made a positive impact on job creation and retention, market competition and innovation, as well… read more

VSAG on Watch: Antibiotics & Food Safety

The call for fewer antibiotics to be used within our nation’s medical system as well as within our food supply has been answered within the hallowed halls of the White House. The catalyst: reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that at least two million illnesses annually in the U.S. alone, and approximately 23,000 deaths, are believed to be attributed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Legislatures recently issued a memorandum to combat these numbers by encouraging responsible use of antibiotics in not only our medical communities, but also within our agricultural system. Namely, to educate food producers (i.e…. read more

Industry News: Monthly Restaurant Sales Exceed Grocery Store Sales

Great news for the restaurant industry: according to the U.S. Census Bureau, for the first time ever: monthly sales at restaurants exceeded grocery store sales this past December. And the news continues, as this trend has intensified in the months since. Reasons for this unprecedented benchmark have been offered by consumer research* in part as follows: 63% of those surveyed feel more confident in their financial situation 56% revealed that their bank accounts have been buoyed by the recent drop in gas prices 46% said it’s because their household income increased and … overall within the survey, 33% said they… read more

Celebrate a Summer Harvest: August is National Peach Month

Fresh peaches are perhaps one of summer’s more perfect bounties. Yup, we’re talking the mouthwatering goodness that comes from biting into a fresh peach and the joy that ensues when the sweet juice runs right down your face! As August is National Peach Month, it’s the perfect time to celebrate this deliciously versatile summertime classic. Whether featured on summer menus as: a seasonal standout freshly sliced over a green salad or as a tasty side all on its own a savory dessert: perhaps served poached in a light, syrupy glaze or a featured gelato flavor paired with other fresh fruit,… read more

Summer’s Top Beverage Trends ’15

Some of the summer drink trends pouring onto beverage menus this season are fresh, healthy, and delicious. From creative juices flowing from fresh and yummy juice bars to refreshing twists on the timeless iced tea, we love these summer beverage trends! The Juice Bar. Can prove a risky business venture as juicing programs feature fresh fruit (thatcan turn on a dime) and costly cold press equipment, and the like. But the benefits of offering diners healthy freshness in a bottle often outweighs the risk for those willing to dedicate themselves to devising a streamlined, innovative program that sets them apart…. read more