How Founding Farmers Became the Most Successful Restaurant in the U.S. for 5 Years Running
“We want our guests to feel that we are taking care of them...We meet them where they are, in the complexity of their lives and give them a comfortable seat, tasty food and drink, and good service. It’s that simple, regardless of how complex it might be to execute."
10 Personal Branding Experts to Follow This Year
"Simons is a champion for environmental protection and workers rights, and has successfully incorporated ethical operations into his marketing and organization, resulting in breakneck growth for his company."
How To Make Corporate Responsibility A Driver In Your Business
“Our concern for the environment has always been paramount, and our talents and abilities to deliver on our vision are increasing as we grow,” says owner Dan Simons. “We are family-farmer-centric, people-centric, and these principles guide all of our decisions. Our menus emphasize food that is connected to people and the earth. Our sources are primarily family farms, and we make the vast majority of our food from scratch and in-house.”
Parking's a Breeze at These D.C. Area Restaurants
"The latest addition from the Founding Farmers crew is an enormous restaurant in downtown D.C. The food and drink harken back to America’s earliest days, and the parking, like our great nation, is free too. Be on the lookout for the PMI- Parking garage, located in the same building."
20 Things to Look For at Farmers & Distillers
"Caviar? Cacio e pepe? Shrimp and grits? Steak? Pizza? Chinese dumplings? This menu covers it all—and then some. “You might look at this menu and think it’s all over the place,” co-owner Dan Simons says. 'But we can point at any menu item, and I can say, ‘Here’s how it connects.'"
Instagram's most geo-tagged restaurant in each state
"Washington, D.C.'s most geo-tagged restaurant is Founding Farmers, located just three blocks from the White House."
5 Tips for Dealing With Explosive Growth
"One of the most popular restaurants in the country is a case study in how to make the mania of rapid growth a smooth process."
Young George Washington Looks Like He Would Constantly Text ‘U Up?’
"Artist Nathan Loda was commissioned to create an oil painting of a 20-something George Washington for D.C. restaurant Farmers & Distillers and he delivered, man-bun and all."
In This New Portrait, George Washington Trades His Curls for a Man Bun
"The first president turns hipster at a new D.C. restaurant."
DC Restaurant Commissions Portrait of Hot George Washington With a Man Bun
"If George Washington was 25 years old today, he’d have a man bun, wear Wayfarer sunglasses, and drink whiskey from Founding Farmers. At least that’s the fantasy envisioned by the team at the new Farmers & Distillers. The owners commissioned an oil painting of America’s Founding Father as a millennial from local artist Nathan Loda to hang in the Washington-themed dining room of their Chinatown restaurant, bar, and distillery."
Here Are Hot George Washington’s Best Pick-up Lines
"What would George Washington be like as a hot millennial with a man bun? Apparently, an internet sensation! After we posted a photo of the hipster George portrait commissioned by Farmers & Distillers yesterday, everyone seemed to have an opinion."
5 new brunches you need to try in 2017
"The Founding Farmers team moves into Mount Vernon Square with a vodka distillery and a history-rich menu inspired by George Washington and nearby Chinatown."
Brightest Young Things
First Look: Farmers & Distillers
"Farmers & Distillers knows its role. This is a good thing. For the nearby office workers and the commuters heading to the Chinatown or Convention Center Metro stations, stop in for a donut (they’re made in house and moist and what you want in a donut) and special-t0-Farmer’s Compass Coffee First Bake Blend. It’s hard to go wrong with fresh donuts and Compass Coffee."
Prime Picks For Prime Cuts of Steak in D.C.
"This Mt. Vernon Triangle spot debuted in December with a prime rib roast beef supper. The 10 oz. prime rib dish is served with creamed spinach, peas and lashings, whipped potatoes, glazed carrots, gravy, and Yorkshire pudding."
History, High-Level Hospitality + Housemade Hooch: Inside D.C.’s Farmers & Distillers
“The restaurant’s main menu is characteristically ambitious and contains no crossover from their other eateries. “The thought of replicating the same thing is so entirely boring to me and [co-owner] Mike Vucurevich,” says Simons. “And it’s boring to the kind of people we want to work with. Repetition doesn’t attract the coolest, most interesting talent.””
House-Made Spirits, Shaobing & Unique Dining Spaces: Dan Simons Talks Farmers & Distillers
"After two and a half years in the making, Dan Simons — the restaurateur behind the wildly popular Founding Farmers — is finally opening his brand new concept, Farmers & Distillers, in Washington, D.C.’s Mount Vernon Square neighborhood. It’s the fifth restaurant from the Farmers Restaurant Group, which owns three locations of Founding Farmers and Farmers Fishers Bakers."
Cocoa Confections: 6 Hot Chocolate Desserts
"Maryland’s state dessert – yes, that’s a thing – is Smith Island Cake. It was born on its namesake island in the Chesapeake Bay, some time after the Civil War. One version of its origin story is that wives would send it out with watermen going oystering in the winter because the layers of icing would help keep it fresh. This fancified version sits in a bowl of hot chocolate, which soaks into the cake to add a deeper cocoa flavor."
Ignore the Cold Weather at These Festive Winter Patios
"Guests who can’t find an enviable spot near the fire pit can still stay warm at Farmers Fishers Bakers year-round waterfront patio. The Georgetown restaurant has blankets, several heaters and comfy couches."
Washingtonian Readers Pick Their Favorite Bars and Restaurants
Founding Farmers voted one of the best brunches in D.C. by Washingtonian readers.
All Top Start Ups
Founding Farmers Founder Dan Simons Talks Labor Abuse and Climate Change
“As with anything involving ethics, it’s easier to just not look and let the blame fall to someone else, but as a consumer, you have the choice to punish those firms that turn a blind eye to abuses,” said Simons. “Founding Farmers is based around the idea that sustainability is more than a goal, it’s a requirement."
How to Respond To Bad Reviews, and Come Back Stronger
“We’re transparent about who we are and what we do. When we make a mistake, I want to know about it, take responsibility for it, and correct it. I acknowledge that with the wide range of difficult things our team tries to accomplish every day, and in our refusal to use chain-restaurant methodology to simplify and dumb things down, that we’ll fall short sometimes. I’m proud of our people who do the detailed, complex work that it takes to serve our guests every day.”
Best DC Cafes With Free Wifi
Weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., enjoy a self-service breakfast with a side of free wifi access in a cozy communal setting they call First Bake. Surfing the web is also free at sister spot Founding Farmers.
Full-Service Restaurant Magazine
Lessons In Leftovers
"The three Founding Farmers restaurants in and around Washington, D.C., also pride themselves on cross-utilization. “It’s rare when we have something that has a one-time use,” says managing partner Mary Carter. 'It’s about making sure your menu has a lot of options for what you’re doing, and being as creative as you can.'"
restaurant development + design magazine
"People said we were crazy — we’re on the backside of an office building, the entrance is strange, and two restaurants have failed there."
Restaurant Evolution: When to Change & When to Expand
“Deciding we were ready to expand was a combination of believing we had developed the managerial talent to still execute well, combined with the demand for reservations,” says Dan Simons, co-owner of Founding Farmers. “We had more demand than we had seats. There was a line out the door.” Once you’ve made that decision, though, the details matter.
Service with a Smile and Some Very Sophisticated Software: How Farmers Restaurant Group Uses Big Data to Better Serve Their Guests
Farmers Restaurant Group really gets it," said OpenTable CEO Christa Quarles. "They've been dedicated to learning our systems and figuring out how best they can be used in conjunction with their smarts and their staff. They are making the software work for them to provide a better experience for all of their guests.
Cooking Up a Storm: Dan Simons Shows What It Takes to be a Successful Restaurateur
In some ways, Dan and his team have revolutionized the industry with their coaching and mentoring strategies. In conversation after conversation with his team, Dan reminds them to never look up at anyone, but instead, to look across the table, eye to eye, with the confidence that all people are equal.
Corporate Responsibility Magazine
How a Group of Farmer-Owner Restaurants Uses the Family Farm as a Business Model for Sustainability
It’s often assumed that it’s not possible to maintain high-level sustainability practices while still remaining profitable, especially in the restaurant business. But Farmers Restaurant Group (FRG), which operates a handful of popular restaurants in and around the nation’s capital, is doing just that.
A New Deal For Farmers - How Founding Farmers Is Changing the Game
Farming represents the backbone of America’s food machine. There are 3.2 million farmers in the United States, and this aging group has been getting a raw deal for some time. It’s all down to the way farmers do their business. But Founding Farmers is one startup looking to change that.
D.C. Coffee Shops and Restaurants with Free Wifi — and Good Food
"Weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., enjoy a self-service breakfast with a side of free wifi access in a cozy communal setting they call First Bake. Surfing the web is also free at sister spot Founding Farmers."
D.C.'s Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings, Fall 2016
"The restaurant group behind Founding Farmers and its affiliated restaurant tackles its most ambitious place to date, which has its own on-site distillery."
9 Most Anticipated Fall Openings in DC
"The folks behind Founding Farmers and Farmers Fishers Bakers are at it again, this time with a nod to George Washington and his Mount Vernon farm and distillery."
Restaurants Are Now Being Designed with Instagram in Mind
"Interior designer Brooke Loewen of Grizform Design Architects points to the host stand at Founding Farmers Tysons. It’s a part of a restaurant that typically goes unnoticed, but there it depicts the bottom half of a horse, and its centaur-like effect makes it a desirable shot for customers: 'Anytime a restaurant can get guests to interact with their brand—which interior design is a part of—and the guests post it, that’s the biggest endorsement.'"
Go Fish -- Find Super-Trendy Poke at These Places in DC
"Poke finds its way onto this menu through a spicy ahi tuna poke salad, served with avocado, cabbage, onion, mint, basil, and peppers."
DC Modern Luxury
April Food + Drink Guide
"The modern American menu of this eco-chic eatery on the Georgetown waterfront has something for everyone (including a sushi bar!)."
Bethesda Magazine Announced MoCo's Founding Farmers as "Best Restaurant in Potomac"
"Best Restaurant in Potomac (Readers' Pick)"
Brightest Young Things
Happy Hour Hotline: Tiki Edition
"The tiki and tropical cocktail selection at Farmers Fishers Bakers is very extensive. Order the Suffering Georgetowner (with botanist gin, high west, rendezvous rye, lime, ginger, bitters, and seltzer) and think about what the implications of its name are. Or if you want to keep the mood light try the Islay Swizzle or Bahama Mama. Cheers!"
Washington City Paper
Reader Poll: Farmers Fishers Bakers Voted Runner-Up Best Alcoholic Punch
Farmers Fishers Bakers voted runner- up for Best Alocholic Punch by Washington City Paper.
Washington City Paper
Reader Poll: Founding Farmers DC Voted Runner-Up Best Brunch
Founding Farmers voted runner-up for Best Brunch by Washington City Paper.
Washington City Paper
Reader Poll: Founding Farmers DC Voted Runner-Up Best Downtown Lunch
Founding Farmers voted runner-up for Best Downtown Lunch by Washington City Paper.
Washington City Paper
Reader Poll: Founding Farmers DC Voted Runner-Up Best Bloody Mary
Founding Farmers voted runner-up for Best Bloody Mary by Washington City Paper.
The 6 Tiki Drinks You Need to Try at These Washington Bars
"Zombie Circa 1946 Scorpion Bowl Jon Arroyo of Farmers Fishers Bakers has built one of the largest tiki-bar menus in Washington, exploring classics such as this midcentury scorpion with rum, gin, pisco, and citrus. "
10 Most Sustainable Restaurants in America
“From using recycled paper-composite countertops to using recycled paper menus with soy-based inks, Founding Farmers gets an A+ for all that they do to help Mother Earth.”
The Best Waffles in Every State in America
"The waffles at Founding Farmers are made from scratch everyday, and can be topped with either fresh strawberries and cream, maple cinnamon sugar, bananas foster, or fried chicken."
Washington Business Journal
Founding Farmers to open first locations outside of the D.C. area
"The group will open a Founding Farmers restaurant in the new King of Prussia Town Center, a 260,000-square-foot development from The JBG Cos. being built about 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia and within walking distance of the massive King of Prussia mall."
Innovative Arlington Area Restaurants
"Venturing deeper into the space, one finds a barn-style bar with exposed rafters, a “sun tea room,” a carpeted main dining room (designed to feel like a living room) and “bedroom booths” that mimic the shape of four-poster beds with flowing drapery."
Cocktailist - Tiki Town Edition
"Farmers Fishers Bakers is perhaps the D.C. restaurant most steeped in tiki tradition, with Zombie recipes dating back to the thirties."
D.C. Modern Luxe
The 50 Finest
All eyes on Founding Farmers Tysons and their Diplomat Crepe Cake! "Stunning 17-layer cake is worthy of an Instagram before you take your first bite. Between each crepe is a generous slather of fluffy vanilla pastry cream. The towering wedge can be served plain or topped with strawberry-blueberry compote or hot fudge."
Get Brain Freeze With These DC Frozen Cocktails
"There’s a tiki-themed menu at Farmers Fishers Bakers and many of the drinks are topped with tropical garnishes. The banana daiquiri and lava flow, a rum and coconut-based concoction, are house specialties."
The Washington Post
8 of the Best Tiki Drinks in D.C.
"In spite of all the crushed ice, the Zombie Circa 1934 is a booze bomb, with a punch of bittering absinthe powering through the tang of the citrus, the spice of falernum and the funk of multiple rums. "
Travel & Leisure
Best Farm-To-Table Restaurant in Every State"
“Profits go directly back to the producers, from the flourmill to the fruit orchard, making a meal here as much about feeding your soul as satisfying your appetite.”
Best Brunches Worth Leaving D.C. For
"Somehow, Founding Farmers manages to keep the farm-to-table concept alive and kicking, even when that idea may feel passe to some. It's expanded both north and south these days, but is staying true to its origin, serving delicious food using ingredients that come straight from the farm."
100 Best Brunches in America 2016
Founding Farmers DC, MoCo's Founding Farmers, Founding Farmers Tysons, and Farmers Fishers Bakers were named among the top 100 Best Brunch spots in America.
Getting to the Source of Local Supply
“Mary Carter, the managing partner of the Founding Farmers flagship Washington, D.C. location agrees that finding a capable partner is key. She says the four-unit group, which also has locations in Maryland and Virginia, and is owned by the more than 40,000 members of the North Dakota Farmers Union, pays as much attention to how its product is grown and harvested as it does the zip code it came from”
Where to eat over Easter weekend
"At Washington, D.C. favorite Founding Farmers, start with a board of Devil-ish Eggs."
Washington City Paper
Chair Necessities: A Lot of Thought Went Into Your Restaurant Seat
"At the new Founding Farmers in Tysons Corner, all of the furniture is custom-made. To complete the “modern farmhouse” look, Loewen worked with fabricators to build furniture that looked residential, but could endure thousands of diners a week."
Best of All You Can Eat Deals
"If your ultimate brunch dreams involve an all-you-can-eat buffet, look no further than Farmers Fishers Bakers. The expansive Georgetown restaurant is routinely mobbed on the weekend as diners load up their plates with everything from traditional brunch items to fried chicken, tacos, and sushi."
Outstanding Breakfast Tacos in D.C.
"Taco lovers can rejoice thanks to Farmers Fishers Bakers, who not only serves tacos at their popular brunch, but now serves them daily during “First Bake” breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., as well as weekend brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m."
Best of Washington
Readers chose Founding Farmers DC as a popular brunch spot in Washingtonian’s Best of Washington feature
Delicious Holiday Cocktails to Get You in the Spirit of the Season
"Health and wellness are a priority at Founding Farmers, so it’s no surprise that the winter beverage menu (offered through the end of February) spotlights fresh-pressed juices. Beverage Director John Arroyo’s Winter Pie features cold-pressed apple juice, vodka, lemon, and cinnamon syrup, garnished with fruit."
Hot Dog Day: A Dozen Delicious Must-Try Haute Dogs
"You know what they say about little hot dogs? Little buns. You can choose big flavored mini franks sassed up with tomato chow-chow, blue cheese and bacon, or our favorite, chili with shredded cheddar."
The Washington Post
Why more and more people are making plans to dine out alone
"Founding Farmers also placed in the site's nationwide list of the top 25 restaurants for solo diners in 2015, based on the number of one-person reservations, user ratings and recommendations from the site's restaurant experts."
US Green Building Council
USGBC loves DC: Greenbuild comes home—Restaurant feature
"We can’t make a list of top restaurants to visit while in DC attending Greenbuild without mentioning the obvious pick: Founding Farmers! Not only is this downtown restaurant LEED Gold, it also has some truly delicious food and drinks. Our pick: the grilled cheese and tomato soup!"
The 16 Most Important Restaurants in DC
"Before the tidal wave of the “farm-to-table” movement swept DC, there was Founding Farmers. The restaurant was committed to working directly with farmers before it was a buzz-generating line to put on a menu. In fact, American family farmers from across the country collectively own it."
D.C.’s Food Court: Fine Dining, Food Trucks and Everything in Between
"If there’s one thing residents in the DMV know best, it’s how to brunch. So it’s no surprise several D.C.-area restaurants made OpenTable’s list of the Top 100 Brunch Restaurants in America."
Ten Sustainable Restaurants in DC
"Whether patrons flock to the locations on Pennsylvania Ave. or suburban streets in Maryland and Virginia, they know they will have to wait for a while to be seated; time is a price to pay for dining at of the most popular restaurants in the area. Not only is the food sustainable, but the spaces themselves are LEED certified, which ensures that the construction and décor of the restaurants have minimal ecological impact."
The 25 best restaurants in America to eat at by yourself when you are single and alone
"After analyzing data on its customers, OpenTable realized that reservations “for one” had grown 62 percent in the past two years. This means that “single” tables are OpenTable’s fastest growing party size."
8 Dark and Stormy Cocktails You Should Be Drinking Now
"Barman Jon Arroyo covers the classics, including a Dark and Stormy made the old fashioned way: Goslings black seal rum, ginger beer, and lime."
The New York Times
All-Gender Restrooms, the Signs Reflect the Times
"There is no mistaking who can go where at the Founding Farmers restaurant in Washington, D.C.; its restroom doors read Men, Women and the Rest of Us. “I realized that for some people this is a stressful topic,” he added, “and I thought: ‘Why don’t I make it clear? We need a label that says no label.’ "
Here Are Locals’ Favorite Places to Eat Around DC
"Stacks of extra-fluffy buttermilk pancakes practically demand that you factor in nap time."
50 States, 50 Breakfasts
"Talk about politically correct: This D.C. hot spot, just blocks from the White House, serves a breakfast that's as eco-friendly as it is delicious. The chef coats free-range chicken in whole-wheat flour before frying it, then he pairs it with organic eggs, a waffle, and a creamy pepper gravy made from whole-wheat flour and antibiotic-free cream and butter."
Restaurant Business Online
4 Ways to Keep Recycling Costs in Check
"To keep compost and recyclables out of costly landfill garbage, the bins are color-coded and placed in strategic spots—for example, a bin for wine bottles sits by the doorway to the dining room. By contrast, there are no trash cans in sight."
Best of Bethesda 2015: Full Results
"Best Restaurant in Montgomery County (Readers' Pick): MoCo’s Founding Farmers"
Iconic College Restaurants
Founding Farmers and Farmers Fishers Bakers are picks for iconic college restaurants (Georgetown University)
Breakfast in Tysons Corner
"Sip on a coffee or espresso, try one of their cold-pressed juice blends, or even a breakfast cocktail while you're devouring the best stuffed French toast or Farmhouse waffles you've ever had. How about some made-to-order beignets with raspberry coulis or chocolate?"
No More Labels on Meat? What the Change in the Law Means for your Food
"'At this point, we’ve just taken the ability for a consumer to be able to make a choice for them and their family,' says Mary Carter, managing partner at D.C.’s Founding Farmers, a restaurant that espoused farm-to-table, long before it was a buzzword. 'We’ve basically taken education away from people who want it. So now, consumers have no chance to make a choice, unless they absolutely have a relationship like we do with our vendors.'”
Vital Power Breakfast Spots to Know in D.C.
"A stone's throw from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, this restaurant draws tourists and deal makers to its well-regarded breakfasts and brunches."
5 Mac and Cheese Dishes in DC Worth Indulging In
"Lobster mac & cheese at Founding Farmers: A masterful blend of Gouda, yellow cheddar, white cheddar, Gruyère, Grana Padano, and muenster, this hearty mac and cheese bowl from Founding Farmers is textured with breadcrumbs and topped off with an actual lobster tail."