Avanti Issue 1 2023

Page 1

THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES 2023 ISSUE 1 Sharing The Same Goal Working Together Benefits All Stakeholders Brand Unity At Its Finest A Healthy Relationship Benefits Everyone Restrictions On Competition In Your Franchise Agreement Thank You, NCASEF! New Year, New Proposals In The Nicotine Category
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2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 9 AVANTI is published by the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees for all independent franchisees, store managers and interested parties. National Coalition offices are located at 3645 Mitchell Road, Suite B, Ceres, CA 95307. For membership information, call 855-444-7711 or e-mail nationaloffice@ncasef.com. The views and opinions expressed in the articles and columns published in AVANTI Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees, its officers or its Board of Directors. THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES Contents Brand Unity At Its Finest By Sukhi Sandhu, NCASEF Chairman A Healthy Relationship Benefits Everyone By Joe Rossi, NCASEF Executive Vice Chair Restrictions On Competition In Your Franchise Agreement By Eric Karp, Esq., General Counsel To NCASEFp Thank You, National Coalition Of Associations Of 7-Eleven Franchisees! By Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals New Year, New Proposals In The Nicotine Category By Thomas Bunting, Senior Manager External Engagement, Reynolds Marketing Services Company Member News............10 Bits & Pieces..........39 Legislative Update.......38 SEI News...................53 Vendor Focus.....58 FOA Board Meetings.....60 FOA Events.....................62 DEPARTMENTS Showing Their Appreciation of 7NOW 13th Annual San Diego FOA & FOA Of Greater Los Angeles Trade Show The 7-Eleven Experience Takes Vegas By Storm California Franchisees Celebrates ‘Back To School’ With Store Event Michigan FOA’s First Trade Show A Success! 29 15 19 21 25 NCASEF 47th Annual Convention & Trade Show Caesars Palace • Las Vegas, NV July 30-August 2, 2023 37 34 30 44 Save The Date! THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES September/October 2022 Overcoming System Obstacles To Improve Profitability Communication & Teamwork Are Key Working On The Challenges Support Durbin’s Efforts To Lower Swipe Fees A Decrease In Gross Profit On Merchandise Change Kids’ Health. Change The Future. Reduce Harm On Nicotine Products The Value Of A Self-Inspection Program THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES November/December 2022 Closing The Gap Resolving The Issues With Ongoing Dialogue Making Tomorrow Better Than Today Labor Remains One Of Our Biggest Issues How Franchisee-Friendly Changes To California Law May Affect You Workers’ Compensation Insurance Questions & Answers The Bridge Is Getting Built Your Donations Go A Long Way 4th Quarter Board Directors Meeting Summary Page 30 23 EXTRA! EXTRA!

7-Eleven On Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 List

7-Eleven is one of two convenience store chains to make on Entrepreneur’s 44th annual Franchise 500 ranking, coming in at No. 18. Circle K, the global convenience store banner of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., was No. 88. Taco Bell topped the overall list of franchises. The ranking is based on an analysis of more than 150 data points, including costs and fees, size and growth, brand strength, support, and financial strength and stability. To be eligible, franchisors had to be seeking new franchisees in the U.S. and Canada and have had a minimum of 10 locations open and operating as of July 31, 2022, with at least one franchise located in North America.

7-Eleven and Circle K were also recently listed as among the 10 most popular grocers in America in a poll conducted by market research and data analytics firm YouGov. 7-Eleven operates, franchises and licenses more than 77,000 stores in 15 countries and regions, while Circle K operates in 24 countries and territories with more than 14,300 stores.

7-Eleven & Wawa Veering Into QSR Space

Convenience stores such as 7-Eleven and Wawa have adapted to meet changing consumer needs as customers are looking for affordable options amid rising prices and post-pandemic work routines, reveals a new report by foot traffic analytics platform Placer.ai. The stores have reinvented themselves as goto places for tasty, ready-made meals and low-cost treats.

Wawa now has over 950 stores across six states, with plans to grow its footprint to 1,800 stores by 2030, and has expanded its menu to include hamburgers and other dinner offerings. Meanwhile, 7-Eleven has over 9,400 stores across 38 states and territories and has been making inroads into the quick-service restaurant (QSR) space with the opening of nine enhanced Evolution stores, customized to meet the needs of local communities, the report states. In 2021, it opened its first dining drive-thru, where customers can grab a Slurpee or a Laredo Taco on the go. The company has also dipped its toes into retail media, debuting its new Gulp Media Network in October 2022.

Wawa saw explosive growth in visits during Q4 2022, and visits to the chain were up year-over-year almost every week of the quarter. The average number of visits per venue also increased by 41.4

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Sukhi Sandhu NATIONAL CHAIRMAN 855-444-7711 • sukhi.sandhu@ncasef.com

Joe Rossi

EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN 312-501-4337 • joer@ncasef.com

Rajneesh Singh

VICE CHAIRMAN 214-208-6116 • rjn_singh@yahoo.com

Teeto Shirajee

VICE CHAIRMAN 954-242-8595 • teeto.shirajee@yahoo.com

Nick Bhullar

VICE CHAIRMAN 626-255-8555 • bhullar711@yahoo.com

Romy Singh TREASURER 757-506-5926 • romys@ncasef.com

Shawn Howard VENDOR RELATIONS ADMINISTRATOR 855-444-7711 • shawnh@ncasef.com

Eric H. Karp, Esq. GENERAL COUNSEL 617-423-7250 • ekarp@wkwrlaw.com

John Riggio MEETING/TRADE SHOW COORDINATOR 262-394-5518 • johnr@jrplanners.com

The National Coalition Office

The strength of an independent trade association lies in its ability to promote, protect and advance the best interests of its members, something no single member or advisory group can achieve. The independent trade association can create a better understanding between its members and those with whom it deals. National Coalition offices are located in Ceres, California.

3645 Mitchell Road Suite B Ceres, CA 95307 855-444-7711


John Santiago MANAGING EDITOR 267-994-4144 • avantimag@ncasef.com

April J. Key GRAPHIC DESIGNER lirpayek@gmail.com

The Voice of 7-Eleven Franchisees 2023 ISSUE 1

©2023 National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees

Avanti Magazine is the registered trademark of The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees.

10 AVANTI 2023 ISSUE 1 Member News


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percent between Q4 2019 and Q4 2022, indicating that the chain’s expansion is meeting a ready demand. Visits to 7-Eleven have outpaced pre-pandemic levels, and Yo3Y visits were up between 3.9 percent and 17.5 percent throughout the entire period in the six states which also have Wawas.

C-Store Count Reverses Four-Year Decline

There are 150,174 convenience stores operating in the United States, a 1.5 percent increase from a year earlier, reversing a four-year decline, according to the 2023 NACS/NielsenIQ Convenience Industry Store Count, which is based on stores

in operation as of December 2022. Store count increases were recorded in 39 states and Washington, D.C., led by Georgia, which added 271 stores. California lost 53 stores, the most of the seven states that saw their counts decline. The industry growth was fueled by a 1,087-count increase in single-store operators, which now stand at 90,423 stores (60.2 percent of all convenience stores). With the U.S. population at 334.2 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there is one

convenience store per every 2,225 people. Texas continues to have the most convenience stores (116,018 stores), or more than 1 in 10 stores in the United States. The remainder of the top 10 is the same order from the year prior: Despite a decline in store count, California remains second at 12,000 stores, followed by Florida (9,596), New York (7,917), Georgia (6,719), North Carolina (5,749), Ohio (5,673), Michigan (4,879), Pennsylvania (4,728) and Illinois (4,666). Alaska grew its store count by 9.2 percent but still has the fewest stores (190) of any state.

Merchants Want Competition Over Online Debit Transactions

The Merchants Payments Coalition (MPC)

continued on next page

The of In is H 7-Eleven Franchisee Insurance Program

2023 ISSUE 1 Member News
“Convenience stores have reinvented themselves as go-to places for tasty, ready-made meals and low-cost treats.”

recently called on the Federal Reserve to reject a request by banks to postpone the implementation of its clarification that the merchants’ right to choose which payment networks process debit card transactions applies online and in-store. The MPC argues that banks have already been given sufficient time to comply with the routing choice rules and that a delay would allow them to continue operating under a monopoly rather than competing like other businesses.

Member News

continued from previous page

In October, the Fed clarified that a 2010 law which requires banks to give merchants a choice between Visa or Mastercard and at least one other unaffiliated network to process debit transactions, applies to online purchases, contactless cards, and digital wallets the same as traditional instore transactions. The Fed has given banks until July 1 to comply, but five banking organizations led by the American Banking Association have asked for the effective date to be postponed until January 1, 2025.

Merchants have long complained that

banks have not enabled debit cards to be processed over competing networks when used online, and that Visa and Mastercard have offered banks financial incentives that discourage them from doing so. All but 6 percent of online debit card transactions are still processed by Visa and Mastercard, according to the Fed.

Small C-Store Operators Have Mixed Feelings About 2023

Small convenience store operators have mixed feelings about the year ahead, according to the 2023 Convenience Store News Forecast Study. The report reveals that 67 percent of respondents view the U.S. economy negatively, while 19 percent are

continued on page 28


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“There are 150,174 convenience stores operating in the U.S., a 1.5 percent increase from a year earlier, reversing a four-year decline.”
14 AVANTI 2023 ISSUE 1

Brand Unity At Its Finest

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the 7-Eleven Experience came back bigger and better than ever before! Held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the event showcased the best of what 7-Eleven has to offer. It was amazing to see everyone—all the stakeholders and partners—coming together for two days to network, share new ideas, see great new products from exhibiting vendors, and to check out the latest innovations being rolled out by our franchisor.

hundreds of franchisees, vendor supply partners, and 7-Eleven staff. It provided an excellent opportunity to hear the challenges faced by franchisees and listen to their concerns. Several had even mentioned to me that this was their first time attending the 7EE and it exceeded their expectations. The networking opportunities were incredible, and it was exhilarating to see how franchisees could take advantage of the deals offered by vendors to maximize their profit margins.

The size and scale of the event were amazing, almost outgrowing the venue where it was held. Attendees included not only 7-Eleven franchisees and their guests, but folks from 7-Eleven Canada, Speedway, Stripes, Laredo Taco Company, 7Now, our vendor community, and of course, SEI. In all, there were over 13,400 attendees, with the largest franchisee attendance at over 5,400—including their guests. I heard that franchisee registration for this 7EE was at over 90 percent, which is truly impressive. The brand is growing, and it was great to see so many franchisees, corporate operators, and vendors expressing their excitement for being part of this large-scale event.

Attending the 7-Eleven Experience event this year allowed me to speak with

The 7EE kicked off with a general session featuring a keynote speech by SEI President and CEO Joe DePinto, held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which was filled to capacity. It had the vibe of a rock concert rather than a corporate gathering, and that vibe carried throughout the two-day event.

for vendors to showcase their products and offer deals that would maximize gross profits for franchisees. In fact, I was informed that pre-book orders at this 7EE set a new record, which I’m sure made vendors very happy.

The trade show was sprawled across three separate, large areas of the MGM Grand Conference Center and was packed wall-to-wall with exhibiting vendors. It served as a great opportunity

The Learning Center was a great platform to discover all the innovation and simplification being developed by SEI to make our business model better. Areas within the Learning Center included Vault, Retailer Initiative, Marketing, Private Brand, Digital, 7Collection, Rewards, and much more. One of the highlights of the event was the announcement of the self-checkout system rollout, which is set to be launched later this year. It was evident that this new system would significantly reduce operating expenses and improve the speed of service.

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 15
“The size and scale of the event were amazing, almost outgrowing the venue where it was held.”
continued on page 17
“The networking opportunities were incredible, and it was exhilarating to see how franchisees could take advantage of the deals offered by vendors to maximize their profit margins.”

Brand Unity At Its Finest

continued from page 15

The Accounting booth in the Store Support Expo section was a highlight of the event, and it was there to address any concerns or queries from franchisees. The Store Support Expo section was also well-attended, with many SEI departments having their own booths so franchisees could meet and speak directly with department heads and


Sprinkled throughout the 7EE were appearances by high-caliber celebrities— like baseball legend Roger Clemens, NBA star Dwyane Wade, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, former 7-Eleven-sponsored Indy Car driver Tony Kanaan, Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs, and Washington Commanders defensive end Chase Young, to name a few—who signed autographs and took photos with attendees. There was also a blow-out party at the famed Hakkasan Nightclub, and the final gala night, held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, was tremendous fun.

It feels good to be part of a brand that is getting bigger and stronger, and it was great to hear that SEI’s commitment for 2023 is to be better and face the

challenges with all stakeholders while focusing on the overall brand, including the franchise model.

On the whole, the 7EE was an enriching experience. It was great to get together with so many people and stakeholders, and to witness the growth and success of the 7-Eleven brand. The record attendance of franchisees was impressive, and it serves as a wonderful example of how working together and having good communication can result in positive outcomes.

NCASEF plans to carry on this spirit of cooperation and camaraderie at our 47th Annual Convention and Trade Show, to be held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas from July 30 to August 2. Please mark your calendars and make plans to join us. Our Convention Committee is hard at work putting together an event filled with networking, social, and businessbuilding opportunities that will satisfy all 7-Eleven partners. We’re encouraging vendors to bring exclusive conventiononly deals, and we’re inviting SEI to send representatives and set up booths at our trade show to engage with franchisees. More details will be coming soon. I look forward to seeing you all there.

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 17
SUKHI SANDHU CAN BE REACHED AT 855-444-7711 or sukhi.sandhu@ncasef.com
“The Learning Center was a great platform to discover all the innovation and simplification being developed by SEI to make our business model better.”
“The record attendance of franchisees was impressive, and it serves as a wonderful example of how working together and having good communication can result in positive outcomes.”

A Healthy Relationship Benefits Everyone

The success of any business relies on a healthy relationship between its stakeholders. This is especially important in the case of our business today. A strong and healthy relationship between SEI, franchisees, and our vendor partners results in better communication, greater efficiency, increased sales, and a better customer experience. Here’s why.

A healthy relationship between all stakeholders is essential for the company’s growth and success. Franchisees and vendor partners are crucial components of 7-Eleven’s supply chain, and our performance directly affects the company’s success. By establishing a healthy relationship, all parties can work together to achieve common goals, maximize profits, increase efficiency, and productivity. When there is open communication and collaboration between the three parties, there is a better understanding of each other’s needs and expectations.

This understanding leads to the creation of more effective strategies and the implementation of streamlined processes that benefit all stakeholders.

By fostering an environment of trust and collaboration, all parties can bring new ideas and technologies, creative solutions, and new products to the table, which allows the brand to stay competitive and ahead of the curve in the rapidly changing retail industry. Franchisees can provide better customer service, vendors can provide higher quality products, and SEI can ensure that 7-Eleven stores are meeting the needs of customers. This allows us to level up and keep the brand competitive and profitable.

The company benefits from successful stores that provide a high

level of customer service and maintain the brand’s reputation. Franchisees benefit from ongoing support from SEI, as well as high-quality products and services from vendor partners. Vendor partners benefit from a steady stream of business from 7-Eleven stores, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with SEI to develop new products and marketing strategies.

As outlined, a healthy and productive relationship between all 7-Eleven stakeholders is essential for the success of the brand. It can lead to better communication, improved efficiency and profitability, better quality products and services, and a more collaborative and supportive environment. As such, all parties should make every effort to develop and maintain strong relationships that are built on trust, respect, and mutual understanding.

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 19
JOE ROSSI CAN BE REACHED AT 312-501-4337 or joer@ncasef.com
“When there is open communication and collaboration between the three parties, there is a better understanding of each other’s needs and expectations.”
“By fostering an environment of trust and collaboration, all parties can bring new ideas and technologies, creative solutions, and new products to the table, which allows the brand to stay competitive and ahead of the curve in the rapidly changing retail industry.”
“Vendor partners benefit from a steady stream of business from 7-Eleven stores, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with SEI to develop new products and marketing strategies.”

Restrictions On Competition In Your Franchise Agreement

I have recently received a number of questions about whether 7-Eleven franchisees are subject to noncompetition covenants in their franchise agreements. These questions appear to be generated for two separate and unrelated reasons. First, the noncompetition provisions of the franchise agreement changed materially with the so-called 2019 franchise agreement. Second, the United States Federal Trade Commission has recently proposed a rule which would ban non-competition agreements in the employer/employee relationship. But it has also asked for

store or any other 7-Eleven store within two years of it last being operated as a 7-Eleven store. Note that this provision does not involve a competitive radius and is limited to the actual site of your store or any other store. This means that following the termination or expiration of your franchise agreement, you could operate an independent convenience store across the street from your former franchise location. This form of franchise agreement non-competition provision is substantially less onerous than the typical franchise agreement in other franchise systems.

start a new business, franchisor/ franchisee non-compete clauses could potentially stifle new business formation and innovation, reduce the earnings of franchisees, and have other negative effects on competitive conditions similar to non-compete clauses between employers and workers. Franchisor/franchisee non-compete clauses could also potentially be exploitative and coercive in some cases, such as where

comments on whether that rule should be extended to protect franchisees by restricting or even eliminating noncompetition agreements.

Franchisees who are not signatories to the 2019 franchise agreement are subject to a post-term non-compete in section 5(d)(2) of their franchise agreement. This post-term non-competition obligation applies in the event of expiration, termination, or transfer. It prohibits the franchisee from owning, operating, or having a financial interest in a Competitive Business at the site of the

The 2019 form of franchise agreement entirely eliminated the post-term noncompetition provisions, one of the few changes that favored the franchisee. Item 3 of the current form of Franchise Disclosure Document reflects at least two cases where SEI sued former franchisees for violation of the post-term noncompetition covenant. But these cases all involved franchisees who are signatories to pre-2019 franchise agreements.

The FTC proposal with respect to non-competition covenants contains the following observations by the Commission:

Many franchise agreements may contain non-compete clauses. By restricting a franchisee’s ability to

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 21 continued on page 23
“Franchisees who are not signatories to the 2019 franchise agreement are subject to a post-term non-compete in section 5(d)(2) of their franchise agreement.”
“This form of franchise agreement non-competition provision is substantially less onerous than the typical franchise agreement in other franchise systems.”
“The 2019 form of franchise agreement entirely eliminated the post-term noncompetition provisions, one of the few changes that favored the franchisee.”

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Restrictions On Competition In Your Franchise Agreement

continued from page 21

there is an imbalance of bargaining power between the parties. While the relationship between franchisors and franchisees may, in some cases, be more analogous to a businessto-business relationship, many franchisees lack bargaining power in the context of their relationship with franchisors and may be susceptible to exploitation and coercion through the use of noncompete clauses. For these reasons, the Commission seeks comment on whether the Rule should cover franchisor/franchisee noncompete clauses and why.

• Section 5(d)(1) of the franchise agreement prevents the franchisee from owning, operating, or having a financial interest in a Competitive Business which is or is intended to be located within 1/2 mile of any 7-Eleven convenience store.

• Section 15(g)(1) of the franchise agreement prohibits the franchisee from offering or selling any products which directly compete with any Proprietary Products that SEI designates as exclusive. This is material to the franchisee because the company has reported a steady

• Paragraph 12 of the Expanded NOW Program Agreement prohibits the franchisees from using any Delivery Providers other than those designated by SEI and prohibits the franchisee from engaging in any other delivery program or services at the store.

Finally, the 7-Eleven franchise agreement has no similar or reciprocal restrictions on SEI and its ability to compete with the franchisee in any channel of distribution. The franchisee has no protected, restricted or exclusive territory.

One of my roles as General Counsel is to keep franchisees fully informed of their rights and obligations under their franchise agreements. My hope is that this article contributes to the fulfillment of that goal. If you or any franchisee you know has any questions about restrictions on competition in his or her franchise agreement, please do not hesitate to contact us.

While the current 7-Eleven franchise agreement does not have a typical post-term non-competition provision, it does have a number of in-term noncompetition provisions.

increase in the number of products designated as proprietary (936 such products as of September 2022) and its stated intention to continue to build that channel in the future.

Showing Their Appreciation Of 7NOW

Michigan FOA franchisee Sheukat Jamal (left) and his son Hamza Jamal (right) value the business opportunities offered by 7-Eleven’s delivery service so much, they had a 7Now personalized license plate made for their car.

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 23 ERIC H. KARP CAN BE REACHED AT 617-423-7250 or ekarp@wkwrlaw.com
“While the current 7-Eleven franchise agreement does not have a typical post-term non-competition provision, it does have a number of in-term noncompetition provisions.”

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Thank You, National Coalition Of Associations Of 7-Eleven Franchisees!

2022 was an incredible year for the partnership between Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees. Through NCASEF and local FOA events, more than $240,000 was raised in support of 33 member hospitals across 20 states last year.

These funds raised are unrestricted and go to each hospital’s most urgent needs, whether that’s providing care to children without insurance, investing in research that discovers life-saving treatments and cures, training the next generation of doctors and nurses, or offering families comfort and peace of mind during the most trying moments of their lives.

By improving medical equipment, facilities and treatments, children’s hospitals are better equipped to address the most challenging health issues of our day.

Thank you, NCASEF, for giving hope and inspiration to the children and families treated at our member hospitals every day. We couldn’t achieve our mission without you.

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 25
“By improving medical equipment, facilities and treatments, children’s hospitals are better equipped to address the most challenging health issues of our day.”
continued on page 27
“Through NCASEF and local FOA events, more than $240,000 was raised in support of 33 member hospitals across 20 states last year.”

Thank You, National Coalition Of Associations Of 7-Eleven Franchisees!

continued from page 25

A special thank you to the following FOAs who chose to make a donation to or host an event for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Together we can change kids’ health and the future—for all of us.

• Alliance of Seven Eleven Franchisees FOA

• Baltimore FOA

• Cal/Neva FOA

• Central Florida FOA

• Central Valley FOA

• FOA Chicagoland

• Columbia Pacific FOA

• Delaware Valley FOA

• etroit FOA

• ast Coast FOA

• astern Virginia FOA

• reater Bay FOA

• A of Greater LA

• reater Northwest FOA

• reater Oregon FOA

• oe Saraceno FOA

• ansas City FOA

• etro New Jersey FOA

• ichigan FOA

• idwest FOA

• orthern California FOA

• ocky Mountain FOA

• Sacramento Valley FOA

• San Diego FOA

• San Francisco/ Monterey Bay FOA

• South Florida FOA

• South Nevada Las Vegas FOA

• South Texas FOA

• Southern California FOA

• South Texas FOA

• Suburban Washington FOA

• Texas FOA

• UFO of North Florida & Palm Beach


• Utah FOA

• West Coast FOA


Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals understands that we are all interconnected through stories which can inspire, educate and even help raise the critical funds needed for our member hospitals. We are asking you to share your children’s hospital story with us so we can see the ripple effects that Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals have made to change kids’ health to change the future.

Scan the QR Code to share your story or visit Story.CMNHospitals.org.

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 27

continued on page 13

neutral and 14 percent positive. However, 60 percent believe their sales will increase year on year, while 19 percent predict a drop in revenues. About a quarter of small operators

with 16 percent planning to add the service this year. Additionally, 53 percent currently offer mobile payment at the pump, with 16 percent saying the feature will be added in the coming year.

Consumers Turning To Private Labels

to see an increase, 41 percent predicting no change, and 16 percent preparing for a decline. Inflation, labor turnover and hiring, and supply chain issues are cited as the key factors impacting sales and profitability by both small and large operators. Cross-channel competition is also cited as a concern by 60 percent of small operators and 83 percent of large operators, with dollar stores viewed as the biggest threat. To make their stores more attractive, 76 percent of small operators currently offer mobile payment in-store,

After the cost of essential goods hiked in recent months due to inflation, shoppers are beginning to rethink private labels, reported Modern Retail. Over the last year, CPG brands resorted to multiple price increases to offset the high cost of fuel, raw materials and logistics. But after retailers pushed prices up several times throughout the year, people are beginning to look for alternative options outside of staple brands to stretch their dollars. In fact, 79 percent of shoppers concerned about inflation had started looking for discounts, 68 percent shopped at discount stores and 67 percent switched to generic brands in order to save money, according to a 2022 survey from

Morning Consult.

As the prices shoppers are willing to pay hit the roof, discount chains and private labels have begun to look more appealing. Shoppers spent more on private label CPG brands in the three months ending December 2022 in comparison to the previous year throughout all income groups, data from Numerator indicates. Private labels now account for 17.9 percent of total CPG purchases.

ValueAct Calls For 7-Eleven Spin-off

ValueAct Capital, the U.S.-based investment firm that owns a 4.4 percent stake in Seven & i Holdings, has urged the company’s shareholders to back a spin-off of the company’s 7-Eleven convenience store chain, reported Reuters. In a letter, ValueAct called on shareholders to express their opinions on the matter to Seven & i’s board. The fund argued a tax-free spin-off of 7-Eleven could be completed through a listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in about a year and could result in shareholder value that is 80 percent higher than maintaining the current conglomerate structure.

continued on page 37

28 AVANTI 2023 ISSUE 1 Member News Get On The Avanti Mailing List! Are you a franchisee and would like to receive your own copy of Avanti—The Voice of 7-Eleven Franchisees? You can get on our mailing list by sending a request to avantimag@ncasef. com with your name and store address, and we’ll be sure to include you in future mailings. THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES Moving The Brand Forward Collaboration Among All Stakeholders Is Key Working Together Will Benefit All 7-Eleven Stakeholders It’s All About Teamwork Workers’ Compensation Insurance Questions & Answers THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES Supporting CharitiesAnd Community Service 7-ElevenFranchiseesMakeADifference GivingBackToOurCommunities AndOurCustomers WeAreMoreThanANeighborhood ConvenienceStore ChangeIsTheOnlyConstantShiftingSands Overexertion/BackInjuries TheSpring2022Affiliate MemberDirectory Page34 THE VOICE OF 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISEES May/June 2022 Making Progress Improving The System For All Stakeholders We’re On It Staying Fully Stocked Franchisee Exits Don’t Leave Money On The Table Slip, Trip, And Fall Prevention The Power Of Partnership Second Quarter Board Of Directors Meeting NCASEF Committee Reports Register Today! NCASEF 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center National Harbor, Maryland August 7-10, 2022
“The 2023 Convenience Store News Forecast Study reveals that 67 percent of c-store operators view the U.S. economy negatively.”

New Year, New Proposals In The Nicotine Category

Like many of you, the calendar change to 2023 filled me with aspiration and hope, but it also filled me with the realization that 2023 will have many of the same challenges we experienced in 2022. Whether in our personal or professional life, it feels as if the

California Senate Bill 793 officially took effect, banning the sale of all flavored tobacco products (with limited exceptions for hookah, loose leaf pipe tobacco and premium cigars), including synthetic nicotine products. Luckily, through a collaborative effort, we delayed

challenges of 2022 are never-ending. I remember a time not so long ago when a dozen eggs were $0.99, yet today we are excited to see a price of less than $3. Unfortunately, the inflationary pressures and slagging economy appear to be here to stay. I am sure you have seen consumer behavior change at your retail locations. Whether a consumer is purchasing less fuel or not taking advantage of multiunit discounts, we agree that consumers are pinching pennies.

On top of economic challenges, the total nicotine category continues to be under attack. In late December,

implementation for two years.

The biggest threat to the total nicotine category will undoubtedly be more flavor restrictions. We anticipate proposals in states like Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Washington, among others. These proposals will threaten our mutual business if enacted. These proposals are in addition to the FDA’s proposed rule to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, which remains in the regulatory process that may take years to complete.

In addition, due to current economic challenges and diminishing federal COVID-19 relief funds, we expect a renewed need for additional revenue at the state level. These needs are often met with increased taxes on tobacco and nicotine products. While not as severe as a complete flavor ban, the premise of

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 29
“The biggest threat to the total nicotine category will undoubtedly be more flavor restrictions.”
“On top of economic challenges, the total nicotine category continues to be under attack.”
continued on page 31
“In addition, due to current economic challenges and diminishing federal COVID-19 relief funds, we expect a renewed need for additional revenue at the state level. These needs are often met with increased taxes on tobacco and nicotine products.”

13th Annual San Diego FOA & FOA Of Greater Los Angeles Trade Show

It was a crowded floor at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California on January 25, as franchisees gathered to peruse the newest products and hot deals presented by exhibiting vendors at the combined FOA Of Greater Los Angeles and San Diego FOA Trade Show. Franchisees representing over 300 stores placed orders on the spot, taking advantage of great vendor deals and fun raffle prizes. Over $20,000 in cash prizes were given out, including two $1,000 prizes. It was a win-win for vendor participants and franchisee attendees! Both FOAs send a special note of gratitude to NCASEF Chairman Sukhi Sandhu and Vice Chairman Nick Bhullar, as well as SEI’s Bruce Maples, Kia Hasheminejad, Michelle Cram, Bobbie King, and Kendall McIntosh, for attending.

30 AVANTI 2023 ISSUE 1

New Year, New Proposals In The Nicotine Category

continued from page 29

more money leaving consumers’ pockets is something we must fight against.

2023 also brings forth two new proposals rare to the tobacco/nicotine category. The first is an anticipated announcement from the FDA that they will propose a rule to lower the amount of nicotine in all cigarettes to what are described as “minimally addictive or non-addictive levels.” While this type of proposal may seem well-intentioned, the reality is that the rule—if it becomes effective—would result in a de facto ban on the cigarette category. Therefore, if the FDA moves forward with this proposed rulemaking process, we would encourage everyone involved in our mutual business to provide written comments to the FDA. More information on the exact timing regarding comments to the FDA will be forthcoming if and when the moment arrives. Comments from retailers and other industry participants will be critical, and we thank you in advance for your effort.

Additionally, we are beginning to see momentum behind so-called “Extended Producer Responsibility” (EPR) legislation. While these types of bills are all different, they include features like cigarette filter bans, a ban on singleuse plastics like what is used in vapor pods, or battery recycling requirements that severely increase the cost of vapor products. States like California, New York, Oregon, and Colorado pursued efforts in this space during 2022.

With all these challenges in front of us, it may feel like we are helpless, and the narrative has already been written. I can promise you that is not the case. In 2022 the industry defeated 31 of 32 state excise tax proposals and 27 of 28

flavor ban proposals. The only way those remarkable results are possible is because of the involvement of retail partners like you. In every fight, we often find that the voice that changes an elected official’s perspective is that of locally owned small business owners like yourself.

Anti-tobacco groups convince elected officials that these proposals have no impact on your business. In fact, in one recent fight, a city council member recommended that local retailers work with a major supermarket chain to purchase more food to offset the loss of tobacco revenue. Their level of ignorance regarding your business model is astounding. If you don’t stand up and tell them the realities of your situation, no one will, which often leads to more severe proposals. Luckily, we have tools to support you in amplifying your voice. It’s as simple as visiting www. ownitvoiceit.com/trade-partners-survey and submitting your information. Anytime a proposal is made in your area, we will reach out to you with customized options to make your voice heard.

While 2023 will have challenges, I am confident in our mutual ability to continually move toward a better tomorrow. Cheers to a prosperous, healthy, and fulfilling new year.

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 31
“In every fight, we often find that the voice that changes an elected official’s perspective is that of locally owned small business owners like yourself.”
“In 2022 the industry defeated 31 of 32 state excise tax proposals and 27 of 28 flavor ban proposals. The only way those remarkable results are possible is because of the involvement of retail partners like you. ”

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The 7-Eleven Takes Vegas

7-Eleven took over the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on February 8 and 9, bringing back the 7-Eleven Experience in spectacular fashion after a two-year, pandemic-induced break. The event broke all sorts of records, with the highest number of overall attendees at 13,400+, over 5,400 franchisees and their guests, and the highest number of pre-book orders at the trade show. This was also the first 7EE to include the entire 7-Eleven family, with invitees from 7-Eleven Canada, Speedway, Stripes, Laredo Taco Company, and 7Now.

The event kicked off with a General Session hosted by SEI President and CEO Joe DePinto at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which was filled to capacity by attendees. From there, guests were free to explore the many parts of

7-Eleven Experience

Vegas By Storm!

the 7EE—from the Learning Center, where franchisees could discover the latest programs and innovations being developed by SEI, to the Store Support Expo filled with booths from various SEI departments, like Accounting, Facility Maintenance, and Asset Protection.

The trade show was spread out over three different locations in the MGM Grand Conference Center, and was packed with exhibiting vendors and franchisees eager to place orders for new and hot-selling products. There were also appearances by several high-name celebrities, a party at the Hakkasan Nightclub, and a blow-out final gala at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

It was truly an experience franchisees will not soon forget.

continued on page 36

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 35

The 7-Eleven Experience Takes Vegas By Storm!

continued from page 33

36 AVANTI 2023 ISSUE 1

ValueAct added that its assumptions were conservative because they do not factor in benefits such as efficiency improvements at 7-Eleven’s U.S. operations. Seven & i is currently conducting a strategic review and has pledged to announce its decisions by early March.

DePinto Talks Leadership

In a recent interview with Texas CEO Magazine, SEI President and CEO Joe DePinto outlined his leadership style and the values he tries to uphold. DePinto said his approach to leadership is very much one of service and support, and he tries to set clear expectations then provide resources

and coaching to help others be successful. DePinto said he learned this servantleadership mentality at West Point, where he also gained foundational military training and a value system. He added that he was

continued from page 28

and advises aspiring CEOs to read as much as they can and learn from other leaders who are getting it right. He also believes that true/good leadership is both hard and inconvenient, and that doing the right thing is always the best way forward.

C-Stores Threaten

Fast-Food Restaurants

taught the importance of being authentic, approachable, and a good listener; treating people the right way; and being customerfocused, all of which he tries to embody as a leader. DePinto said he believes that being a CEO is a privilege but also very hard work,

California Franchisees Celebrates ‘Back To School’ With Store Event

For years now, Orcutt, California franchisee Ravi Chahal has been sending kids back to school after summer and winter breaks with huge smiles on their faces. That’s because Ravi throws a huge event at his store for the community where he gives away free Slurpees to children and their parents, and invites local law enforcement agencies—such as the Fire Department, Sherriff’s Department, and Highway Patrol—to participate in the event.

Ravi’s commitment to the community is further reflected in his efforts to give back. This year, he presented a Project A Game check for $2,200 to the Orcutt school district, demonstrating his willingness to support education and the local school system. This event has become a staple in the Orcutt community and is eagerly anticipated by kids and parents alike.

Convenience stores have been expanding their foodservice offerings and are increasingly becoming a threat to fastfood restaurants, reported QSR Magazine. As convenience stores have higher profit margins on foodservice sales than on retail

continued from page 39

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 37
Member News
“DePinto said his approach to leadership is very much one of service and support.”

California’s Fast Food Law Goes To The Ballot

Opponents of California’s Fast Act (A.B. 257) have collected enough signatures to put the law, which would increase fast-food workers’ wages and give them greater say over wages, to a vote in the 2024 general election, reported Restaurant Business. The Fast Act would give a 10-person council the power to set fast-food wages, four of whom would be fast-food workers and union representatives.

Opponents, including McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger, argue that the act would raise the price of fast food and hurt consumers. Meanwhile, supporters, including the Service Employees International Union, say it would give fast-food workers the power to demand fair pay and working conditions. The National Restaurant Association’s EVP of public policy Sean Kennedy said that the Fast Act would damage California’s restaurant industry and force independent restaurants to close, leaving diners to pay the price.

The Fast Act was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom last year and was immediately challenged by a coalition

Legislative Update

of industry groups who collected over one million signatures to put it to a vote. California’s Superior Court suspended the law until the signatures were verified. The Fast Act will be on hold until November 2024 when the vote takes place.

Texas Lawmaker Wants ‘Canned Cocktails’ Sold At C-Stores

A bill has been introduced by a Texas legislator to allow liquor-based, readyto-drink (RTD) products to be sold in convenience and grocery stores, reported the Valley Morning Star. The House bill, HB2200, was filed in early February. Currently, only beer and wine-based RTDs can be sold in Texas grocery and convenience stores. The bill was filed by Rockwall Republican Rep. Justin Holland who believes the legislation is a “common-sense reform that will modernize Texas laws to provide fair treatment for spirits-based RTD cocktails.”

Supporters of the bill, including distillery interests in the state, argue that the alcohol content of liquor-based drinks is no higher than wine and beer RTDs, and in some cases, even lower. At present, liquorbased RTDs can only be purchased at a package liquor store in Texas. Holland is calling for the bill to close a loophole, providing economic opportunity to tens of thousands of Texas businesses.

The prospects of the bill are unknown, but the push for the new rule is likely to be connected to the fact that liquor-based RTDs are the fastest-growing segment of the distillery industry. Chris Swonger, president and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, said the current system is frustrating for consumers who cannot purchase their favorite canned cocktails at convenience and grocery stores while similar beer or wine products are already sold there. The House bill, HB2200, was filed in early February.

California Bill Would Allow C-Stores To Sell Canned Cocktails

A proposed California bill could permit convenience stores to sell canned cocktails, reported The Press Democrat. Senate Bill 277 would permit stores with a type 20 ABC license to stock their shelves with canned distilled spirits of 16 ounces or less, with an alcohol content of 10 percent or less. Currently, only businesses with a type 21 license can sell canned distilled spirits. SB 277 aims to help small businesses and create another tax revenue stream during the expected economic downturn. The bill would also allow consumers to have more options when buying canned cocktails. According to the Distilled Spirits Council, only 14,000 locations sell

continued on page 42

38 AVANTI 2023 ISSUE 1 Member News

Discount dollar stores are increasingly being visited by consumers for groceries as food prices continue to rise, reported CNBC. More than one in five consumers now buy groceries at dollar stores, with the discount retailers looking to lure shoppers by expanding and remodeling their stores with more refrigeration units and a wider selection of groceries. • According to the new 2023 Brick Meets Click/Mercatus 5-Year Grocery Sales Forecast, total U.S. online grocery sales are forecast to grow at a compound average growth rate of 11.7 percent over the next five years, increasing online’s share of overall grocery spending from 11.2 percent in 2022 to 13.6 percent in 2027. • Circle K parent company Alimentation CoucheTard said it is moving forward with a binding agreement to acquire 45 fuel and convenience retail sites from Big Red Stores. All 45 sites are located across the state of Arkansas and are company-owned and company-operated. Couche-Tard said the transaction is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2023. • The growth of automation in the workplace will accelerate this decade, with robot workers possibly surpassing human employees at Amazon, reported CNBC. According to Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood, the robot revolution will not be limited to Amazon—it will spread across manufacturing as improving technology and falling costs speed up the transition. • The average U.S. grocery store size is shrinking as retailers such as Wegmans Food Markets and Publix Super Markets try out smaller formats in the face of rising real estate and construction costs, as well as a wider adoption of online shopping, reported Progressive Grocer. • BeatBox Beverages announced that its BeatBox Blue Razzberry and Fruit Punch flavors are now available nationwide at 7-Eleven, Stripes, and Speedway locations, with select locations also carrying Juicy Mango and Pink Lemonade. • Walmart is expanding its associate-to-driver program so that any Walmart

continued on page 43

Member News

continued from page 37

sales, many chains are focusing on growing their foodservice business. These convenience stores, such as Sheetz, Wawa, Kum & Go, Casey’s, and others, have developed foodservice menus and fresh offerings that compete with and, in some cases, improve upon quick-service restaurant offerings.

There are six main ways that

Shoppers Rebel Against Higher Prices

convenience stores are threatening fastfood restaurants:

• Fifty percent of consumers agree that convenience stores are just as capable of offering fresh food and beverages as restaurants are.

• Consumers perceived value of convenience stores is currently higher than that of restaurants.

• Convenience store foodservice margins are generally higher than at quick-serves, so they can offer more frequent deals and with greater discounts.

• Convenience stores generally offer greater menu variety than quickserves, which is an opportunity to lure away customers.

• Convenience store retail items provide an opportunity to attract consumers looking for the convenience of a one-stop shopping occasion.

• Drive-thru, which is currently not widespread at convenience stores, offers the opportunity to get on equal footing with quick-service brands in terms of speed and convenience.

Some companies are beginning to slow down price increases in response to wary consumers limiting their buying, indicating a possible slowdown in inflation, reported the Wall Street Journal. Many companies raised prices significantly in 2021 to offset higher costs of fuel, ingredients, parts, and labor, but some of these costs have now come down as supply-chain snarls eased. The decrease in companies’ pricing could be an indication that inflation resulting from supply-demand imbalances brought on by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine is fading.

However, Fed officials are still concerned that other factors could continue to sustain upward pressure on inflation. These include China’s reopening, which could boost global demand for commodities and energy, and tight labor markets, which could sustain higher wage growth, particularly for labor-intensive services. Despite companies slowing down on price increases, inflation is still far above the 2 percent range, which is the Fed’s target. The Fed is worried that consumers may expect inflation to remain high and build it into their behavior, leading to selffulfilling inflationary psychology.

DOJ Probing Visa

The U.S. Department of Justice recently issued Visa an investigative demand seeking documents and information about U.S. debit card practices and competition with other payment networks, reported Reuters. The probe, which began in early 2021, followed reports the United States was investigating whether the credit card company uses anticompetitive practices

continued on page 40

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 39

continued from page 39

in the debit card market. The Justice Department has previously investigated the credit card payments industry, but settled with Visa and Mastercard in 2010 when they agreed to allow merchants to offer consumers incentives to use a low-cost credit card. In its regulatory filing in late January, Visa also

said that the European Commission had informed the company in December that it had opened a preliminary investigation into its incentive agreements with clients.

The Expanded Role Of Snacking

Mondelēz International recently released its fourth annual State of Snacking report, which explores how economic challenges are affecting consumer snacking choices globally. The report found that despite rising costs and economic difficulties, the majority of respondents continue to prioritize snacking. The study highlights the expanded role of

snacking in consumers’ lives, with 71 percent of respondents snacking at least twice a day and 55 percent replacing meals with snacks. The survey also showed that consumers are looking for snacks to meet different needs, with the vast majority snacking to reward themselves (78 percent) and for a sense of comfort (77 percent).

continued on next page

40 AVANTI 2023 ISSUE 1
Member News
‘The DOJ recently issued Visa an investigative demand seeking documents and information about U.S. debit card practices and competition with other payment networks.”
Haagen Daz used under license from HDIP Inc. @ HDIP, Inc. Haagen-Dazs® Top
Flavors Butter Pecan 14oz 190020 Caramel Cone 14oz 190025 Coffee 14oz 190067 Dulce de Leche 14oz 191156 Vanilla 14oz 190024 Strawberry 14oz 190023 Chocolate 14oz 190021 FOD March A u t h o r i z e d i n 2 0 2 3 f o r a l l P O G s

Seven & I Postpones Sogo & Seibu

Seven & i Holdings Co. has delayed the sale of its department store unit Sogo & Seibu Co. from February 1 to March, reported the Jiji Press. The move comes amid a stalemate in talks between Seven & i and U.S. fund Fortress Investment Group LLC, which is set to buy Sogo & Seibu, over the proposed opening of an outlet of major electronics retailer Yodobashi Camera in the Seibu Ikebukuro store in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward. Fortress is in a partnership with Yodobashi Holdings, the parent of Yodobashi Camera. Toshima Mayor Yukio Takano opposes the opening of a Yodobashi Camera outlet in the Sogo store, saying that the area would lose what makes it a community of culture.

C-Stores Prioritize Scan & Pay

As retailers weigh the pros and cons of scan-and-pay, PYMNTS data shows convenience stores are amenable, reported

continued from previous page

PYMNTS.com. Self-checkout technologies can be a mixed bag for retailers. On the one hand, they save on labor and can improve the in-store experience for shoppers who prefer the option, boosting loyalty. On the other hand, issues of scan avoidance have been documented for years, and retailers are well aware.

Research from PYMNTS’ study “Big Retail’s Innovation Mandate: Convenience and Personalization,” finds that convenience retailers are disproportionately likely to view scan-and-go technology as a net positive. The report noted that 39 percent of retailers overall believe consumers would be very or extremely likely to switch merchants if they were not offered the ability to scan products and pay without standing in line. Yet, for convenience stores, that share is significantly higher. Nearly half (47 percent) of convenience stores and pharmacies reported believing the same.

The article serves 7-Eleven as an example, which has been offering own-device mobile checkout for years, initially launching its Scan & Pay option in 2018 within the store’s mobile app. The option remains available at participating locations, according to the

Avanti Is Your Magazine

Avanti Magazine was created in 1981 by franchisees, for franchisees. It represents your voice within the 7-Eleven universe and requires your participation to remain relevant to the ideas, information, and knowledge floating about the franchisee community. You can contribute to the success of Avanti Magazine by submitting any of the following:

> Articles on any 7-Eleven topic that may be of interest to other franchisees.

> Your FOA events and Board meeting calendars.

> FOA event photos with a short description (who, what, where, when, and why).

> Store or community event photos with captions.

> Any combination of the above.

Please send your submissions to avantimag@ncasef.com.

As former National Coalition Chairman Bill Schuessler famously said, “None of us is as great as all of us together, so let’s stay tightly knit together.”

company’s website. In the summer of 2021, 7-Eleven expanded this Mobile Checkout option to 3,000 U.S. stores as an option for loyalty program members.

7-Eleven Stores Use Classical Music To Deter Loiterers

Several 7-Eleven convenience stores in Texas and California have started playing classical music as a way to deter homeless people from loitering outside their storefronts, reported Fox News. Franchisees say they are trying to combat issues such as harassment of customers, solicitation for money, and drug use, which are associated

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2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 41
Member News
“Research from PYMNTS’ study finds that convenience retailers are disproportionately likely to view scan-and-go technology as a net positive.”

continued from page 41

with homeless populations. The tactic has received mixed reactions from customers and nearby residents, with some expressing support for the idea while others find the music obnoxious. One Texas franchisee said he had received noise complaints but had not yet been visited by the police. However, he is planning to lower the volume. In Los Angeles, California, 7-Eleven franchisees began playing classical music last year as a way to help employees and customers feel safe amid a spike in homelessness in the area. Some studies have suggested that classical music can be annoying and irritating, and therefore effective in driving away loiterers. However, critics argue that such a tactic is inhumane and that there are better solutions to address the issue, such as providing affordable housing and support for homeless individuals.

Consumers Are Ordering Less Delivery

Americans say they’re cutting back on delivery to save money, reported Winsight Restaurant Business. According to a survey by Personal Capital, 94 percent of consumers are ordering less delivery or dining out less due to inflation, with 28 percent of DoorDash users saying they have cut back. While the delivery industry has reported steady demand, 47 percent of respondents to the survey cited the high cost of delivery as the reason for ordering less, and 47 percent said they had less disposable income to spend on it. Gen Z was most impacted, with 57 percent citing the cost of delivery as the reason for cutting back. Inflation has also affected dining out in general, with 24 percent of respondents saying they are eating out less and spending less in restaurants. The monthly average spend in restaurants fell from $95 to about $57. The shift to

Legislative Update

continued from page 38

spirit-based ready-to-drink beverages, while over 28,000 locations sell beer and wine-based ready-to-drink beverages. SB 277 will be considered by the state Senate’s Governmental Organization Committee in March.

Bill Would Force Chicago

Gas Stations To Hire

Armed Guards

Illinois state lawmakers are considering a bill that would force Chicago gas stations, grocery stores, banks, and pawn

shops to hire their own armed security guards to cover all hours they are open to the public, reported the Illinois Policy Institute. State Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, introduced the “Armed Security Protection Act,” which only applies to municipalities with more than 2 million residents, which in Illinois would exclusively mean Chicago.

What the bill doesn’t mention is the higher costs for businesses, which get passed on to customers. Grocery stores are defined as “a business engaged in the sale of food, beverages, and other goods usually used in a home,” which

lower-priced options, such as fast food, may explain some of this decline, as industry traffic has largely slowed over the past year, while sales have risen gradually but did lose some momentum at the end of 2022.

Small Businesses Are Hiring More

Small companies have been responsible for all of the net job growth in the U.S. since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic

continued on next page



appears to include the corner bodega and convenience stores. Jones introduced the same bill in the previous Illinois General Assembly, but it never made it past committee consideration. The newest continued on page 49

42 AVANTI 2023 ISSUE 1
Member News
“According to a survey by Personal Capital, 94 percent of consumers are ordering less delivery or dining out less due to inflation.”

and account for almost four out of five available job openings, reported the Wall Street Journal. Since February 2020, small establishments—locations with fewer than 250 employees—have hired 3.67 million more people than have been laid off or who quit. Larger establishment—those with 250 employees or more—have cut a net 800,000 jobs during that time, despite some rapid pandemic-era expansions in such sectors as tech. That is according to data from the government’s

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

According to the government’s Small Business Administration, small businesses generated about two out of every three jobs over the past 25 years. Small businesses accounted for 78 percent of the U.S. job listings in November, the latest month for which data are available, and 91 percent of the post-pandemic increase in job openings. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell

continued from page 39

worker at 439 store locations nationwide can become a truck driver after completing a 12-week course, reported Business Insider. Walmart truck drivers can make up to $110,000 per year—much more than the average annual wages of Walmart store employees, which range from $25,000 to $35,000. • Most shoppers want to pick out their own groceries, with 78 percent saying they plan to shop in store most often for the month, according to data from Kroger’s 84.51°. Many consumers who prefer to shop in store do so to save money—taking advantage of in-store sales and promo -

continued from previous page

has contrasted the 10.5 million job openings available with data showing the U.S. had six million unemployed workers that month as an example of the “economic dislocation” keeping inflation at unacceptably high levels.

Japan C-Store Sales Hit Record High

Convenience store sales in Japan in 2022 rose 3.7 percent from the previous year to a record high of 11,177.5 billion yen thanks to the easing of pandemic restrictions on people’s movements, reported Nippon.com. Demand for onigiri rice balls, bento boxed meals and soft drinks grew as the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions boosted the flow of people. On a same-store basis, 2022 sales grew 3.3 percent to 10,729.5 billion yen. October and November, in particular, saw strong sales getting a boost from the launch of the government’s tourism promotion campaign. The number of shoppers in 2022

rose 0.6 percent from 2021, while the average value of purchases per customer increased 2.8 percent to 715 yen. The number of convenience stores as of the end of 2022 fell by 112 from a year earlier to 55,838.

Walmart Raises Starting Hourly Wages

Walmart has raised wages for its U.S. hourly workers at a time when the market remains tight for front-line staff, reported the Wall Street Journal. As of February, Walmart’s U.S. workers in stores and warehouses are earning a starting wage of at least $14 an hour, up

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tions—and because 46 percent of them do not trust someone else to pick out their groceries, the research found.

• TravelCenters of America recently announced that it is being acquired by BP for approximately $1.3 billion. BP will acquire all of the outstanding shares of TA common stock for $86.00 per share in cash. • Restaurants registered total sales of $88.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis in December, according to the U.S. Census Bureau— down 0.9 percent from November’s downward-revised volume of $89.2 billion. Consumer spending in non-restaurant retail sectors plunged 2.3 percent between

October and December. • Walmart is using the size of its brick-and-mortar store and distribution center network to push back on price increases from its suppliers, reported The Street. The retailer has pushed back on pricing specifically because it feels pressure from Costco and discounters like Dollar General. • McDonald’s said U.S. customers are visiting its restaurants more, with consumers trading down from full-service restaurants to Big Macs and McNuggets as they pull back on spending in response to inflation, reported CNBC. The company reported fourth-quarter net in-

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 43 Member News
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Michigan FOA’s First Trade Show A Success!

The Michigan FOA held its first ever trade show on March 2 at the Farmington Hills Manor in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and with much success. The event featured over 40 vendors showcasing their best and hot-selling items, and over 300 attendees who enjoyed a fine dinner and raffle with great prizes afterwards. Notable guests included NCASEF officers Sukhi Sandhu, Nick Bhullar, and Romy Singh, and from SEI regional director Joan Davis and various market managers and area leaders. Former Michigan Lieutenant Governor and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) Brian Calley was also at hand to announce that the Michigan FOA has joined the organization as a strategic partner.

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2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 45 THE DAY IS LONG, SO SNACK STRONG! THINK!® BROWNIE CRUNCH For more information please contact: ADAM FRIDAYadamfriday@glanbia.com 561-353-8563 Sr. Customer Business Manager National Convenience OFFER VALID 1/11/2023 - 4/11/2023 (P1 & P2) 2 / $4 NOW NATIONALLY APPROVED AT 7-ELEVEN! NEW PACKAGING COMING SOON

From the Store on Main, to the Nationwide Chain, McLane Has You Covered

For more than 127 years, McLane has been building our nationwide distribution network to fulfill the needs of businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a single store, an emerging chain, or a nationwide operation, our world-class infrastructure, unrivaled buying power, and proven technology can be utilized to diversify your offerings and grow your business.

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Member News

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continued from page 43 come of $1.9 billion, up from $1.64 billion a year earlier. • Dollar Tree is continuing to invest in grocery by opening a test kitchen and preparing to roll out hundreds of private-label products following a hefty expansion of its $3 to $5 frozen and refrigerated offerings, reported Progressive Grocer. The retailer is also introducing more cooler doors to accommodate a wider assortment of fresh and frozen foods. • Shell USA Inc. is acquiring electric vehicle charging and media company Volta Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $169 million. The transaction brings Volta’s dual charging and media network to Shell’s established brand and seeks to “unlock robust, long-term growth opportunities in electric vehicle charging.”

• Canadian cashierless chain Aisle 24 is capitalizing on the opportunity to convert underutilized space in residential buildings into 24-hour self-service markets that are a cross between a small-format grocery and convenience store, reported C-Store Dive. Customers use the Aisle 24 app to access the store and then use in-store kiosks to pay.

• Amazon plans to close a number of Amazon Fresh grocery and Amazon Go convenience stores—and pause new openings—as it rethinks its grocery strategy, reported Business Insider. The e-commerce company also announced it will cut 18,000 jobs in certain areas of the business. • As consumers contend with rising shelf prices and downsized packaging, nearly half (48 percent) of manufacturers have received at least one retailer request for a list price reduction, ac-

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from $12. Rivals, including Amazon.com Inc. and Target Corp., have a $15-an-hour minimum wage, while Costco Wholesale Corp.’s minimum is even higher. Walmart’s changes, the latest in a series of increases by the company to close the gap with rivals, will push the company’s average hourly wages to over $17.50. Currently hourly workers at Walmart earn an average of around $17.

More than half the states in the U.S. are set to lift their minimum wages in the coming year, although due to the tight labor market, employers have in many cases needed to offer pay significantly higher than the legal minimum in order to attract and retain employees. Average hourly earnings for nonsupervisory retail workers rose 4 percent from a year earlier to $19.93 in December, according to the Labor Department. Wages rose 5 percent from a year earlier to $28.07 for private-sector workers not in supervisory roles.

Seven & I To Close More Supermarkets

Seven & i Holdings will close an additional 14 Ito-Yokado supermarket stores in Japan and fully exit from the apparel business to focus on its convenience store business at home and abroad, reported the EconoTimes. The company will close 33 unprofitable or low-profit margin outlets in Japan by the end of February 2026. There were a total of 126 as of the end of February. Ito-Yokado will also terminate its clothing business in the face of severe competition with specialized clothing retailers, though it will continue to sell other companies’ clothing at its outlets. The company will further consolidate its back-office operations with other Seven & i group supermarket operators to reduce costs.

The Ito-Yokado unit posted a net los for the second straight year in the year ended February 2022, as its clothing business struggled amid stiff competition with online shopping operators and specialized clothing retailers. The supermarket operator has been

under increasing pressure from ValueAct Capital to focus on its 7-Eleven business.

Mobile Contactless SNAP Payments Being Tested

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that its Food and Nutrition Service (FSN) is partnering with five states to pilot mobile payment technology in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP. Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri and Oklahoma will allow SNAP beneficiaries to make contactless payments with their mobile devices instead of using their physical SNAP card. The mobile payment pilots will involve the coordination of many stakeholders including state agencies, EBT processors, mobile wallet providers and retailers. Neither retailers nor SNAP households are required to participate in the pilots.

The pilots are part of a series of modernizations to the SNAP program, which serves millions of low-income families and children each month, that include expanding SNAP online shopping, partnering with the National Grocers Association Foundation to help small and rural retailers get started with SNAP online shopping, and exploring EBT card technology and safeguards. FNS is also investing in innovation efforts across all its programs that support nutrition security for children and families, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 47
“Seven & i Holdings will close an additional 14 ItoYokado supermarket stores in Japan and fully exit from the apparel business to focus on its convenience store business.”
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version would be implemented in July 2024, if passed.

NY Gov Proposes Cigarette Tax Hike & Flavored Tobacco Ban

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has proposed a $1 cigarette tax increase and a ban on flavored tobacco sales, including cigarettes, as part of her 2023 State of the State plan, reported CSP Daily News. The cigarette tax would rise from $4.35 to $5.35 per pack. The proposal is intended to reduce youth smoking and prevent premature

Legislative Update

deaths caused by smoking. According to Hochul’s written plan, commercial tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and New York, and approximately 4,300 New Yorkers under the age of 18 become daily smokers each year.

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The governor’s plan will build on the state’s flavored vapor sales ban, which has been in place since May 2020, by banning the sale of all flavored tobacco products. The proposal will also bring New York in line with other states that have already banned the sale of flavored tobacco products. In 2022, few states sought new tax increases due to surpluses after receiving stimulus

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Join Your Local Franchise Owner’s Association Today! How do I join an FOA?

The best way to stay informed of the latest changes and challenges to our 7-Eleven system-and the convenience industry, in general-is to join your local Franchise Owner’s Association. FOAs help franchisees share ideas and concerns, and allow us to approach our franchisor and vendor partners with a unified voice. Becoming an FOA member also makes you a member of the National Coalition, which consists of all 41 FOAs nationwide.

To join your local organization, contact the FOA president closest to you, or follow the instructions below to fill out an online membership form. If you cannot find the FOA closest to you, contact nationaloffice@ncasef. com for more information.

We welcome your participation!

1. Log in to 7Help using 7Hub (secured) in-store or using this link https:/7elevenna.servicenow.com/from any external device.

2. In the search bar type “FOA.”

3. Select the popup suggestion “FOA/ PAC:FRANCHISE OWNERS ASSOCIATION.”

4. Type “NONE” in the “Current FOA” box if you are joining an FOA for the first time or you are not a member of any other FOA.

5. Type in the full name of the FOA that you wish to join (No abbreviation) in the “Future FOA” box.

6. Type in the amount of monthly dues as instructed per local FOA.

7. Type “Please enroll (store number) as a member of (name of the local) FOA.”

8. Repeat Step 7.

9. Press the green submit icon.

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 49 Member News
“None of us is as great as all of us together”

Legislative Update

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payments from the federal government amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and there were generally fewer tax increases during an election year. According to the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), in 2022, at least 14 states had cigarette or tobacco tax bills that were either defeated or pending, but none were adopted.

New Bill Could Resolve Supply Chain Issues

The Safer Highways and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking (SHIP IT) Act has been introduced in Congress to address trucking-related issues that have caused bottlenecks in the U.S. supply chain, reported NACS Daily. The comprehensive legislation aims to increase the number of truck drivers, provide relief from hours-of-service

regulations for agricultural products, pilot a safety program for six-axle vehicles, make zero-emission vehicles more practical, waive truck weight limits more easily, and expand access to parking and rest facilities for commercial motor vehicles.

The SHIP IT Act includes a tax credit of $7,500 per year for experienced drivers and $10,000 for new drivers, which would last two years, as well as increased accessibility to commercial driver’s license tests and clarification

that truck driver training is covered by Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grants. The bill has been sponsored by Congressman Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA) and has been praised by the Shippers Coalition, a group of more than 80 companies and associations that advocates for solutions to transportation issues that impact the supply chain.

Federal Lawmakers To Focus On Swipe Fees

U.S. regulators and legislators are expected to focus on buy now, pay later, swipe fees and peer-to-peer payment fraud this year, reported Payments Dive. On the swipe fees front, Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) Credit Card Competition Act of 2022 will be reintroduced this year. The legislation, which seeks to inject more competition continued on next page

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cording to a recent survey of industry players by Advantage Solutions. Meanwhile, 46 percent of surveyed manufacturers said they will increase their list prices in the first six months of 2023. • Electric vehicle sales crossed a global milestone last year, achieving around 10 percent market share for the first time, driven mainly by strong growth in China and Europe, reported the Wall Street Journal. Global sales of fully electric vehicles totaled around 7.8 million units in 2022, an increase of as much as 68 percent from

the previous year. • When it comes to shopping at retail stores, 41 percent of Americans say their shopping experiences are “less enjoyable” than they were prior to COVID, with 64 percent citing poorly trained or prepared retail staff and 60 percent blaming inadequate staffing levels, according to a new survey by Theatro. • The mayor of New York City said that Uber and Lyft will be required to be zero emission by 2030, reported The Verge. The decision has the potential to affect an estimated 100,000 for-hire vehicles in the

city. The mayor added that his administration will install additional charging infrastructure to power those vehicles throughout the five boroughs. • Tyson Foods recently announced it has invested more than $20 million this year to offer longer parental leave, additional mental health support and other health plan benefits at no additional cost to its employees. Tyson also invested $100 million in wage increases for U.S. hourly workers over the past year. • Subway aims to increase its international loca-

50 AVANTI 2023 ISSUE 1 Member News
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tions to around 25,000 over 10 years from roughly 16,000 today, reported the Wall Street Journal. The expansion is part of a plan to raise Subway’s sales to around $25 billion annually from its current $16 billion. • Wawa recently announced the official start of its hiring efforts for the summer season with the goal of hiring close to 1,500 new associates for roles at every Wawa store from the New Jersey Shore to the beaches of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. • Kroger has been working with its manufacturers to reduce costs as its customers remain under financial strain, reported Fox Business. In the meantime, Kroger said it has been leaning on digital coupons to help customers stretch their budgets. • Convenience stores in Japan can now sell alcohol and tobacco products through self-checkout registers as long as they’re set up for compliance with the corresponding required regulations, reported Japan Today. • Rental car company Hertz has seen a 1 percent increase in yearly profits as it accelerates its transition to electric vehicles and lower costs, reported TheCoolDown.com. Hertz discovered that EVs are between 50-60 percent cheaper to maintain than gasoline-powered cars. • Industrywide, U.S. auto sales totaled 13.7 million vehicles in 2022, the lowest figure since 2011 and an 8 percent decrease from the prior year, reported the Wall Street Journal. • Dollar General recently opened its 19,000th store, located in Joplin, Missouri. In keeping with its mission of Serving Others, Dollar General donated $19,000 and 100 new books to Royal Heights Elementary School in Joplin to support ongoing literacy and education programs. • An apparent shortage of pharmacists is forcing CVS and Walmart

Legislative Update


into an industry dominated by Visa and Mastercard, falls in line with the Biden administration’s focus of curbing market power in certain industries. Some industry observers, including industry-friendly trade groups like the Electronic Transactions Association and the Electronic Payments Coalition EPC), are skeptical about the legislation’s chances of passing given Republicans taking control of the House this year. However, backers of the bill contend it’s a bipartisan concern that Durbin and his cosponsor from last year, Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS), will still be able to move forward.

MPC Urges Congress To Support Credit Card Competition Act

The Merchants Payments Coalition recently told a House committee holding a hearing on economic threats from China that passage of the Credit Card Competition Act is needed to keep China from “infiltrating” the U.S. payments processing market. The letter was sent to Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.; Ranking Member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and other committee members as the panel prepared to

hold a hearing on “Combatting the Economic Threat from China.”

The letter cited China UnionPay’s membership in the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council and EMVCo, the two bodies that set security standards for the U.S. credit and debit card system. The two groups are controlled by Visa and Mastercard, along with American Express and Discover, but UnionPay became a member of EMVco’s governing body in 2013 and has been a member of the PCI council since 2017. Participation in the two organizations gives UnionPay—and through it the Chinese government—a role in “the creation and implementation of security standards that impact all U.S. businesses and consumers,” the letter said.

The Credit Card Competition Act is awaiting reintroduction in the new session of Congress. The legislation would end the monopoly of Visa and Mastercard, enabling banks to route transactions over at least one competing network, and saving merchants and their customers an estimated $11 billion a year. The legislation would also close a glaring security gap by blocking networks supported by foreign governments like UnionPay from entering the U.S. processing market. Currently, any bank could choose to route its credit card processing to UnionPay, effectively outsourcing consumers’ sensitive financial data to a foreign government.

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 51
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SEI Opening Store Support Center In Ohio

SEI recently announced the creation of new jobs based out of the company’s Store Support Center in Enon, OH, supporting customers, employees and franchisees across the 7-Eleven, Inc. banner of brands including 7-Eleven, Speedway, Stripes, Laredo Taco Company, and Raise the Roost Chicken and Biscuits. On March 7, SEI hosted a hiring event to fill the open roles across customer service, IT support and alarm center dispatch.

The company said IT support jobs will be responsible for troubleshooting IT issues and ensuring compliance of in-store equipment, in addition to fulfilling requests from our loyal customers. Alarm center dispatch jobs will support stores’ emergency mitigation and response and ensure customer safety protocol. Employee

benefits include competitive hourly wages, flexible work schedules, paid time off and career advancement opportunities. Tuition reimbursement is also available to qualifying employees.

SEI Testing Self-Driving Delivery Robots

SEI has been testing self-driving robots in West Hollywood, California to deliver some of the convenience store chain’s most iconic foods and snacks—from Slurpees to Big Bite Hot Dogs, reported Business Insider. SEI has partnered with food-tech startup, Serve Robotics, which is backed by Uber. SEI’s venture arm, 7-Ventures, participated in Serve’s $13 million seed round in 2021. Although SEI did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment, Serve Robotics confirmed the partnership, saying the

robots have been “out there for some weeks.”

The robotics firm plans to grow its fleet of robots nationally this year through partnerships with brands like 7-Eleven. Uber Eats is testing Serve’s robots in Los Angeles. The robot deliveries for 7-Eleven can only be made through the 7-Eleven delivery app, 7Now. The fee for a robot delivery is $2.99. The driver tip is automatically crossed out. By comparison, the fee for a delivery with a driver cost $2.99,

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to reduce the hours of its pharmacies, reported CNN Business. Beginning in March, both retailers will either cut or shift the hours that their pharmacies operate in response to staffing shortages. • Convenience and fuel chain Murphy USA recently reported that its net income for the year 2022 was

$672.9 million—significantly higher than its 2021 net income of $396.9 million. The company said the increase was due primarily to improved contribution margins from both fuel and merchandise. • Tens of millions of Americans in 32 states saw the pandemic boost to their SNAP benefits expire at the

end of February, reported USA Today. The extra allotments were intended to expire when the pandemic ended. President Joe Biden reportedly intends to declare the end of the pandemic in May. • Parking is the No. 1 issue for truck drivers, reported Transport Topics. With 313,000 truck parking spaces

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 53
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“SEI has been testing self-driving robots in West Hollywood, California to deliver some of its most iconic foods and snacks.”
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with a recommended $3 tip. Serve robots can carry about 50 pounds and are outfitted with cupholders, allowing 7-Eleven fans to order a variety of non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. The AIpowered robots are programmed to slow down on rough terrain to ensure the delivery of spill-free beverages like Big Gulps and Slurpees. Consumers use a code to retrieve their orders from the robot.

7-Eleven Opens First Store In Israel

Electra Consumer Products Ltd., a Master Franchisee of 7-Eleven International LLC (“7IN”)—a joint venture of SEI and Seven-Eleven Japan (SEJ)—opened its first 7-Eleven store in Israel on January 11, 2023. Located in Tel Aviv at the Dizengoff Center Mall, the store serves the country’s second largest city and largest metropolitan area. The singlestory Tel Aviv store features 7-Eleven’s signature retail environment and serves a variety of internationally popular products and beverages, including bean-to-cup coffee, Slurpee drinks and Big Gulp drinks, as well as local delicacies created to appeal to the surrounding neighborhood.

Customers can enjoy a wide selection of fresh kosher foods developed specifically for Israeli taste preferences. Offerings include fresh sandwiches, traditional salads, legume salads, and sausages with locally sourced sauces and toppings.

The store also features a variety of local hot food products such as Zaatar Pita, Kube and Fatayer.

7-Eleven’s entrance to Israel accompanies the signing of a 20year master franchise agreement last year between 7IN and Electra Consumer Products Ltd. to develop and operate 7-Eleven stores in Israel. Under its agreement with 7IN, Electra Consumer Products intends to expand 7-Eleven stores over the next five to six years throughout Israel, starting with the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

Latest ‘Take It To Eleven’ Campaign Debuts

SEI recently debuted new advertising spots celebrating its customers’ love of coffee and the lengths they’ll go to obtain a fresh cup. Rooted in the cultural trends that bring together all coffee fanatics, these ads demonstrate that nothing can keep 7-Eleven stans away from their brew—whether that means arriving late to a meeting with a cup of to-go coffee or sipping on an iced latte in the middle of a blizzard. The three ads focus on the core strengths of 7-Eleven’s OG To-Go since 1964 coffee:

• Mighty Mite: 7-Eleven fans take pride in the quality of their cars, their look, and of course, their coffee—especially when it makes them stand out. Brewed fresh 24/7 with 100% Arabica beans, the convenience retailer’s coffee takes customers into overdrive.

• Commute: With 3,000 ways to customize a cup of joe, 7-Eleven’s coffee variety allows customers to be their own barista. Nothing is more important than having the crème de la crème of coffee brew, so spending that extra time mastering the perfect cup is worth it, even if it means running late.

• Storm (dropping April 12): Gen Z proudly own their obsession with iced coffee; it’s a critical part of their hustle, no matter the season. 7-Eleven’s coffee connoisseurs will go to great lengths to get what they want, whenever they want it, at a great value.

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2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 55 Member News
“SEI recently debuted new advertising spots celebrating its customers’ love of coffee and the lengths they’ll go to obtain a fresh cup.”

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Directed by award-winning filmmaker Christine Yuan of Object and Animal, these ads reflect Christine’s bold and playful style and take inspiration from Japanese-model car culture.

Pizza Pie Savings On Pi Day

On March 14, 7-Eleven offered its

annual Pi Day deal, inviting 7Rewards and Speedy Rewards loyalty members to enjoy any whole pizza for just $3.14. Customers were able to choose from classic cheese and pepperoni, as well as the Extreme Meat pizza—with Chicago-style sausage, beef crumbles, pepperoni, bacon and ham—and a Breakfast pizza, featuring 7-Eleven’s

signature crust, gravy, mozzarella, cheddar cheese and breakfast sausage. The deal was available at participating 7-Eleven, Speedway, and Stripes locations, and was also available early via the 7NOW Delivery app on March 13. As well as offering value for money, 7-Eleven encouraged customers to give back by rounding

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existing nationwide, there is one parking spot for every 11 drivers. The lack of truck parking is particularly challenging in and around metropolitan areas where population densities create increased consumer demand for truck freight. • Americans have spent down about 35 percent of the extra savings they accumulated during the pandemic as of mid-January because of inflation, reported the Wall Street Journal , citing an estimate from Goldman Sachs. By the end of the year, the company forecasts that they will have exhausted roughly 65 percent of that money. • A trial of a four-day workweek in Britain, billed as the world’s largest, has found that an overwhelming majority of the 61 companies that participated from June to December will keep going with the shorter hours and that most employees were less stressed and had better work-life balance, reported the Associat-

ed Press. • LinkedIn recently ranked the most 10 most in- demand skills globally for 2023, and the top three are Management, Communication, and Customer Service. Coming in at No. 4 is Leadership and at No. 5 is Sales.

• Kum & Go recently announced the adoption of ICE Cobotics’ Cobi 18 floor cleaning robot to be deployed across Kum & Go’s 400+ locations . Kum & Go said integrating Cobi 18 will free up its employees to focus on other store tasks. Cobi 18 is designed for small spaces and easily navigates tight aisles and around moving and stationary objects. • With the sales of electric vehicles booming, Pennsylvania will receive $171.5 million in federal funds to place charging stations along major highways , reported the Bay Journal . The grant money will be spread over five years and will be used to add about 150 direct-current charging stations off exits on 15 interstates and key intersections on four federal highways. • Chipotle Mexican Grill

recently launched a new hiring campaign in an effort to attract 15,000 new team members to ensure its restaurants are fully staffed for burrito season, which is typically the company’s busiest time of year running from March to May. • Out of a pool of 20 retailers, Walmart received the most votes from respondents as their preferred retailer for online grocery shopping, according to Chicory’s 2023 Online Grocery Shopping Report. The survey also reveals that approximately 74 percent of respondents selected convenience as a top driver of their decision to order groceries online. • TravelCenters of America recently announced an agreement with Electrify America to offer electric vehicle charging at selec t TA/Petro locations , with the goal of installing approximately 1,000 individual chargers at 200 locations along major highways over five years. The first stations are planned to be deployed in this year.

56 AVANTI 2023 ISSUE 1 Member

up their purchase at checkout or donating $1 to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals member hospitals. The funds raised through this campaign until April 11 will go towards life-saving equipment and resources to treat children in the communities 7-Eleven serves.

to reward customers with the chance of winning thousands of prizes to power up the way they play. 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes stores will help loyal customers reach new levels with giveaways, an exclusive 7Collection merchandise drop, and new limited time only beverages inspired by the iconic PAC-MAN game.

From now to May 23, 2023, the convenience retailers are making

lineup—Vitaminwater Zero Sugar

LOOK Slurpee. A delicious blend of blueberry and hibiscus flavors, this frozen drink promises to pack a floral and fruity punch. The sugar-free drink is available now at participating 7-Eleven, Speedway, and Stripes stores for a limited-time only. This Slurpee drink—boasting a bright purple hue—is perfect for those who prefer a sugar-free option but also want to satisfy their sweet tooth.

New PAC-MAN Prize Give-Away Promo

SEI recently announced that it has teamed up with Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc. and its beloved video game icon PAC-MAN

gaming dreams a reality by giving customers who make purchases via 7Rewards, Speedy Rewards or 7NOW Delivery the chance to score the ultimate home arcade setup, exclusive merchandise, hand-held arcade games and much more—all inspired by the legendary original PAC-MAN arcade game. Loyalty members can also purchase participating products like Slurpee drinks and coffee drinks, as well as all varieties of Celsius and Red Bull products, for seven-times the chance to win.

SEI Introduces Vitaminwater

Zero Sugar LOOK Slurpee

SEI recently introduced the newest addition to the Slurpee drink

To make things even sweeter, customers can enjoy a small Slurpee drink for just $1 for a limited time only. 7Rewards and Speedy Rewards loyalty members can also redeem points for free snacks and goodies, and unlock exclusive deals on their favorite products like the Fruit Blend Fruit Cup, the Strawberry-Blueberry Parfait, and other tasty selections.

Free Pizza For Football’s Big Day

To kick off football fans’ favorite day of the year, participating 7-Eleven stores nationwide gave customers a free large pizza through the 7NOW Delivery app. This big deal for the Big Game was only available on Sunday, February 12—the day of the NFL’s championship game. All pizza flavors were included in this deal, including Extreme Meat, Cheese, Pepperoni Pizza and Breakfast Pizza, available at select stores. Exclusively available through the 7NOW Delivery app, the deal was applied automatically at checkout on February 12 only.

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 57 Member News
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“The new PAC-MAN promotion rewards customers with the chance of winning thousands of prizes when they make purchases via 7Rewards, Speedy Rewards or 7NOW Delivery.”

New Big Gulp & Slurpee Flavors From PepsiCo UNLEASH YOUR FLAVOR

Give consumers the refreshing Big Gulp flavor variety they deserve. Mountain Dew Major Melon is a thirstquenching offering that takes flavor to the extreme. Experience the never-ending funhouse at Major Melon land through a burst of watermelon flavor.

Brisk Blood Orange combines the sweetness of blood orange flavor with Brisk Iced Tea for bold refreshment and is a top preferred Brisk flavor amongst tea buyers. Now available to order.


Gen Z and millennials over-index with indulgent frozen beverages, making Lemonchella Slurpee a highly appealing proposition to attract a younger audience. Experience this new exclusive refreshing lemon Slurpee with intense candy notes available this April.

look highlighting the #1 priority for consumer buying FMBs—flavor!

Based on testing this new design was “the most attention-grabbing design of all FMBs” and “increased Purchase Intent of competitive users by 21 percent.” FMBs are on fire: +29 percent the last 4 weeks at 7-Eleven, and Smirnoff Ice is the #1 FMB 6pk brand and the #1 FMB bottle brand in the U.S. Make sure to look for the bright new look this spring and add move fun and flavor to your stores with newly reimagined Smirnoff Ice.

Introducing Monster REIGN Storm

Satisfy your costumers’ thirst with new Mountain Dew Major Melon and Brisk Blood Orange Big Gulp Flavors,

Smirnoff Ice Gets A New Design

Smirnoff Ice is getting an exciting new look. Starting in February and rolling through Spring, all of the core Smirnoff Ice 6pks, 12pks and Single bottles will get a fresh

With 200mg of natural caffeine and zero sugar, REIGN Storm is the perfect blend of flavor and functionality. Designed to increase alertness, accelerate metabolism, provide immunity support, and promote healthy skin, hair, and nails, REIGN Storm is a clean energy drink aimed at a broader audience. Available in four fantastic flavors— Harvest Grape, Peach Nectarine, Valencia Orange, and Kiwi Blend—in a slim 12-ounce can.

New Monster REIGN Storm provides clean energy and will appeal to a broader audience.

Kellogg’s Unveils RXBAR A.M. Bars

Introducing RXBAR A.M. bars—a new, soft and crispy texture that’s perfect for your morning commute. RXBAR A.M. is made with real, simple ingredients like softrolled oats, creamy nut butters, cocoa, and a touch of honey for sweetness. And in every RXBAR A.M. bar, you’ll get

RXBAR A.M. bars are available now in Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter and Chocolate flavors.

58 AVANTI 2023 ISSUE 1
Smirnoff Ice’s new look increased purchase intent by 21 percent in testing. and Lemonchella Slurpee.

10g of protein for an easy, on-the-go breakfast option. It’s the No B.S. way to start your day.

Help your customers start their days off right with New RXBAR A.M. No B.S. ingredients for No B.S. mornings. Now available in Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter and Chocolate flavors.

Win With Electrolit Blue Raspberry

ground sesame seeds and served with pretzel crisps, each pack is perfect for convenient snacking at-home

Electrolit Blue

Raspberry is anticipated to become a top SKU within the Electrolit Core lineup of top sellers.

Electrolit—the preferred, premium hydration beverage made from pharmaceutical quality grade ingredients—is launching a refreshing new flavor for Spring 2023. Electrolit Blue Raspberry contains notes of natural raspberry for a replenishing sweet fruity experience. Electrolit is committed to developing winning flavors for its loyal customers and appealing options for those looking for a new hydration beverage. Based on Nielsen data, Raspberry flavor profiles rank among the top 5 flavors in the Isotonic category. Electrolit is a leader in the category ranking 5th in Isotonic brands for Total U.S. Convenience and boasts an increase of 44 percent in unit sales in the latest 52 weeks. With its new launch, Electrolit Blue Raspberry is anticipated to become a top SKU within the Electrolit Core lineup of top sellers.

Electrolit is scientifically formulated with magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium and glucose to provide complete hydration. Electrolit provides an extra boost of hydration after prolonged exposure to heat, physical activity, hangovers, and sickness for immediate replenishment to the body. All Electrolit products provide complete hydration when electrolytes and ions are low. Electrolit will support the launch of Blue Raspberry with advertising via social platforms, press release, and point of sale support.

Sabra Snackers For On-The-Go Snacking

Sabra Snackers make snack-time easy with pre-portioned snacks. Made from a satisfying blend of chickpeas, garlic, and

or simple yet delicious on–the-go goodness. From Avocado breakfast toasts to hummus snackers, Sabra has high-quality products to meet all your on-the-go snacking needs. Sabra is inspiring people to see hummus as a delicious food that’s wholesome and a naturally healthy snack that is packed full of plant-based protein.

New Hostess Kazbars Offer A Sensational Snacking Experience

Hostess Brands recently launched its newest innovation, Hostess Kazbars, a first-of-its-kind candy-bar-inspired innovation within the snack cakes market. The new Hostess innovation combines six layers of soft chocolate cake, crème, candy crunch and melt-in-your-mouth caramel or smooth chocolate fudge. Baked With real ingredients, the bars are covered in a rich chocolate-flavored coating and topped with a delightful drizzle for an afternoon treat the whole family will enjoy. Hostess Kazbars are available in two fan-favorite flavors: Chocolate Caramel and Triple Chocolate.

Hostess Kazbars come in a 2.75-ounce size with a SRP of $2.79 and GP% of 58 percent. Cost is $1.39 per unit, minus the $0.22 Hostess Rebate brings the final cost to $1.17. Hostess is offering a free fill on the first caddy per flavor in P2.

Hostess Kazbars will drive incremental category growth with new candy bar-inspired form and texture variety.

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 59
Offer your customers an easy and healthy snack with Sabra Snackers.

FOA Board


Central Florida FOA

Phone: 207-415-0924

August 23, 2023—General Meeting

November 2, 2023—General Meeting

FOA Of Chicagoland

Phone: 847-595-1596

March 23, 2023—Board Meeting

April 27, 2023—Board Meeting

June 22, 2023—Board Meeting

August 24, 2023—Board Meeting

September 28, 2023—General & Board Meeting

October 25, 2023—Board Meeting

December 7, 2023—Board Meeting

FOA Of Greater Los Angeles

Phone: 619-726-9016

March 21, 2023—FOAGLA Meeting

April 18, 2023—FOAGLA Meeting

May 23, 2023—FOAGLA Meeting

June 20, 2023—FOAGLA Mini Trade Show

July 18, 2023—FOAGLA Meeting

September 19, 2023—FOAGLA Meeting

October 17, 2023—FOAGLA Mini Trade Show

November 14, 2023—FOAGLA Meeting

Metro New Jersey FOA

Phone: 732-910-8854

March 16, 2023—General Member Meeting/Tabletop Show

May 11, 2023—General Member Meeting/Tabletop Show

September 14, 2023—General Member Meeting/Tabletop Show

San Diego FOA

Phone: 619-713-2411

March 16, 2023—Board of Directors Meeting

April 20, 2023—Board of Directors Meeting

June 15, 2023—Board of Directors Meeting

Southern California FOA

Phone: 818-357-5985

April 19, 2023—Board of Directors & Members Meeting

May 25, 2023—Board of Directors Meeting

June 21, 2023—Board of Directors & Members Meeting

July 19, 2023—Board of Directors Meeting

August 16, 2023—Board of Directors & Members Meeting

September 20, 2023—Board of

October 18, 2023—Board of Directors Meeting

November 15, 2023—Board of Directors & Members Meeting


Phone: 613-486-6266

March 14, 2023—General Membership Meeting

April 25, 2023—General Membership Meeting

May 30, 2023—General Membership Meeting

June 27, 2023—General Membership Meeting

September 26, 2023—General Membership Meeting

October 24, 2023—General Membership Meeting

November 28, 2023—General Membership Meeting

United FOA Of Northern Florida

Phone: 407-683-2692

March 2, 2023—General Meeting

June 8, 2023—General Meeting

November 2, 2023—General Meeting

2023 ISSUE


FOA Of Greater Los

Angeles Mini Trade Show

Venue TBD

June 20, 2023

Phone: 619-726-9016

Eastern Virginia FOA

South Carolina

Trade Show

The River Place

Fort Mill, South Carolina

June 21, 2023

Phone: 757-506-5926

Alliance Of 7-Eleven

Franchisees FOA

Summer Social


Schaumburg, Illinois

June 23, 2023

Phone: 847-949-0097

San Diego FOA

Charity Golf Tournament

Rancho Bernardo Inn

San Diego, California

July 12, 2023

Phone: 619-713-2411

Greater Oregon FOA

2023 Annual Golf Tournament

Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course

North Plains, Oregon

July 17, 2023

Phone: 503-516-3483

continued on page 62

Greater Oregon FOA

Annual Trade Show

Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course

North Plains, Oregon

July 18, 2023

Phone: 503-516-3483

Delaware Valley FOA

Trade Show

Caesars Atlantic City

Atlantic City, New jersey

July 20, 2023

Phone: 215-852-4738

FOA Of Chicagoland

Annual Picnic

Cook County Forest

Preserve, Grove #27

Chicago, Illinois

July 23, 2023

Phone: 847-595-1596

Greater Northwest FOA

Golf Outing

Venue TBD

August 16, 2023

Phone: 707-344-1070

San Diego FOA

Del Mar Races

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Del Mar, California

August 25, 2023

Phone: 619-713-2411


Golf Outing

Baiting Hollow Club

Baiting Hollow, New York

September 6, 2023

Phone: 613-486-9266

San Diego FOA

Vendor Appreciation Day

AleSmith Brewing Company

San Diego, California

October 5, 2023

Phone: 619-713-2411

FOA Of Greater Los

Angeles Mini Trade Show

Venue TBD

October 17, 2023

Phone: 619-726-9016

Eastern Virginia FOA

Holiday Trade Show

Venue TBD

November 15, 2023

Phone: 407-683-2692

FOA Of Chicagoland

Holiday Trade Show

Venue TBD

November 16, 2023

Phone: 847-595-1596

Alliance of 7-Eleven Franchisees FOA

Holiday Showcase

Venue TBD

November 17, 2023

Phone: 847-949-0097

Detroit FOA Trade Show

Holiday Party

Venue TBD

November 17, 2023

Phone: 248-766-9002

Metro New Jersey FOA

Holiday Party/Tabletop Show

Venue TBD

November 18, 2023

Phone: 732-910-8854

Southern California FOA

Holiday Party

Venue TBD

December 8, 2023

Phone: 818-357-5985


Holiday Party

Crest Hollow Country Club

Woodbury, New York

December 13, 2023

Phone: 613-486-6266

2023 ISSUE 1 AVANTI 61 AD INDEX Anheuser-Busch........................ 8 AON.....................................12, 13 Bic USA......................................11 CAB Enterprises/Electrolit......14 Coca-Cola....................................2 Constellation Brand.....32, 33, 63 Danone......................................16 Diageo..........................................7 Dreyers Ice Cream....................40 Glanbia.......................................45 Heineken....................................64 Hostess........................................22 Kellogg’s........................................4 King Palm.....................................5 McLane.......................................46 Mondelez....................................48 Monster.........................................3 PepsiCo - Beverage...................26 PepsiCo - Food Service............18 Perfetti Van Melle.....................20 Sabra Dipping Company..........52 Swedish Match (ZYN)..............54 Vita Coco......................................6


Southern California

FOA 36th Annual Golf Tournament

Pacific Palms Resort

City of Industry, California

March 14, 2023

Phone: 818-357-5985

Southern California

FOA Annual Trade Show

Pasadena Civic Auditorium

Pasadena, California

March 15, 2023

Phone: 818-357-5985

Midwest FOA

Trade Show

Donald E. Stephens Convention Center

Rosemont, Illinois

April 4, 2023

Phone: 847-971-9457

Suburban Washington FOA

Tristate FOA

Trade Show

Venue TBD

April 13, 2023

Phone: 301-580-0305

Nor-Cal United 7-Eleven FOAs

(Central Valley

FOA/Greater Bay

FOA/Northern California FOA/

Sacramento Valley

FOA) 8th Annual

Trade Show

Sunrise Event Center

Vacaville, California

April 18, 2023

Phone: 707-344-6287

Nor-Cal United 7-Eleven FOAs

(Central Valley

FOA/Greater Bay

FOA/Northern California FOA/ Sacramento Valley

FOA) 8th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Hiddenbrooke Golf Club

Vallejo, California

April 19, 2023

Phone: 707-344-6287

San Francisco/ Monterey Bay FOA

Trade Show

Paradise Ballrooms

Banquet Hall & Event Center

Fremont, California

April 26, 2023

Phone: 408-203-1039

continued on page 61

Alliance Of 7-Eleven

Franchisees FOA

Spring Trade Show


Venue TBD

May 9, 2023

Phone: 847-949-0097

Eastern Virginia

FOA Annual


FOA Of Chicagoland

Charity Golf Outing

St Andrews Golf & Country Club

West Chicago, Illinois

May 1, 2023

Phone: 847-595-1596

FOA Of Chicagoland

Summer Trade Show & General Meeting

Holiday Inn & Suites


North Shore (Skokie)

Skokie, Illinois

May 2, 2023

Phone: 847-595-1596

Greater Northwest FOA Trade Show

Meydenbauer Center

Bellevue, Washington

May 3, 2023

Phone: 707-344-1070

UFOLINY Trade Show

Hilton Long Island/ Huntington

Melville, New York

May 3, 2023

Phone: 613-486-6266

Central Florida FOA

Charity Golf Tournament

Orange County

National Golf Center & Lodge

Winter Garden, Florida

May 3, 2023

Phone: 207-415-0924

Central Florida FOA

Trade Show

DoubleTree by Hilton

Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld

Orlando, Florida

May 4, 2023

Phone: 207-415-0924

Charity Golf

Sleepy Hollow Golf Course

Suffolk, Virginia

May 11, 2023

Phone: 407-683-2692

Eastern Virginia

FOA Annual

Trade Show

Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk


Suffolk, Virginia

May 12, 2023

Phone: 407-683-2692

Midwest FOA

Charity Golf

Cantigny Golf Club

Wheaton, Illinois

June 6, 2023

Phone: 847-971-9457

Metro New Jersey FOA Annual Golf Tournament

Venue TBD

June 7, 2023

Phone: 732-910-8854

Metro New Jersey

FOA Annual Tradeshow

Venue TBD

June 8, 2023

Phone: 732-910-8854

Texas FOA

Annual Trade Show

Four Points by Sheraton

Dallas Fort Worth Airport

Coppell, Texas

June 14, 2023

Phone: 214-208-6116

Texas FOA Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Cowboys Golf Club

Grapevine, Texas

June 15, 2023

Phone: 214-208-6116

National Coalition Board meetings are scheduled one per quarter. Vendors interested in sponsoring a Board meeting should contact John Riggio, JR Planners, at 262-394-5518 or johnr@jrplanners.com.

National Coalition

Affiliate Meeting

Marriott Resort San Juan & Stellaris Casino

San Juan, Puerto Rico

May 15-16, 20233

National Coalition

Board of Directors Meeting

Marriott Resort San Juan & Stellaris Casino

San Juan, Puerto Rico

May 17-18, 2023

National Coalition

Board of Directors Meeting

Caesars Palace

Las Vegas, Nevada

July 29-30, 2023

NCASEF 47th Annual Convention & Trade Show

Caesars Palace

Las Vegas, Nevada

July 30-August 2, 2023

National Coalition

Affiliate Meeting

Hyatt Regency San Francisco

San Francisco, California

November 7-8, 2023

National Coalition

Board Of Directors Meeting

Hyatt Regency San Francisco

San Francisco, California

November 9-10, 2023

62 AVANTI 2023 ISSUE 1
Drink Responsibly. Modelo Oro ® Light Beer. Imported by Crown Imports, Chicago, IL. Per 12 fl. oz. serving average analysis: Calories: 90, Carbohydrates: 3.0 grams, Protein: 0.6 grams, Fat: 0.0 grams MODELO ORO 24-OZ. CAN MODELO ORO 12-PACK, 12-OZ. CANS

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