Avanti May/June 2022

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May/June 2022




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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, 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


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THE CANNED COCKTAIL FLAVORS CATEGORY IS LARGE AND GROWING RAPIDLY Premixed cocktails is a $830M+ category and key brands in the canned cocktail space are growing 170% + vs. last year. (SOURCE: IRI MULC Oct. 2021)


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Register Today!

Contents 17

NCASEF 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show August 7-10, 2022

The Power Of Partnership

Page 18

By Julie Breckenkamp, Vice President, National Strategic Partnerships, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals


NCASEF Golf Tournament Benefits


Philadelphia Franchisees Meet With Police And Legislators


Second Quarter Board Of Directors Meeting


42 Franchisee Exits 51 By Eric H. Karp, ESQ., General Counsel to NCASEF

NCASEF Committee Reports


Don’t Leave Money On The Table— Use The WOTC Program


We’re On It


Staying Fully Stocked For The 100 Days Of Summer

By Sukhi Sandhu, NCASEF Chairman


Slip, Trip, And Fall Prevention: Getting A Grip




By Bill Huffman, Vice President (South), Greater Oregon FOA

By John Harp, CSP, ARM—Risk Engineering Consultant, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group


By Joe Rossi, NCASEF Executive Vice Chair

Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Eastern Virginia FOA Holds Successful Charity Golf Outing & Trade Show

Member News............10

Bits & Pieces..........15

Legislative Update.......15 Join Your Local FOA....21 SEI News...................61

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.

Vendor Focus.....65 FOA Board Meetings.....68 FOA Events.....................70 AVANTI MAY | JUNE 2022


Member News


7-Eleven Recognized For Its Tech Innovations Convenience industry trade publication CStore Decisions recently announced that it is recognizing 7-Eleven as part of its Tech Innovation Awards for the company’s diligent focus on its 7NOW delivery app, 7Next research and development projects, and its commitment to technological adoption. According to CStore Decisions, 7-Eleven’s success with technology and innovation stems from the chain’s emphasis on convenience for customers, particularly with its accessible delivery. Along with programs for customers, the chain also developed technology initiatives for its store leaders, associates and franchisees, such as its 7MD device—a mobile, handheld pointof-sale device that brings speed to ordering, inventory control and checking out customers.

7-Eleven’s Ukraine Relief Campaign Raises $1.2 M SEI, NCASEF, FOAs, franchisees, store associates, corporate employees, and

7-Eleven customers across the country have donated over $1.2 million to the American Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Fund. The money was raised during 7-Eleven’s multi-week fundraising campaign to help Ukrainians as they suffer the catastrophes brought on by the Russian invasion. NCASEF and the FOAs that comprise the organization were responsible for raising over 10 percent of this total. The fundraising effort, which ran from March 28 to April 28, included an instore Round-Up Campaign that allowed customers to round up their total and

“7-Eleven’s fundraising campaign for the American Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Fund raised over $1.2 million in donations.” donate to the American Red Cross instead of receiving change. Additionally, FOAs nationwide held their own fundraising events to support the American Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Fund, and SEI matched individual donations from all franchisees, franchisee sales associates, and SEI employees up to

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

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

Rehan Hashmi VICE CHAIRMAN 847-845-8477 • rehan711@yahoo.com

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

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

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

Leticia Benavidez OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR 855-444-7711 • leticiab@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

continued on page 12

John Santiago MANAGING EDITOR 267-994-4144 • avantimag@ncasef.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. 10


April J. Key GRAPHIC DESIGNER lirpayek@gmail.com

3645 Mitchell Road Suite B Ceres, CA 95307 855-444-7711 nationaloffice@ncasef.com

The Voice of 7-Eleven Franchisees May/June 2022 ©2022 National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees Avanti Magazine is the registered trademark of The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees.



Member News continued from page 10

$250,000. SEI Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Rankin Gasaway said in a letter to NCASEF Chairman Sukhi Sandhu that he was “especially gratified by how closely SEI and the Coalition worked on this important effort.”

Number Of Shoppers Visiting C-Stores Increases According to a new research report by Convenience Store News, 67 percent of shoppers visit a c-store once a week or more, a two-point increase from last year. The 2022 Realities of the



Aisle Study further reveals that consumers show strong loyalty to their favorite c-store brand. Seven-in-ten shop at the same c-store brand and location, with 93 percent of this group doing so most of the time. Other key highlights of the report include: • Today’s c-store shoppers find the price of products (53 percent), products they need being in stock (41 percent) and variety of products offered (30 percent) important. • Sixty-four percent of shoppers spent less than $15 (excluding gas) on their visit and most used cash or a debit card to make a purchase. • C-stores are consumers preferred choice of store for a wide range of products

including dispensed beverages, candy/ gum, cigarettes, other tobacco products and beer/malt beverages. • C-stores are the preferred location for consumers to fill up their gas tanks. When deciding where to stop for gasoline, price and a convenient location drive purchase decisions for 85 percent of shoppers. • The top services tried at c-stores are mobile-related with 73 percent of consumers using mobile pay. Drive-thru also ranks at the top of services most likely to use if it was available at a c-store. • Only 10 percent of c-store shoppers own an electric vehicle, but of those that do, they believe c-stores should provide charging stations. Among this group, 70 continued on next page

Member News continued from previous page

percent consider it important for c-stores to have a charging station.

SEI Leaders Among 2022 Top Women In Convenience Four SEI upper management leaders are among those chosen to be on Convenience Store News’ 2022 Top Women in Convenience (TWIC) list. The CSNews team in partnership with the 2022 TWIC Advisory Board selected 91 female leaders from the retailer, wholesaler and supplier communities as this year’s honorees. Holly Angell, Senior Vice President, Construction, Engineering & Facilities, is one of the five

Women of the Year; Sandie Bower, Director of Operations, and Varee“Four SEI upper management leaders sha Shariff, Product Director, Fresh are among those chosen to be on Foods, are among the 36 Senior-Level Leaders; and Dea Pennington, SeConvenience Store News’ 2022 Top nior Manager, Communications is Women in Convenience list.” one of the 40 Rising Stars. According to CSNews, the winipation, along with ners were chosen based on nominaany other attributes tions received from their peers. Drawing that go above and from achievements during the previous beyond the call of 12 months, nominators were asked to ilduty. All of this lustrate the candidate’s innovative corpoyear’s honorees will rate initiatives, extraordinary financial and be celebrated at an strategic accomplishments, astute probawards gala to be lem-solving acumen, exceptional perforheld October 2 in mance, mentorship work and its outcome Las Vegas. for mentees, and selfless charitable partic-

continued on page 48



Member News Discount retailer Dollar General is in growth mode with plans to open an average of three new stores daily in rural areas and small towns across the U.S. where residents often lack convenient access to other shopping options, reported Forbes. Dollar General operates more than 18,000 stores and will open 1,100 more in 2022. • C-store chain Rutter’s recently increased its starting wage for employees to $17 an hour. The company said this is its sixth increase over the past three years. • Pennsylvania-based convenience chain Wawa recently announced plans to expand into Nashville, Tennessee. The company said its current plans are to open its first Nashville store in 2025 with the potential for up to 40 stores in the market in the future. • Food inflation and rising costs have increased the price of a foodservice meal over the past few years, up 9 percent in April compared to April 2019, contributing to a 4 percent decline in consumer visits to U.S. restaurants this April compared to a year ago, according to The NPD Group. Restaurant traffic in April was 11 percent below the pre-pandemic level in April 2019. • Walmart is increasingly relying on its vast network of stores to battle Amazon for e-commerce market share, reported CNBC. The retailer is using its stores as launch pads for delivery drones and departure locations for direct-to-fridge drop-offs, and it will soon start packing and shipping third-party sellers’ goods from stores. • Orders for workplace robots in the U.S. increased by a record 40 percent during the first quarter compared with the same period in 2021, reported the Wall Street Journal. Rising wages and worker shortages, compounded by increases in COVID-19-related absenteeism, are changing some manufacturers’ attitudes about robotics, the article states. • Ohio lawmakers are debating legislation that would subsidize big utility companies’ plans to build a network of company-owned EV charging stations while passing the costs of building them along to customers, whether they use them or not, reported Cleveland.com. Senate Bill 307 is more broadly meant to promote electric vehicles’ manufacturing and use in Ohio. • Uber is conducting two tests in the Los Angeles area that rely on robots and self-driving cars to deliver Uber Eats orders, reported CNN Business. A Serve Robotics robot resembling a cooler on wheels is dispatched for short distances, while a Hyundai car with self-driving technology delivers larger orders. • Grocery chain Albertsons is deploying self-checkout grocery carts in some of its locations, reported CNBC. The carts, made by Seattle-based start-up Veeve, use cameras and sensors continued on page 39

Legislative Update House Passes Gasoline Price Gouging Bill The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill that looks to lower gas prices by cracking down on alleged price gouging by energy companies, reported WPRI.com. It’s called the Consumer Price Gouging Protection Act and it gives the federal government power to stop energy companies from raising prices “excessively.” It would also expand the Federal Trade Commission’s power to investigate and address possible price gouging by oil and gas companies. The bill was passed largely along party lines with a vote of 217-207. It got no Republican support and even four Democrats voted against it. Republicans argued that there’s no proof energy companies are price gouging, and one opposing Democrat said the bill doesn’t address what’s causing inflation right now.

New FDA Rule Could Mandate Less Nicotine In Cigarettes The Biden administration intends to pursue a policy requiring tobacco companies to reduce the nicotine in all cigarettes sold in the U.S. to minimally or nonaddictive levels, a move that would upend the tobacco industry, reported the Wall Street Journal. The policy likely wouldn’t take effect for several years. The FDA first must publish a proposed rule, then invite public comments before publishing a final rule. Tobacco companies could then sue, which could further delay the policy’s implementation. The move would be the biggest step by the U.S. government to curb smoking since a landmark legal settlement in 1998, when tobacco companies agreed to pay more than $200 billion to help states pay for healthcare.


Cigarette Warning Rule Postponed Again The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas recently issued another order to postpone the effective date of required warnings on cigarettes until July 8, 2023, reported NACS Online. The order was the result of the case of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. et al. v. United States Food and Drug Administration et al. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), any obligation to comply with a deadline tied to the effective date is similarly postponed, but the FDA encourages entities to submit cigarette plans as soon as possible but no later than September 8, 2022. This is the fifth time the agency has delayed the rule’s effective date. The new requirement for graphic warning labels on cigarette packs was initially slated to take effect June 18, 2021.

Flavored Tobacco Products Banned In Los Angeles Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed a ban on flavored tobacco products, which will take effect citywide starting January 1, 2023, reported KTLA.com. The action comes after the Los Angeles City Council voted in June to ban the sale of the candy-flavored nicotine—including menthol cigarettes—across the city. The ban does not apply to shisha tobacco products at hookah lounges and bar patios with valid tobacco permits obtained before January, continued on page 39



NCASEF Golf Tournament Benefits Phoenix Children’s Hospital Prior to the two-day Board meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, NCASEF held a golf outing to raise funds for its charity of choice, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and its local member hospital. Franchisees and vendors met up at the TPC Scottsdale on May 10 for an afternoon tee-off, followed by the check presentation. Since all donations to CMN Hospitals go directly to a local children’s hospital where the NCASEF charity golf event is held, the $7,711 raised benefitted the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Pictured in the check presentation photo are (from left to right): Ken Mitreski (President, Cal-Neva FOA and NCASEF Charity Golf Committee member), Naeem Khan (President, Greater Oregon FOA and NCASEF Charity Golf Committee member), Ed DeNorio (Vice President, United Franchise Owners of Florida FOA and NCASEF Charity Golf Committee member), Nick Bhullar (NCASEF Vice Chair and NCASEF Charity Golf Committee member), Sukhi Sandhu (NCASEF Chairman), Julie Breckenkamp (Vice President, National Strategic Partnerships, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals), Susan O’Donnell (Director, Corporate Account Management, Phoenix Children’s Hospital), and Romy Singh (NCASEF Treasurer).

Children’s Hospitals Your Local FOA Fundraising Efforts Will Help Below is a list of FOAs along with the corresponding local children’s hospital that will benefit directly from your Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals fundraising efforts. Alliance of 7-Eleven Franchisees FOA Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Arizona FOA Phoenix Children’s Hospital Baltimore FOA Johns Hopkins Children’s Center Cal-Neva FOA Renown Children’s Hospital Central Florida FOA Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children Central Valley FOA UC Davis Children’s Hospital Chesapeake Bay FOA Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters Chesapeake Division FOA Children’s National Hospital Chicagoland FOA Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago



Metro New Jersey FOA Children’s Specialized Hospital

South Nevada/Las Vegas FOA St. Rose Dominican Hospitals

Delaware Valley FOA Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Midwest FOA Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

South Texas FOA Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

East Coast FOA Boston Children’s Hospital

New England FOA Boston Children’s Hospital

Eastern Virginia FOA Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters

Northeast FOA Connecticut Children’s

Columbia-Pacific FOA OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital

Greater Bay FOA UC Davis Children’s Hospital Greater Los Angeles FOA Rady Children’s Hospital Greater Northwest FOA Seattle Children’s Hospital Greater Oregon FOA OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Joe Saraceno FOA Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Kansas City/St. Louis FOA KU Medical Center

Northern California FOA UC Davis Children’s Hospital Rocky Mountain FOA Children’s Hospital Colorado Sacramento Valley FOA UC Davis Children’s Hospital San Diego FOA Rady Children’s Hospital San Francisco/Monterey Bay FOA UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals South Florida FOA UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital

Southern California FOA Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Suburban Washington FOA Children’s National Hospital Texas FOA Children’s Health UFOLINY FOA Cohen Children’s Medical Center United Franchise Owners of Florida FOA UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital Utah FOA Primary Children’s Hospital Washington DC FOA Children’s National Hospital West Coast FOA CHOC Children’s Health Orange County


Each year, millions of children require the kind of specialized care that only a 100% Of Funds Raised Go To The Local children’s hospital can provide. Children’s Member Hospital Miracle Network Hospitals is the largest Funds raised by CMN Hospitals are network of children’s hospitals in the U.S. unrestricted. Each member hospital and and Canada. By increasing awareness community are different and so are their and raising funds, CMN Hospitals helps needs. These unrestricted funds allow the local member hospitals address their member hospital, who best understand most urgent needs. No one ever expects their needs, to use those funds accordingly. to need a children’s hospital. Yet, every Whether that’s providing charitable care, day thousands of kids enter a children’s investing in research that discovers lifehospital in the network seeking care, some saving treatments and cures, training the of them fighting for their lives. next generation of doctors and nurses, CMN Hospitals has raised more than $8 or offering families comfort and peace of billion for 170 children’s hospitals across mind during the most trying moments of the U.S. and Canada, ensuring that every their lives. This allows each hospital to be child who enters a children’s hospital flexible to address their community’s most receives the best possible care. The Power Of The Network urgent needs today, while also preparing CMN Hospitals is proud to begin our and planning for tomorrow. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals partnership with the National is an industry expert in corporate Coalition of Associations of social responsibility, with nearly 40 “CMN Hospitals is proud to begin 7-Eleven Franchisees. NCASEF years of experience helping design our partnership with the National will use its Board meeting and some of the most impactful, beloved, convention golf events to fundraise Coalition of Associations of and prolific corporate-cause for CMN Hospitals, and Franchise 7-Eleven Franchisees.” partnerships in the marketplace Owners Associations will be today. The network of partners connected to their local member leverages fundraising campaigns and children’s hospital in July so they may also programs to showcase the commitment Kids Can’t Wait participate. FOAs will have the opportunity for charitable good. As COVID-19 has continued to ebb to learn more about the extraordinary care The member hospitals provide the and flow, children’s hospitals cope with provided by member CMN Hospitals. treatments and cures patients desperately its ripple effects, and we continue to see Together, we will positively transform need today so that they can fulfill their how deeply interconnected we are as a patients’ and families’ entire lives. potential tomorrow, and help families society. Each of us has been impacted by prepare for and cope with some of the COVID-19, and that includes our member hardest moments of their lives. This has hospitals and the kids they treat. ripple effects that impact our communities What is slowly coming to surface are the and our world for years to come. inescapable effects to preventative care, Through the power of partnership, we groundbreaking research and pediatric unite to change kids’ health to change the wellness ambitions. These have taken years future for all of us! to accomplish but can slip backwards in a moment’s notice. Philanthropy is crucial to ensure JULIE BRECKENKAMP children’s hospitals are supported so that CAN BE REACHED AT 314-960-6736 or kids continue to receive the best care jbreckenkamp@cmnhospitals.org possible, no matter life’s circumstances.

“Funds raised by CMN Hospitals are unrestricted and allow the member hospital, who best understand their needs, to use those funds accordingly.”

“Philanthropy is crucial to ensure children’s hospitals are supported so that kids continue to receive the best care possible.”



Join Us For

NCASEF’s 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center FRANCHISEES: The perfect blend of business and fun with many opportunities to network, discuss issues affecting your stores and find new ways to boost profitability! • Informative seminars with NCASEF officers and SEI representatives! • Charity Golf Outing at the Westfields Golf Club benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals! • Washington, D.C. guided tours! • Live entertainment with Rick Gerber, The AB Magic Guy and Famous Indian performing artist, Yo Yo Honey Singh! • Low registration and hotel rates! • A two-day trade show featuring the latest products and deals from our Vendor Partners!

National Harbor, MD

August 7-10, 2022 TRADE SHOW: August 9-10 VENDORS: Register as a Major Sponsor for added benefits, such as: • Preferential booth placement for the trade show. • Official recognition as a Major Sponsor on the convention entryway, on signs outside the sponsored event and table tent cards (meals only), on the NCASEF website, and in the convention schedule of events included in franchisee registration packets.

Visit www.NCASEF.com for more information!

Register Today! FRANCHISEE



The job of NCASEF Chairman comes with a lot of responsibilities. It involves such tasks as running the day-to-day administrative business of the organization, putting committees together and then working with those committees to achieve our goals, meeting with vendors, and lots of traveling to attend meetings with SEI and FOA leaders, as well as regional events like trade shows, golf tournaments, and board meetings. It also involves talking—but more importantly, listening—to franchisees very closely. Since taking office in January I’ve spoken to many of you face-to-face, not to mention via text messages, phone, and emails. I also have regular phone calls with FOA leaders to gain a better sense of local issues. Whether it’s net income being impacted because of operational expenses increasing at the highest rate ever, staffing issues that include having to bear the market prevailing wages—which is above $15 an hour in many parts of the country, maintenance issues like equipment being down for a number of days because service providers are waiting on parts, the A/R Gap, or supply chain issues, I am intimately aware of all the challenges we are facing right now. It may seem like there isn’t much progress being made, or quickly enough, to resolve these issues but I can assure you that I and the NCASEF officers and Board members are on top of matters. One of our goals is to improve store profitability and the financial health of all stakeholders, and we know that addressing the issues is key to achieving that

“To find solutions to our systemic issues we regularly engage and communicate with SEI upper management, our vendor partners, and service providers, and those conversations are ongoing.” objective. To find solutions to our systemic issues we regularly engage and communicate with SEI upper management, our vendor partners, and service providers, and those

conversations are ongoing. The NCASEF head table and Board members have formed committees to address specific issues—such as the Facility Maintenance, Accounting and Finance, Logistics and Simplification, and Digital/IT committees—and they have been working collectively with SEI leadership to find solutions to specific problems. You can read the update reports presented by our

“I am intimately aware of all the challenges we are facing right now.”

committees during our Board meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona in this issue of Avanti to get a better understanding of where we stand on certain resolutions. With dialogue and diplomacy, we’ve been able to make headway on several issues since January, like convincing SEI to write off $35 million+ in A/R Gap discrepancies, suspending 7-Clean and CEV for the rest of the year, and being part of the conversation to get the Recommended Vendor Purchase Requirement penalty suspended because of supply chain issues. More recently, we’ve worked with SEI to give low-volume stores more financial support. SEI has agreed to another $15 million in incremental annual support to franchised stores with a gross income of less than $240,000—a threshold, by the way, that was increased from $200,000. We’re also working with SEI on a maintenance program and CheckIn Simplification process, and we’re in continuous discussion with SEI about ASI 2, the gasoline commission, the franchise agreement, certain other expense lines, and the long-term agreement/financial viability of franchisees’ bottom lines. I’m confident that by the end of this year we will have made more progress in resolving some of our more pressing issues. As we continue our work, I want you all to know that you may contact me directly via phone, text or email if you have any concerns specific to your store or area, or if you have any questions or comments. My contact information is below. On another note, I hope to see you all at continued on page 21



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We’re On It continued from page 19

our 46th Annual Convention and Trade Show at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, August 7-10. Our Convention Committee has worked hard to bring you a full agenda of business and fun—from seminars with the NCASEF officers, our General Counsel Eric Karp, and invited SEI representatives, to a sunset dinner cruise

“Our NCASEF committees have been working collectively with SEI leadership to find solutions to specific problems.”

“I’m confident that by the end of this year we will have made more progress in resolving some of our more pressing issues.” on the Potomac and entertainment featuring famous performing artist all the way from India, Yo Yo Honey Singh. We also have a charity golf outing to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at the Westfields Golf Club, and Washington, D.C. city tours you can sign up for, if you prefer. Then there’s the twoday trade show featuring the best products and deals our vendors have to offer. We’re expecting a record number of exhibitors this year with an impressive amount of items to fill

Join Your Local Franchise Owner’s Association Today! 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 40 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!

“None of us is as great as all of us together”

your store shelves, so come ready to place orders on the spot. So make plans to spend time with your fellow franchisees and our vendor partners, meet your NCASEF and FOA leaders, get the latest 7-Eleven news and updates, and have fun with your family. Please visit www. NCASEF.com for more information and to register.

SUKHI SANDHU CAN BE REACHED AT 855-444-7711 or sukhi.sandhu@ncasef.com

How do I join an FOA? 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. AVANTI MAY | JUNE 2022




Staying Fully Stocked For The 100 Days Of Summer BY JOE ROSSI, NCASEF EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIR

The Hundred Days of Summer are upon us, and this time around we have to be very diligent about keeping our store shelves full of the products our customers need and want. The pandemic has really done a number on us by creating a tsunami of supply chain problems and product shortages, leaving us scrambling for whatever products we can find. As we all know, empty spaces on our shelves give our customers the wrong impression and will send them to our competitors. We have to find opportunities to bring in other products to fill the gaps in our inventory. SEI has suspended the penalties for falling out of the Recommended Vendor Purchase Requirement, which gives us some wiggle room to bring in more nonrecommended items and products from local vendors. We should make good use of that.

“As we all know, empty spaces on our shelves give our customers the wrong impression and will send them to our competitors.” A great place to find new products are local FOA trade shows. We should attend as many as we can—our FOA’s trade show, our neighboring FOA’s trade show, or both—to find those items that will help drive sales during the Hundred Days of Summer. NCASEF is holding its annual convention and trade show August

“A great place to find new products are local FOA trade shows. We should attend as many as we can to find those items that will help drive sales during the Hundred Days of Summer.” 7-10 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, and I highly recommend you attend. Not only for the seminars and fun activities we have planned for the event, but the trade show promises to be our biggest yet with record high vendor participation. That means loads of new products and great deals to choose from to keep our store shelves well stocked. We also need to make sure we’re adjusting our I’s so we’re not running out of product during a heat wave or during successive days of high sales. This past Memorial Day weekend my store was very busy, which was great, but if we didn’t make those adjustments to the I we could have very easily been out of product in the middle of a three-day weekend. So it’s important to be mindful of the I so we don’t miss those selling opportunities by having empty spaces on our shelves because we couldn’t refill the

products. It’s not only selling opportunities we have to watch for, but minimizing risk, also. Are we looking at our old assortments, making sure we’re in code? We don’t want to have outof-date products on our shelves because municipalities are coming to our stores trying to find any way to generate revenue at our expense. Let’s not give them any satisfaction. Take time to go through those center of the store items and make sure all out of code products have been written off and replaced. Even though the pandemic has thrown us a curve ball with these supply chain problems and shortages of our more popular products, our vendors are introducing new items to help fill the holes on our shelves. We also now have room to try products that we may not have had the opportunity to try before thanks to the suspension of the Recommended Vendor Purchase Requirement penalty. We should reach out to our regular vendors for their latest products, and take a closer look at new vendors. And don’t forget to attend your local trade show and the NCASEF convention for more product choices. I wish you all a very productive and safe summer-selling season.

JOE ROSSI CAN BE REACHED AT 312-501-4337 or joer@ncasef.com



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Over the last two years, the most frequent subject matter of inquiries I get from individual franchisees or from FOA leaders on behalf of their members, relates to navigating the process for “giving back” a store. From a legal perspective, giving back a store involves termination of the franchise agreement under section 27(b) of the franchise agreement. While the reasons for these terminations are certainly debatable and beyond the scope of this article, they most certainly involve a combination of factors including the store level economic model, evolving customer habits stemming from the pandemic, significant labor shortages, and perhaps many other factors. One of my roles as General Counsel is to carefully monitor system wide developments, so that franchisees can understand how the challenges they may be facing fit into the overall picture. We have developed an analysis that involves calculating a turnover rate, which captures the number of franchise units in a system that are involved in franchisee-tofranchisee transfers, as well as those where the franchisee terminates, elects not to renew, sells the store back to the franchisor, or simply abandons the location. We then divide the resulting number by the average number of franchised stores during the year. The chart below illustrates that there was a significantly higher turnover rate in 2019 (nearly 6 percent) than the negligible turnover in 2011, and then a

steady increase in the ensuing two years to the point where more than 9 percent of the franchised stores turned over in 2021. This is a very significant increase, which is consistent with the experience that we have had in dealing with franchisees that desire to terminate. By digging a little deeper into the numbers reflected in the foregoing analysis, we can determine that while the number of franchisee-to-franchisee transfers over the last three years increased steadily, the number of store closures more than doubled from 2020 to 2021, as illustrated by the following chart.

Here are some typical questions that are posed to me by franchisees and the answers that hopefully will help those in the process of giving back stores. Capitalized terms are defined in the franchise agreement, usually in Exhibit E, which contains many pages of defined terms. Is there a penalty that I have to pay? If you give SEI at least 30 days written notice of your intent to give the store back, there is no termination penalty. If you give SEI 72 hours’ notice, then there is a $5,000 termination penalty which is debited to your Open Account. For some franchisees, the decision whether to give 30 days notice is based on whether they will lose more or less than $5,000 in continuing to operate the store during that month. How do I give the written notice? The franchise agreement has a very

specific procedure for giving written notices. You must send the notice in writing by certified mail or recognized overnight carrier. It should be addressed to the Director of Franchise Operations. A telephone conversation with, or a text message or an e-mail, to your Market Manager is alone not sufficient. We have developed a template for the form of written notice, which you can obtain from the National Office. What do I do after I give the written notice? Operate the store as you always have. Clean and maintain the store in the normal course. You will be required to surrender the store in the same condition as it was when you received it, normal wear and tear accepted. If you do not clean the store or maintain the store, SEI has the right to perform those functions and charge you for them. What about the Inventory? You will receive a credit on your open account for the Cost Value of the Inventory. We urge franchisees to insist that they be present when the final inventory is taken in order to reduce the possibility of disputes later on. You also should consider videotaping the process if you suspect that it may be problematic. What happens on the day of surrender? You need to peaceably surrender the store and turn over any undeposited cash receipts as well as the cash register fund and any money order blanks, bank drafts, and lottery tickets. The franchisee must cease using any of the 7-Eleven trademarks, cease using any confidential materials, and execute whatever documents are necessary to transfer licenses and permits relating to the store. When do I get my first payment? Within 30 days following the surrender, SEI must credit your Open Account with cash receipts, the cash register fund, continued on page 26



Franchisee Exits continued from page 25

prepaid operating expenses and the value of store supplies and inventory. SEI is permitted to debit your Open Account by $200 as a closing fee. SEI must then pay you the amount by which they estimate your Net Worth to exceed the greater of $10,000 or 25 percent of your total assets. When is the final payment made? The Final Financial Summaries are due 105 days after the last day of the month in which you surrender the store. Thus, the period of time between the date you surrender and the date you receive the Final Financial Summaries can vary significantly depending on what day of the month you surrender the store. For example, if you surrender a store on August 2, your final payment is due 134 days later, but if you

surrender the store on August 30, your final payment is 106 days later. If the Open Account has a positive balance, SEI is required to pay you that balance with the Final Financial Summaries. It is very important that you carefully scrutinize the Final Financial Summaries because if you cash the check, you waive any right to contest the calculations. Do I have to sign any contracts or agreements in connection with the store surrender? As noted above, you are required to execute whatever documents are required to transfer licenses and permits relating to

“If you give SEI at least 30 days written notice of your intent to give the store back, there is no termination penalty.”

the store and in order to negotiate the final check, you will need to endorse it. These are the only documents you are required to sign in connection with a store surrender. If you are presented with a store surrender agreement, you should read it carefully and consult legal counsel before signing it.

ERIC H. KARP CAN BE REACHED AT 617-423-7250 or ekarp@wkwrlaw.com

Philadelphia Franchisees Meet With Police And Legislators A group of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania franchisees led by Sukhie Thind recently met with representatives of the Philadelphia police department and local legislators to discuss matters pertaining to store employee and customer safety, as well as store security, given the recent rash of crimes targeting convenience stores in the city. Sukhie Thind was accompanied by franchisees Mohammed Ahmed, Arsh Brar, Mohammed Ashraf and Balwinder Singh, and they met with State Representatives Danilo Burgos and Martina White, Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby, and FOP Vice President Nicholas Denofa. According to Sukhie Thind, the meeting was very productive and helped strengthen the relationship between 7-Eleven stores and the Philadelphia police. There was an enthusiastic response from all parties involved, and a great deal of discussion on how to move the matter forward so franchisees, police and lawmakers can support each other to build a better and safer Philadelphia. 26



In conversations with my fellow maximum for the target group to which franchisee colleagues, I am often very the employee belongs. You will earn 25 surprised to find out how few of them percent if the employee works at least participate in the Work Opportunity 120 hours and 40 percent if the employee Tax Credit (WOTC) program. This is works at least 400 hours. a program that takes very little time to According to Synergi Partners, which administer, and potentially yields a large administers the WOTC program for return (think thousands of dollars a year). For the uninitiated, WOTC is a Federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain targeted groups who have consistently faced significant barriers “You can generally earn a tax credit to employment. WOTC equal to 25 percent or 40 percent targeted groups include: 1) Qualified IV-A recipient of a new employee’s first-year (Temporary Assistance wages, up to the maximum for the for Needy Families); 2) target group to which the employee Qualified Veteran; 3) belongs.” Ex-Felon; 4) Designated Community Resident; 5) Vocational Rehabilitation Referral; 6) 7-Eleven, the government offers U.S. Summer Youth Employee; 7) Supplemental businesses nearly $1 billion in WOTC Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP alone every year, but only 25 percent of “food stamps”) recipient; 8) Supplemental business owners take advantage of the Security Income (SSI) recipient; 9) Longprogram. Since 20-25 percent of hourly term Family Assistance recipient; and workers are eligible for employment tax 10) Qualified Long-term Unemployment credits, it’s likely you’ve already hired recipient. people who qualify. While the average tax You can generally earn a tax credit credit is worth approximately $1,500 and a equal to 25 percent or 40 percent of a return on investment new employee’s first-year wages, up to the per application is a 5:1 ratio or more, it makes good business sense to take advantage of the WOTC program in your hiring practices.

“Some advice: Be Patient! In my experience, it has not been unusual to receive credits from two to four years prior.”

“I am often very surprised to find out how few franchisees participate in the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program.” I t is important to turn in the required information within 28 days of hiring a new employee. The information required is a tax form named 8850 and a tax credit questionnaire. Best practice is to have the new employee fill the two forms out when they complete the W-2 and I-9 forms. Both of the WOTC forms can be found by searching the ISP in the store’s home page. Some advice: Be Patient! This is a federal program that is administered by the state that you live in. In March 2022, I received additional credits for 2020. In my experience, it has not been unusual to receive credits from two to four years prior. Be diligent and turn in forms even if you think someone won’t qualify. I hired an employee that had two foster children and that qualified her. Recently separated veterans and felons are eligible in most cases. These credits can be applied to your 1040 to reduce your tax obligation to the federal government. They expire after 20 years. If you don’t take advantage of this program, you’re basically leaving money on the table.

BILL HUFFMAN CAN BE REACHED AT 541-290-0331 or bhuffman1949@gmail.com







Summer is here and despite the increasing costs of travel, people want to hit the road and enjoy the freedom. With that travel there are hundreds of chances for traffic in your store, and with that traffic comes the potential for a real or alleged slip, trip, or fall. Winter in most of the country tends to pose a higher risk of slips and falls, but increasing foot traffic with every kind of shoe or lack of footwear creates a different kind of risk. But no matter the weather, we can’t lose sight of the basic need to manage the risk of slips, trips, or falls. Something else to consider—the jobs situation, inflation, and economy are affecting people in many ways leading to distractions (e.g., not seeing the water spill left in an aisle) or desperation and fraud (e.g., looking for a lawsuit). The Cost Nationally, MSIG-Aon insured franchisee locations since 2017 incurred 353 employee claims as the direct result of slip, trip, or fall injuries. These claims can be split into a slip or trip leading to a fall on the same level (on the floor to the floor) or a fall from a different level (fall from a step stool, milk case, or ladder to the floor). 2017 - 2021 Type of Slip, Trip, and Fall Fall to the same level Fall to a different level

# of Claims 145 208

Cost of Claims $2,904,332 $3,973,665

*Slip and falls were 22 percent of all employee injury claims and 26 percent of all costs.

The cost for these injuries totals almost $7 million in medical bills and lost time. At an average cost of $19,000 per claim, a small investment in safety and simple housekeeping can provide valuable savings.

Actual Claims and Total Cost • Employee tripped on wet floor sign near coffee injuring ankle: $220,466 • Employee fell from ladder breaking elbow: $122,723 • Employee tripped over a box on the floor with multiple injuries: $32,358 There are legal reasons, too! OSHA Floor Safety Rule (29CFR Part 1910) mandates that you regularly inspect all walk areas to guarantee they are free of debris, contaminants, or other defects that could cause a slip, trip, or fall injury; and correct and guard any known walking-working risks to prevent a slip, trip, or fall injury. Common Causes of Slip, Trip, and Fall Incidents In today’s environment with distractions, traffic, new signs, hand sanitizers, queuing at the registers, maintaining social distance, and frequent extreme weather (e.g., tropical rainstorm in Miami on June 4), the challenge of monitoring and maintaining a safe sidewalk, parking lot, apron and store—front and back—requires greater diligence than ever. Tips to Avoid Slip, Trip, and Fall Incidents Parking Lot, Sidewalk, and Apron: • Potholes, cracks, and uneven surfaces should be marked as a hazard until repaired. Contact SEI immediately and maintain records. • Parking stops misaligned or damaged. Check and immediately schedule for repair. • Stops or curbs that are well marked or highlighted in yellow increase visibility. • Quality of lighting—call immediately if

With that travel there are hundreds of chances for traffic in your store, and with that traffic comes the potential for a real or alleged slip, trip, or fall.” bulbs are out or dim. • Gas islands can have oil or other liquid spills. Check often and keep absorbent available for use. • Make sure the trash cans are not overflowing and there is a clear path to the dumpster. • If there is a mat outside make sure it is in good condition. Sales Area: • Avoid low displays, especially near the front door. • Use a suitable mat at the front door, make sure it doesn’t have upturned corners and is clean. • Clean spills immediately. Add cones or wet floor signs and supervise the spill. (Your customers may go around the cones. Warning signs alone do not prevent a liability or injury claim!)

• Do not leave warning signs out where unneeded. continued on page 31



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• Consider taller caution signs for better visibility. • Do not leave inventory, cleaning materials, or other items on the floor where a customer or employee could trip. • Make sure cameras allow for a good view of the aisles in case a record is needed of an alleged incident. • Consider mats at coffee or other food service areas where spills occur. Sales Floor—Mopping and Cleaning: • Check that mop water is clean and the mop head is in good condition. (Time to change if it’s too dirty to see the bottom of the mop bucket!) • Replace mop heads frequently. • Use wet floor signs before-during-after mopping. • Mop only during less busy times and clean small areas at a time. • Follow wet mopping with a quick dry mop. • Check that employees understand the proper mix for cleaning chemicals. It varies by the flooring type. • Don’t leave mop buckets unattended on the sales floor. Vault and Backroom: • Cooler floors can be slippery from moisture or leaks. Clean and use caution. • Crate dollies should be out of the aisle and turned upside down when not in use. • Lighting should be sufficient to see any trip or slip hazards. • Restroom—make sure the floor is dry and

“Not all slips, trips, or falls can be prevented but with proper awareness, training, and safe conditions you can greatly reduce the chances of an employee or customer getting injured in your store.”

“In today’s environment, the challenge of monitoring and maintaining a safe sidewalk, parking lot, apron and store—front and back—requires greater diligence than ever.” clean. Make regular checks of the room. Keep it secured unless required by local code.

Falls: • Sitting stools are not step stools. Obtain and use a proper ladder or step stool. • Milk crates are not suitable as a step stool. • Climbing on shelves or dumpsters is dangerous.

Watch the Weather (customers will bring it inside): • Be prepared with mats, dry mops, and absorbent. • In rain or snow add an extra mat at the front door (cardboard is not a good substitute). • Dry mop frequently. • Use caution-wet floor signs, but remove them when not needed. • Watch for ponding or pools of water in the parking lot or sidewalk. • Respond to and remove any “walk-in” water.

General Employee Safety Practices: • Proper non-slip shoes make a difference. • Always walk with caution—no running. • No climbing on boxes, shelves, or other items that may tip over. • Don’t leave spills unattended—cone off the area. • Only use warning signs when needed. • No cell phones while walking. In Case of Accident: • Attend to the fallen showing concern but

don’t lift them to their feet, especially the elderly. Wait for the experts. Get the incident facts—take photos and save surveillance footage. Document the incident regardless of whether the employee or customer says they are okay. Time is critical in resolving claims. Report any employee or customer incidents to your insurance company/broker within three days. Work with your claims adjuster. They are there to help.

Conclusion Not all slips, trips, or falls can be prevented but with proper awareness, training, and safe conditions you can greatly reduce the chances of an employee or customer getting injured in your store. The condition of the floor, mats, and general housekeeping are vital in creating an environment that feels, looks, and is safer for your employees and customers. Take a walk on the safe side! For more information on store floor safety, check: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ docs/2013-100/pdfs/2013-100.pdf. If you need assistance with your slip and fall safety program, contact your broker, insurance carrier or me, John Harp, at 908604-2951 or jharp@msigusa.com.

JOHN HARP CAN BE REACHED AT 908-604-2951 or jharp@msigusa.com



The Second Quarter NCASEF Board Meeting The AR Gap and labor issues were top of mind when franchisee leaders met at the W Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona for the second quarter NCASEF Board meeting on May 11-12, 2022. The meeting featured a full agenda that included discussions on store issues, committee updates, SEI guest speakers, vendor presentations, and a tabletop trade show. The Board meeting was preceded by a charity golf outing on May 10 at the Champions Course at TPC Scottsdale. The event benefitted Phoenix Children’s Hospital via NCASEF’s partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. A check for $7,711 was presented to the hospital following the golf tournament, which was very well attended by franchisees and vendors. After introductory remarks by Chairman Sukhi Sandhu, the meeting

was underway. First up were the invited guests from SEI: David Masse, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition and Workforce Management; Jasmeet (Jas) Singh, Vice President of Franchising and Operation Services; Bruce Maples, Senior Director of Franchisee Relations and Engagement; and Natalie Harris, Manager of ESG/CSR Programs and Communications. David Massey spoke about staffing support. He said SEI has been providing support such as paying to boost job postings on Indeed.com and Snagajob. com, adding the Easy Apply feature on Indeed.com, and investing $1 million on National Hiring Day this year. However, he added, the company can’t provide this support indefinitely. He said SEI is developing a program that outsources recruitment to a third party for a small per-store monthly fee continued on next page



continued from previous page

called Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). He added that the cost for RPO is unknown at the moment, but with big franchisee participation the cost could be low. Chairman Sukhi Sandhu asked that SEI try to keep that cost as low as possible. Massey also said SEI is looking to add artificial intelligence similar to Alexa to improve Speed to Hire. Rather than make a presentation, SEI Vice President Jasmeet Singh took questions from Board members instead. Topics that he touched upon included Check-in Simplification, which SEI is testing in several markets and is accelerating in order to get it to all stores as quickly as possible; the 7-Track app, available through a smartphone app and the 7MD device which tells you exactly what’s on the truck and what is shorted before the truck even leaves the warehouse; the franchise agreement;

McLane delivery issues; AR Gaps; and 7-Boss. Next up were Natalie Harris and Julie Breckenkamp, Vice President of National Strategic Partnerships at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Natalie Harris spoke about the importance of corporate philanthropy and explained SEI’s new association with CMN Hospitals, as well as plans to support the organization with round-up and other fundraising campaigns. Julie Breckenkamp thanked NCASEF for choosing CMN Hospitals as its charity of choice and provided a brief explanation as to how the organization operates. Among the topics discussed during the ensuing Board meeting were the need to institute three policies to retain nonprofit status—Whistleblower, Conflict of Interest, and Document Retention. A motion to accept these three policies continued on page 34



The Second Quarter NCASEF Board Meeting continued from page 33

Charity Golf, Membership, and Vendor Relations and Merchandise committees. Additionally, vendor presentations were made by Bon Appetit, Swedish Match, PepsiCo, and Anheuser-Busch. After the meeting adjourned there was a tabletop trade show featuring products and deals from various vendors. The second day of the meeting kicked off with discussion about creating two official NCASEF chat groups that would be managed by the Board—one chat group for Board members only and another for all NCASEF members (FOA franchisee members). The discussion then turned to the RPO that David Massey mentioned the day prior; possible benefits that could be offered to attract and retain employees, like free mobile service; and all stores returning to 24/7 operation on June 1, with SEI giving consideration on a case-by-case basis to stores that cannot fully reopen because of continued staffing issues. Other topics included problems with the ASI 2 accounting system and the

Get On The Avanti Mailing List! Are you a franchisee and would like to re-ceive 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. 34


process of correcting accounting errors, stores getting charged for unknown items, accounting cases created by franchisees getting closed without resolution, and charges getting pushed to stores. In his report, General Counsel Eric Karp discussed franchise store turnovers and several other topics. NCASEF Treasurer Romy Singh then presented the treasury report, which was approved by motion. Interspersed throughout the meeting were committee reports presented by the Facility Maintenance, Bylaws, Logistics/ Simplification, Store Profitability and Fuel, Government Affairs/Community Relations, and Digital/IT committees. Vendor presentations were also made by Storck, Vita Coco, and Uptime Energy. The next NCASEF Board meeting is scheduled for August 6-7 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just before the annual convention and trade show at the same venue.

November/December 2021




7 - E L E V E N


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was approved unanimously. Board members also discussed the importance of providing ROI to vendor partners, for example by placing orders during Board meetings and trade shows, and communicating to franchisees promotions and deals through various NCASEF channels like email blasts and social media. Chairman Sukhi Sandhu then spoke about the engagement he and the NCASEF officers have with SEI on a regular basis to discuss franchisee issues. He also spoke about NCASEF’s achievements so far this year, like getting SEI to delay 7-Clean four times, getting $45 million in AR Gap credit for stores, continuing talks to get the recommended vendor purchase requirement suspended due to supply chain issues, and getting SEI to agree to suspend penalties for stores closing for several hours because of staffing issues. Also during the meeting, updates were provided by the Accounting and Finance, Convention and Entertainment,

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Member News continued from page 15

Legislative Update among other requirements, according to the ordinance. Officials said L.A. will be the most populous city in the nation to take flavored nicotine products off store shelves. Statewide, California lawmakers have in 2020 approved a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products, but it was put on hold due to a referendum backed by major tobacco companies Californians will vote this year on whether the state should ban the sale of flavored tobacco products.


Tobacco Legislation Update Here is the latest federal, state and local tobacco legislation roundup as reported by Convenience Store News. CALIFORNIA • San Diego—The San Diego City Council gave its final approval to an ordinance prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products at its May 17 meeting. The ban, which includes menthol, goes into effect January 1, 2023. • Scotts Valley—The Scotts Valley City Council introduced an ordinance to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products. The ordinance includes a ban on smoking or vaping in outdoor dining spaces, requires

tobacco retailers to be at least 21 years old, and prohibits all self-service tobacco displays. COLORADO • Denver—The Colorado Senate Appropriations Committee recently voted to kill legislation that would have prohibited the sale of flavored tobacco products in the state. OKLAHOMA • Oklahoma City—State lawmakers changed the punishment for anyone under 21 who uses tobacco products from a $100 fine to instead be required to complete an education or tobacco cessation program through the state Decontinued on page 52

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to tally items as shoppers pick them off the shelves and place them in the cart, allowing them to skip the checkout line. • Alimentation Couche-Tard announced it is looking to hire more than 25,000 workers at its more than 14,100 Circle K and Couche-Tard convenience stores and support centers across North America, Europe and Asia. • Faced with staffing shortages, airlines are canceling thousands of flights heading into the busy summer travel season, reported NBC News. Especially acute has been the shortage of pilots. According to one flight consultancy, U.S. airlines are trying to hire at least 12,000 pilots combined this year. • In April, out-of-stock rates for baby formula products nationwide soared to 31 percent, reported Fox Business. As a result, many retailers imposed baby formula purchasing limits of three products per buy. • Panera Bread recently announced that it has opened its first “Panera To Go” digital-only restaurant for rapid pick-up and delivery orders.

The Chicago-based restaurant is the first of three Panera To Go test locations scheduled to open this year. The company said as of the end of 2021, 81 percent of its sales were via delivery, rapid pick-up, drive-thru or catering. • Fast casual Mexican chain Chipotle now accepts cryptocurrency as payment nationwide for burritos, bowls, and more through its partnership with digital payments network Flexa. • Walmart+ subscribers recently received some relief at the gas pump with 10 cents off a gallon of gas at over 14,000 participating fuel stations, reported CNN Business. • Smithfield Foods Inc., the largest pork processor in the U.S. by volume, plans to close an 1,800-person pork plant in California, saying the cost of doing business in the state wasn’t worth it, reported Fox Business. Smithfield cited higher taxes, utility costs and labor costs in the state compared with other areas where it operates. • About one-third of 16- to 19-year-olds in the U.S. have jobs, and teens are work-

ing in numbers not seen since before the 2008 recession, reported the Wall Street Journal. Teens are especially in demand in industries including retail and hospitality, which are feeling the pinch of the tight labor market, and companies are beefing up pay and perks as they recruit teens to fill summer jobs. • Massachusetts adult-use marijuana sales have officially surpassed $3 billion since the market launched in 2018, reported Marijuana Moment. With 216 cannabis retailers and 11 delivery businesses operating across the commonwealth, the total gross sales for recreational marijuana reached $3,001,846,490 as of May 14. • Hangry Planet has opened the first 24/7 plant-based convenience store in North America, reported Vegconomics.com. Located in a Shell gas station in San Bruno, California, Hangry Planet offers a huge selection of curated vegan snacks, meals and sweets. • Net sales for Costco’s third quarter, ended May 8, increased 16.3 percent to $51.61 billion, continued on page 46







Committee Reports

NCASEF Committee Reports Provided here are the reports presented by the NCASEF Committees comprised of Board members during the second quarter Board of Directors meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona on May 11-12, 2022. ACCOUNTING & FINANCE COMMITTEE The current focus of the committee is to understand and research the Accounts Receivable Gap (AR Gap). An AR gap occurs when a KSR item charge is subtracted from the McLane invoice charge. As it presently stands, the charged period was from July 2021 to January 2022. The charges were posted on the DMR on April 14, 2022. Full credits were issued for July and August 2021. Charges from September 2021 through January 2022 need to be researched and you have to create a case to receive credit (if you don’t agree with the charges). You will need the driver-signed FER for verification. Charge-back invoices will create an Audit Shortage and will split the shortage over a 12-month period ($15,000+ over 24 months). $100 per invoice will be credited to 48A under Other Income by SEI, up to $300 per month. The hypothesis is, if we cross-check the AR Gap report with FER and the McLane KSR Report, then we can find the discrepancy and create a 7HUB case to get the credit for the McLane chargeback. The recommended action plan is as follows: 1. Highlight the items on FER from 42


the McLane KSR. 2. Highlight all of those items on the AR Gap itemized report from FER. 3. Create a 7HUB case under MASC (one case for all invoices) with the invoice number and amount. 4. Print out the case, put it on the top of the signed FER stack and scan under #3 (Merchandising Accounting).

to $49. The hotel room rate is $129 with a $50 per night subsidy courtesy of NCASEF. Several department personnel from SEI will participate in our convention, including from Accounting, Maintenance, Asset Protection, Government Affairs, Franchising, Operations, Logistics, and Merchandising. The Accounting, Maintenance, and Asset Protection Departments will have booths during the trade show, while folks from SEI’s Merchandising Department will be available during the trade show. Additionally, folks from the Government Affairs and Accounting Departments will hold seminars during the convention. This is schedule of events so far: August 7, Sunday—All Day Franchisee Welcome

CONVENTION & ENTERTAINMENT COMMITTEE We offered a $49 early registration fee for the convention from June 1 to June 29. The registration fee increased to $99 thereafter. Kids were free during early registration, then the fee jumped

• Registration begins • Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails reception in the evening August 8, Monday • Charity Golf Outing for franchisees and vendors benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals • D.C. bus tours for franchisees • Sunset River Cruise in the evening continued on next page

Committee Reports continued from previous page


August 9, Tuesday • Breakfast • State of the Coalition Seminar • NCASEF Board and Committee Chairpersons • Seminars • Trade Show opens 11am to 4pm • Charity Auction Night / Awards • Guest Speaker / Dinner • Live Entertainment featuring Rick Gerber, the Anheuser-Bush Magic Guy

The purpose of the Bylaws Committee is to review and update the NCASEF bylaws as needed. Committee members did so before the second quarter meeting, redlined the changes they made and sent them to all the Board members along with a final draft. NCASEF General Counsel Eric Karp presented the changes made to Board members during the meeting. A motion was made to accept the bylaw changes, and the motion passed unanimously.

August 10, Wednesday • • • • • • •

Breakfast Seminars Trade Show opens 11am to 4pm Evening Cocktails Raffle Grand Banquet Live Entertainment featuring Indian performing artist Yo Yo Honey Singh

CHARITY GOLF COMMITTEE The first charity golf event benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals was held a day before NCASEF’s second quarter Board meeting at the TPC Scottsdale golf course, and it was very successful. The tournament was sold out. The next charity golf tournament goal is to double the participation and generate more funds for CMN Hospitals.

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE The goal of the Membership Committee is to increase FOA and NCASEF membership by sending out a local non-member list to every FOA. Franchisees in remote areas will be assigned to the nearest FOA or join NCASEF directly as a Member at Large. Incentives will be given to FOAs to increase their membership percentage.

VENDOR RELATIONS & MERCHANDISE COMMITTEE The goal is to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with vendor partners, as well as raise funds for NCASEF, Board meetings, the annual convention, and the general fund. Also, to drive gross profit by guiding suppliers to bring attractive deals and inform NCASEF membership.

FACILITY MAINTENANCE COMMITTEE The Committee discussed a highlevel in-house maintenance program that is modeled after Speedway’s best practices. Speedway has been using this maintenance model for over 30 years. The program is rolling out slowly, and is designed to give franchisees better service at a lower cost. The intent of the program is to have a customer obsessed in-house maintenance team that is best in class, focused on supporting franchise stores and improving revenue generating equipment uptime, while focusing on savings and higher quality service to franchisees.

LOGISTICS/SIMPLIFICATION COMMITTEE The purpose of this committee is to find solutions to overall franchisee and store issues, as well as develop store simplification processes. There is currently a Check-In Simplification process (SCIS) that is being introduced. Local teams are being developed that include district managers, Zone logistics managers and franchisee leadership to work together to resolve any issues that may arise. The committee will also help prepare stores for the change to SCIS and ensure stores are not taking any losses due to lack of training or distributor errors. The benefits of SCIS include: • No AR Gaps • Time saving for both parties • Less dwell time • Each store treated as separate entity • Swell allowance (0.27 percent) for honor shortages belongs to individual store, and is used to cover shortage • Volume purchase incentive • No CAR • More accurate inventory continued on page 45



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Committee Reports continued from 43

SEI plans to develop Regional Distribution Centers (RDC), or inhouse distribution centers. Initially, one will be built in the mid-Atlantic region. The process will be similar to SCIS, but better with more deliveries and a CDC also included, a more robust assortment with better fill-rate, higher accuracy, timely delivery, less dwell time as sealed totes will be delivered, and time saving for the stores. The first RDC is likely to be launched in the fourth quarter.

• A better gross profit split for franchisees—the Operational Expense Model will help this conversation.

Walorksi, which provides relief from Social Security penalties for retirees returning to the workforce. AARP does not support this legislation.

• A higher gasoline commission.


Another possible solution is lifting the top and bottom age limits on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA) is leading the charge on this bill introduction, in partnership with AARP and Golden State Opportunity, a nonprofit organization.


• CRP—If custom prices are lower than SRP then 7-Eleven should flag the system for franchisees to act. Make it simple to manage cigarette CRP.

The committee encouraged FOAs and SEI to join several critical labor coalitions—Littler Group’s Workplace Policy Institute, the International Franchise Association (IFA), and Golden State Opportunity.

The objective of the committee is

• Potentially remove or get a cap placed on expenses that have shifted to franchisees, like insurance, payroll, and advertising. • Lower cost of goods. • Food accounting

• Remove or lower credit card fees. • Make license fees a shared cost with SEI.

to elp franchisees grow their bottom lines with short-term and long-term solutions. The short-term goals include helping franchisees find local products that produce better margins, identifying SRP/CRP opportunities for each category, understanding the cigarette contract to ensure stores are on the right contract (CRP cigarette margin vs nonCRP), advocating for more fully funded promos and free fill deals, creating a worksheet to help franchisees develop a suitable product mix for their stores, and creating another worksheet to help franchisees calculate gross profit dollars and percentage, and obtaining lower prices for fuel island cleaning supplies like gloves and paper towels. Potential long-term solutions the committee is working on and making suggestions to SEI to improve store profitability include:

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS/ COMMUNITY RELATIONS COMMITTEE The committee provided an updateon several federal government policy moves and other legislative efforts. They started with the FDA menthol ban proposal, which targets menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars. The FDA cannot and will not enforce against individual consumers for possession or use of menthol cigarettes or flavored cigars. Enforcement will only address manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers and retailers who manufacture, distribute, or sell the products. The FDA will consider input from the public before finalizing the rule. The comment period opens May 4 and public listening sessions are scheduled for June 13 and June 15. There are several legislative efforts underway to help address the labor shortage situation. One is retiree-focus legislation proposed by Rep. Jackie

Other avenues worth looking into to resolve our labor issues include expanding the H2C visa program, lobbying lawmakers to create a Ukrainian workers program and a childcare tax credit, offering flexible schedules, savings incentives and tuition reimbursement to attract workers, and participating in the WOTC program. Board members were encouraged to participate in CFA Day in Washington, D.C. so they can learn from industry experts on top legislative issues including unionization, labor shortage solutions, tax issues, and overtime regulations. Franchisees can also meet with their members of Congress to discuss these issues, network with franchisees from 23 different brands, and join members of Congress at the closing cocktail reception. The committee recommended using research software that could alert NCASEF of legislation impacting our business. The software could provide breaking news, transcripts of discussion, and a calendar of significant dates. Franchisees can determine the keywords (tobacco, alcohol, convenience store, continued on page 46



Committee Reports continued from page 39

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gasoline, vaping, etc.). The software will look for legislation at the local, state and federal levels. This will allow those franchisees impacted to respond quicker.

DIGITAL/IT COMMITTEE These are the issues the Digital/IT Committee members have identified and are trying to resolve with SEI: • Gasoline integration: Dual POS is causing cash shortages. • Item Master issues: Items are made carried with zero retails. • SSI/NRI are being removed from the ISP. • Recommended items are being deleted. • Promo Master: Causing inaccurate MUMD Retail. • Extension of cost items: Such as fuel surcharge and store use sanitizer. • LDU issues: 6pk ringing up as singles. • Order blanking out transmission time.



• 7NOW: LIE are being caused as the “I” not available to user on Market Place (Uber, etc.) and in turn stores are getting pressured

by local operations team. • 7MD: Doesn’t sync as often with the ISP, causing variable information. Examples: cycle counts CRP (> 15-minute updates). These are some of the improvements the committee is seeking: • 7Track App: Franchisees with multiple stores should be able to log in using multiple IDs. • Promotion Participation: Simplify block multiple promos at one time. • 7Boss: Freezes periods.



• Help Desk: Extended hold times. • Provide backroom scanner. • PIN pad returns and late charges. Return process needs to be integrated. Scan at the store level or get a receipt at the store level. Better system to track the returns. • 7MD: On back order. 7MD needs trigger on all devices. • Network issues to log on secured site. 5G install. “Secondary drive may cause issues for network”—is there a solution for it? • Money Orders: KYA. How many years?

from $44.38 billion last year, reported Progressive Grocer. The warehouse club said its U.S. and Canada membership renewal rate reached a record high of 92.3 percent, up 0.3 percent from the 12 weeks earlier at Q2 end. • Kroger held a nationwide hybrid online/in-person hiring event on April 30 with the goal of adding 23,000 associates across all departments— including retail, e-commerce, manufacturing, supply chain, merchandising, logistics, corporate, pharmacy and health care roles, reported Supermarket News. • Convenience retailer Casey’s announced that its Casey’s Rewards loyalty program recently surpassed 5 million members enrolled in just over two years since launching. The program provides millions of Casey’s guests across 16 states the ability to earn points on everyday purchases and redeem them for Casey’s Cash, fuel discounts, or a donation to a local school of their choice. • Amazon ranked first as the world’s biggest publicly traded retail company and landed in sixth place on Forbes’ Global 2000 list of public companies from all sectors, reported Forbes. Walmart is the second-largest retailer, and Alibaba, CVS and Home Depot round out the top five retailers on the list, which evaluates companies based on revenue, profit, market value and assets. • Apple plans to raise starting pay for its retail employees later this year to $22 per hour from $20, and new staffers in certain markets could earn a higher wage, reported the Wall Street Journal. The move comes amid rising inflation, a tight labor market and unionization pushes among hourly store employees. • EOS Linx, a provider of solar-supported electric vehicle chargers with data-driven digital advertising displays, has partnered with the Lone Star Business Association Cooperative (LSBAC) to expand its EV charging network at petro-convenience stores across Texas. LSBAC is a network of c-stores primarily centered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and across North Central Texas, • Walmart is hoping to attract more college graduates with a College2Career program that fast-tracks new employees for store manager positions, reported the Wall Street Journal. Participants will receive classroom training, mentoring and real-world experience ahead of graduation, with some being awarded “emerging coach” management roles. • Alimentation Couche-Tard is planning to sell 109 Circle K and Couche-Tard sites in the United States and Canada, reported NACS Online. The sale includes 31 sites across three provinces in Canada and 78 continued on page 49



PERIOD DATES: 5/18 - 8/16





Member News continued from page 13

ValueAct Supports Seven & i Director Candidates ValueAct Capital said it is backing Seven & i Holdings’ new director candidates for the board, and is urging the company to focus more on its 7-Eleven convenience store chain while applauding its moves to overhaul governance and strategy, reported Reuters. The U.S.-based investment firm, which has been pressing the board to take bolder action for months, made the comments in an update to other shareholders about

the company’s decision to refresh its board and review its strategy. ValueAct has long said if Seven & i narrows its focus to 7-Eleven, it could become a global champion in a growing industry. Recently, the firm praised the company for having confirmed a strategic review of its Sogo & Seibu department stores division, which suggests more focus will be placed on 7-Eleven. The firm also applauded plans to add six newcomers to the company’s board. It will have nine independent directors, up from five previously, and include five with non-Japanese backgrounds.

Investment Funds Bid For Seven & i’s Department Stores Seven & i Holdings may be a step closer to finding a buyer for its struggling department store unit, reported NHK World-Japan. Sources said the company has received bids from three foreign investment funds to take over its Sogo & Seibu outlets. Two U.S. firms—Fortress Investment Group and Lone Star Funds—and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC are vying for a majority stake. Seven & i executives will meet with the bidders to ask about their continued on next page

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Member News

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sites across 19 states in the U.S. Of the 109 sites, 61 properties sell fuel and 48 are convenience only. • Amazon is getting ready to open its first Amazon Fresh supermarkets in New York and New Jersey—one in a former Fairway Market site in Paramus, N.J., and another in a former Waldbaum’s supermarket location in Oceanside, N.Y., reported Supermarket News. • Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has begun deployment of Circle K electric vehicle fast chargers in the U.S. The company plans to bring EV charging units to 200 Circle K and Couche-Tard stores across North America over the next two years. • Mastercard is testing biometric options in which in-person payments can be completed with a smile or wave of the hand, using a face or fingerprint to make checkout more streamlined. Mastercard said its new Biometric Checkout Program outlines a set of standards that banks, merchants and technology providers adhere to, helping to ensure the security and privacy of personal data. • From February 2020 through February 2022, digital and non-digital carry-out restaurant orders declined by 2 percent, while delivery increased by 116 percent and drive-thru grew by 20 percent, according to a new study by The NPD Group. Digital ordering, which grew by 117 percent in the two years, contributed to the delivery and drive-thru growth. • Mondelez International plans to divest its developed market gum and global Halls businesses following a strategic review of its portfolio, reported Food Business News. No timeline was given for the divestments. Brands included in the developed market gum portfolio include Dentyne, Stride, Trident and others. • Kraft Heinz recently announced that it is teaming up with Pulpex to develop a paper-based, renewable and recyclable bottle made from 100 percent sustainably sourced wood pulp. • Walmart is expanding its drone delivery experiment with partner DroneUp to select delivery areas in six states, with the potential to provide the unmanned delivery service to about 4 million U.S. households by the end of the year, reported Axios. Online shoppers will pay a $3.99 fee per order and there’s a weight limit of 10 pounds on each order fulfilled by the service. • Grocery chain Kroger is expanding its Boost membership program—which it launched as a pilot in November—nationally to help price-conscious shoppers amid high inflation rates, reported Progressive Grocer. Boost offers customers two different membership levels and includes benefits such as 2X fuel points, extra savings on Kroger’s private brands and free two-hour or next-day delivery. • Growth Energy recently announced that drivers across the U.S. have logged 30 billion miles on the road using E15, a fifteen percent ethanol blend, commonly known as Uncontinued on page 52

business plans for the subsidiary before making a decision. Sogo & Seibu has 10 outlets, mostly in Tokyo and surrounding areas. The company has logged net losses for the past three years due to growth in online competition and the coronavirus pandemic.

Inflation Pushing Shoppers To Dollar Stores Record-high gas prices and the fastest growth in inflation in 40 years are pushing struggling Americans to rely more heavily on dollar stores and prompting other shoppers to visit them for the first time, reported CNN Business. Although some economic indicators remain strong and wages are rising at their fastest pace in decades, inflation has surged, with the Consumer Price Index rising by 8.3 percent in the 12 months ending in April. This means the cost of essentials is eating away at workers’ bigger paychecks. Since the Great Recession in 2008, three dollar chains have grown faster than nearly any other retailers, adding thousands of new stores, often in underserved areas. They’ve also widened their product selection to lure customers away from pharmacies, convenience stores and supermarkets. Dollar General, the largest U.S. dollar store chain, plans to add more $1 items as well as lower-priced, private-label brands to its shelves, the better to appeal to cashstrapped shoppers. Dollar Tree, which also owns Family Dollar, said that customers stressed with higher rent, gas, heating and food bills are increasingly turning to its stores.

Philip Morris Makes Bid To Acquire Swedish Match Marlboro-maker Philip Morris International recently confirmed a $16 billion bid to buy rival Swedish Match as part of its accelerated push into smoke-free tobacco alternatives, reported CNBC. The deal, which is now subject to shareholder approval, marks the latest phase in Philip Morris International’s ongoing efforts to reduce its reliance on traditional cigarettes amid growing public scrutiny. Swedish Match has seen rapid growth in

“Record-high gas prices and inflation are pushing struggling Americans to rely more heavily on dollar stores.” recent years of its newer, tobacco-free nicotine pouches, Zyn, amid increasing consumer demand for cigarette alternatives. In first-quarter earnings, Swedish Match reported a significant uptick in sales and profits from Zyn in the U.S., with deliveries up 35 percent. The U.S. now accounts for Swedish Match’s largest market after Scandinavia, and its Zyn pouches dominate in a market flooded by rivals including British American Tobacco PLC and Altria Group, from which Philip Morris International spun off in 2008.

National Gas Price Average Could Reach $6 The average price for gasoline in California hit $6 a gallon for the first time in continued on page 50



Member News continued from page 49

mid-May, and analysts at JPMorgan warned that price could be the national average before the end of the summer, reported CNN Business. The startling forecast came as U.S. gas prices surged to record highs in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, casting a shadow over the economy. With U.S. gasoline inventories sitting at their lowest seasonal levels since 2019, JPMorgan is concerned it will be difficult to satisfy intense demand during this summer’s driving season. “With expectations of strong driving demand...U.S. retail price could surge another 37 percent by August,” JPMorgan wrote in its report, titled “Cruel Summer.”

“JPMorgan warned that the average national price of gasoline could reach $6 per gallon before the end of the summer.”

Couche-Tard & EG Group In Talks To Merge Two of the world’s biggest convenience-store chains are discussing a deal that would combine BP gas stations, roadside Starbucks, Circle K minimarts and Cumberland Farms grocery stores, among a handful of other retail brands, reported the Wall Street Journal. Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., which runs 7,000 convenience stores in the U.S. and as many abroad, and British retailer EG Group have traded proposals recently that would value EG at roughly $16 billion or more including debt. Should the companies combine, the new group would have over $70 billion in annual revenue and some 21,000 fast-food joints, gas stations and grocery stores in more than 30 countries. It would bring together EG’s network in the U.K., Western Europe and Australia with Couche-Tard’s in the U.S.,

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 knowl-edge 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.” 50


Canada, Northern Europe and a smattering of other countries. The combined company would remain headquartered in CoucheTard’s home of Laval, Quebec, a Montreal suburb, should the deal go through.

New Amazon Go Suburban Format With Made-To-Order Kitchen Amazon is expanding its Amazon Go checkout-free convenience store concept with a new format for suburban locations that features a made-to-order kitchen offering nearly 30 freshly prepared, customizable breakfast and lunch items, reported Chain Store Age. The new format, which is still called Amazon Go, is now open in Mill Creek, Washington and measures approximately 6,150 square feet overall. The new Amazon Go utilizes Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology and offers an continued on page 52

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leaded 88. • A majority of the states that legalized marijuana for recreational use are collecting more tax revenue from pot sales than alcohol sales, reported The Center Square. Across the country, the total revenue for taxes on recreational marijuana amounted to nearly $3 billion, according to a report by The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). • C-store chain Kwik Trip has partnered with Coinsource to roll out new Bitcoin ATMs in over 800 Kwik Trip locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa. • Several IKEA stores in the U.S. will start selling solar panels and installation services this fall in collaboration with California-based SunPower, reported CNN Business. The products and services will be sold under the “Home Solar” line, which will be available to IKEA Family loyalty program members. • Ultrafast grocery delivery startup Food Rocket is planning to open a fulfillment center in Chicago this summer that will be co-located with a new Circle K convenience store and offer 15-minute delivery of products sold by both retailers, reported Grocery Dive. • Pilot Company held a Hiring Day event on May 3 at its Pilot Flying J travel centers, One9 Fuel Network locations, and on-premises fast food restaurants with the aim of employing 10,000 new team members to prepare for the summer travel season. Part-time and full-time team members receive company perks and benefits, including a fuel discount and free meals, the company said.

High Gas Prices Affecting C-Store Sales High gas prices are taking their toll on sales at convenience stores, with 59 percent of retailers saying their customer traffic has decreased in stores over the past three months, according to the results of a new survey released by NACS. Convenience stores, which sell an estimated 80% of the fuel purchased in the U.S., rely on in-store sales, not fuel sales, to drive profits. But high gas prices are hurting customer traffic in stores and “basket” size: Nearly half of all retailers (49 percent) also said that those customers coming inside the store are buying less compared to three months ago when gas prices were $1.50 a gallon lower. In addition, retailers expressed concerns that elevated gas prices could also depress sales over the traditionally busy summer-drive season: 53 percent said they expect sales to be lower this summer than last summer, with only 25 percent anticipating increased sales. Convenience retailers say they are looking to reduce expenses, chief among them credit card fees, which average more than 10 cents per gallon, and pass along savings to price-conscious customers. More than 1 in 4 (29 percent) of retailers surveyed said they are offering cash discounts at the pump, and 31 percent are offering discounts for those who pay by app.

Eastern Virginia FOA Holds Successful Charity Golf Outing & Trade Show! It was a grand slam for the Eastern Virginia FOA as the group held two highly successful back-toback events. First up was its Annual Charity Golf Tournament, held on April 13 at the Sleepy Hole Golf Course in Suffolk, Virginia with more than 80 players that included franchisees and vendors. This was followed by the EVFOA Trade Show on April 14, held at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, Virginia and featuring over 55 vendor exhibitors and 175 franchisee participants. The trade show was inaugurated by SEI’s Zone Vice President Alex Kelly and Hampton City Mayor Donnie Tuck. NCASEF Executive Vice Chairman Joe Rossi was also in attendance. During the trade show, the EVFOA donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Fund. The group also donated $1,000 to the Hampton/Newport News/Norfolk/ Virginia Beach/Suffolk cities police department, and another $1,000 to the Women’s Empowerment charity ran by Newport News Vice Mayor Tina Vick.



Member News continued from page 51

expanded selection of grab-and-go food and for regular unleaded gas on June 8, accordbeverage items, including a broader range ing to tracking by AAA. The climbing prices of beer and wine, and everyday essential come as millions of Americans are set to hit items. Further store amenities include packageless returns and two “New York has become the Standard Level 2 Volta electric vehilatest state to suspend its gas cle charging stations that are free for tax in an effort to give drivers customers to use.

some relief at the pump.”

New York Suspends Gas Tax As gas prices remain near record highs, New York has become the latest state to suspend its gas tax in an effort to give drivers some relief at the pump, reported CBS News. The suspension of the 16-cents-per-gallon tax runs through the end of the year. The national average for a gallon of gas hit $4.955

after a release of 30 million barrels in early March and 50 million barrels last fall. The Tax Foundation said while suspending state gas taxes could reduce prices, it was not the most efficient tax relief, calling it “good politics than good policy.” Other states that have suspended gas taxes include Connecticut, Georgia, and Maryland. A growing number of other states have also proposed and

the road on vacations over the summer for the first time in a couple of years after travel plunged during the coronavirus pandemic. The Biden administration at the end of March announced the release of one million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve per day for the next six months to help serve as what the White House called a bridge as production ramps up. It comes continued on page 54

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partment of Health. The new rule takes effect November 1.

Effort To Allow Oregon Grocery Store Liquor Sales Stalled The group backing a proposed ballot measure to privatize liquor sales in Oregon—allowing for sales in local grocery stores—has pulled the plug on the initia-


Legislative Update tive, reported OPB.org. Proponents of Initiative Petition 35 said the pandemic and court delays in getting their measure certified by the state elections division posed too great a challenge to make the November 2022 ballot. Amanda Dalton, president and CEO of the Northwest Grocery Association, said that despite the setback, her group remains committed to changing Oregon law to allow liquor to be sold in grocery stores. Currently in Oregon, liquor must be purchased at stores operated by independent contractors overseen by the state’s retail services division of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

New Jersey Considers Liquor License Reform Competing groups pushed New Jersey

Assembly lawmakers to expand the availability of liquor licenses or keep reforms to a minimum as legislators began the state’s latest push to loosen its liquor laws, re-

“SEVERAL RETAIL GROUPS IN NEW JERSEY ARE PUSHING STATE ASSEMBLY LAWMAKERS TO EXPAND THE AVAILABILITY OF LIQUOR LICENSES.” ported the New Jersey Monitor. Advocates for liquor stores, convenience stores, grocers, and distilleries alternatively urged members of the Assembly’s oversight and reform committee to keep alcohol sales to retailers, expand them to new venues, and broaden the availability or affordability of licenses, all while maintaining value for existing license holders. continued on page 59





Member News continued from page 52

moved forward with measures to suspend gas taxes, such as Michigan and Florida.

C-Stores Enter A ‘New Normal’ Of Digital Ordering Digital orders have risen to one-third (33 percent) of total convenience store and restaurant food orders, up from just 12 percent pre-pandemic, according to a new report by Paytronix Systems. While in-store sales remain down by nearly half, digital orders have remained elevated at 113 percent of pre-pandemic levels, the report states. Other findings in the Paytronix Order & Delivery Report 2022 include: • Rise in Takeout Orders: While delivery was king before and during the height of the pandemic, more recent data indicates that takeout orders now dominate digital orders, with numbers even higher than they were pre-pandemic. Takeout jumped from approximately 35 percent of orders in January 2020 to 55 percent in March of 2022, a trend that appears to be increasing. • Delivery Customers are Different: For much of 2021, the average delivery tip was 12.5 percent of the subtotal, more than double takeout order tips. 2021 takeout orders included a tip just 37 percent of the time compared to nearly 73 percent of delivery orders. Delivery customers are also more loyal, with 31 percent of orders coming from repeat customers.

Labor Costs Surge Most Ever U.S. employment costs jumped by the most on record at the start of the year, heightening concerns about persistent inflation that set the stage for more forceful policy action by the Federal Reserve, reported Bloomberg. 54


The employment cost index (ECI), a broad gauge of wages and benefits, increased 1.4 percent in the first quarter, according to Labor Department figures. That was the largest increase in comparable data back to the early 2000s and followed a 1 percent increase seen in the final months of 2021. Compared with a year earlier, the labor costs measure jumped 4.5 percent, the most in more than

“U.S. employment costs jumped by the most on record at the start of the year.” two decades. Unlike the earnings measures in the monthly jobs report, the ECI is not distorted by employment shifts among occupations or industries, the article states. The stretch of increasing employment costs underscores how rising wages are a key part of the inflationary picture, and if sustained, will keep pressure on the Fed to take a more aggressive approach to policy. Even so, workers’ wages aren’t keeping pace with decades-high inflation, squeezing households and threatening to slow consumption.

‘Shrinkflation’ Accelerates From toilet paper to yogurt and coffee to corn chips, manufacturers are quietly shrinking package sizes without lowering

prices—it’s been dubbed “shrinkflation”— and it’s accelerating worldwide, reported the Associated Press. Shrinkflation isn’t new, but it proliferates in times of high inflation as companies grapple with rising costs for ingredients, packaging, labor and transportation. Global consumer price inflation was up an estimated 7 percent in May, a pace that will likely continue through September, according to S&P Global. Consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky said shrinkflation appeals to manufacturers because they know customers will notice price increases but won’t keep track of net weights or small details, like the number of sheets on a roll of toilet paper. Companies can also employ tricks to draw attention away from downsizing, like marking smaller packages with bright new labels that draw shoppers’ eyes. Sometimes the trend can reverse. As inflation eases, competition might force manufacturers to lower their prices or reintroduce larger packages. But Dworsky said once a product has gotten smaller, it often stays that way.

Couche-Tard Rolling Out ‘Smart Checkout’

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. recently announced it will deploy more than 10,000 Mashgin Touchless Checkout Systems branded as “Smart Checkout” to over 7,000 of its Circle K and Couche-Tard stores during the next three years. The company said the AI-powered self-checkout system developed by Mashgin will improve customer checkout times as much as 400 percent, driving customer experience forward while allowing store staff to focus their time on helping customers. Referred to as “Smart Checkout” in Circle K and Couche-Tard stores, the Mashgin continued on next page

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Touchless Checkout System is a compact countertop device that fits easily into the existing store layout. It uses computer vision to

“Couche-Tard plans to deploy more than 10,000 ‘Smart Checkout’ systems to its Circle K and Couche-Tard stores over the next three years.” recognize items presented from virtually any angle and instantly ring them up in a single transaction. There is no need to download an app or find and scan barcodes; shoppers simply put items down, pay as they normally would, and are on their way in as little as 10 seconds—eight times faster than traditional self-checkout.

High Electric Bills To Affect Consumers & Businesses Many Americans are being hit by rapidly rising electricity bills, compounding inflation’s financial toll on people and businesses, reported the New York Times. The national average residential electricity rate was up 8 percent in January from a year earlier, the biggest annual increase in more than a decade. The latest figures, from February, show an almost 4 percent annual rise, reaching the highest level for that month and approaching summer rates, which are generally the most expensive. In Florida, Hawaii, Illinois and New York, rates are up about 15 percent, according to the Energy Department’s latest figures. Combined with a

seasonal increase in the use of electricity as people turn on air-conditioners, the higher rates will leave many people paying a lot more for power this summer than they did last year. The immediate reason for the jump in electric rates is that the war in Ukraine has driven up the already high cost of natural gas, which is burned to produce about 40 percent of America’s electricity. Additionally, supply chain chaos has made routine grid maintenance and upgrades more expensive.

Number Of Temporary Worker Visas Increased The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced the availability of an additional 35,000 H-2B temporary worker visas during the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2022. These visas are for U.S. employers seeking to employ additional workers on or after April 1, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2022. “These additional H-2B visas will help employers meet the demand for seasonal workers at this most critical time, when there is a serious labor shortage,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. The supplemental H-2B visa allocation consists of 23,500 visas available to returning workers who received an H-2B visa or were otherwise granted H-2B status during one of the last three fiscal years. The remaining 11,500 visas are reserved for nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti, regardless of whether they are returning workers. The semiannual cap of 33,000 visas for the second half of FY 2022 was reached on February 25, 2022, according to the DHS.

SEI Sued Over Facial Recognition Tech

SEI has become a target of a class action lawsuit under Illinois’ biometrics privacy law, now accused of improperly using facial recognition technology to scan and remember the faces of people entering their stores without their knowledge and consent, reported the Cook County Record. The lawsuit centers on 7-Eleven’s alleged use of facial recognition surveillance technology from New York-based Clickit. The plaintiffs assert the use of the Clickit facial recognition tech allegedly violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act’s notice and consent provisions, because customers are not notified of the video surveillance face scans, nor given the opportunity to consent to any alleged scans. The Illinois BIPA law has been used by a growing cadre of plaintiffs’ lawyers in recent years to launch a blitz of thousands of class action lawsuits against businesses of many types and sizes. The lawsuits typically accuse companies of violating three main provisions within the BIPA law, requiring companies to obtain written consent and provide certain notices and information before collecting biometric data, including fingerprints, retinal scans and facial geometry. The class actions, however, are mainly fueled continued on page 56



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by the ability of plaintiffs to level demands for potentially massive demands for money from defendants. The BIPA law allows plaintiffs to demand damages of $1,000 to $5,000 per violation.

Benefits May Be Key To Retaining Employees

likely there will be a recession that will impact hiring in the next year.

Seven-Eleven Japan Franchisees Not Allowed To Bargain Collectively The Tokyo District Court ruled on June 6 that a group of Seven-Eleven Japan franchisees do not have the right to bargain collectively with the chain operator, reported

As millions of U.S. employees voluntarily resign and employers desperately scramble to find workers, a new survey by Quest Diagnostics suggests employee “Better benefits in general (38 health strategy may be a key ingrepercent) and better healthcare dient to keeping employees well and benefits specifically (36 percent) were at work. Among employees thinking two of the top four reasons employees about changing jobs, better benefits in were considering changing jobs.” general (38 percent), better healthcare benefits specifically (36 percent), as well as work/life balance (36 percent), The Mainichi. The ruling, which stated that were three of the top four reasons employees “store owners are not deemed workers under were considering the change. More money the Labor Union Act,” is believed to be the was the top reason, at 50 percent. first judicial decision in Japan regarding the The report, “2022 Health at Work,” furcollective bargaining rights of convenience ther reveals that two-thirds of employees (66 store owners. The Conbini Kameiten Union percent) say they are thinking about changfiled the lawsuit, claiming that the right to ing jobs next year or have begun or recently collective bargaining is necessary to improve completed a job change. More than 3 in 4 the franchisees’ working conditions, as well (78 percent) of human resources leaders say as the stores’ business management. The their organization has been impacted by the executive chairman of Conbini Kameiten “Great Resignation,” and 90 percent believe Union said the group intends to file an apthey will have to improve benefit packages peal. and increase wages. And yet, over seven in ten (72 percent) HREs surveyed also say it is

Illinois’ Gas Tax Sign Requirement From July 1 until December 31, 2022, all gas stations in Illinois will have to display a sign with specific language about the sixmonth gas tax suspension, reported News Channel 20. If gas station owners don’t com56


ply, they could face fines of $500 per day. According to numbers from the National Association of Convenience Stores, this could

NOTICE! impact thousands of gas stations since there are 3,708 convenience stores selling gas in Illinois. The Illinois Fuel and Retail Association said their board voted to sue the state. Governor JB Pritzker used a law passed in 2000 to suspend the five-percent state sales tax on motor fuel and gasohol for a period of six months in order to give Illinois drivers relief from rising gas prices. Under that law, retailers are required to post a notice on each pump stating the price on the pumps should reflect the tax reduction.

QSRs Ramp Up Breakfast Deals As more employees return to the office— and their daily commutes—QSR chains are ramping up promotions and loyalty programs in a move to make fast-food breakfast a part of workers’ morning routines, reported NBC News. McMuffins, Baconators and an array of coffee concoctions and donuts helped fuel $35 billion in fast-food breakfast sales in 2020, according to research from Credit Suisse. Researchers also found that breakfast drives more repeat business than any other part of the day. Even as millions of workers continued to work remotely and children were only partly back to in-person school, customer traffic at fast-food restaucontinued on page 58

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Give Today! CMNHospitals.org

Member News continued from page 56

rants was up by 11 percent in 2021. To keep things moving, a lot of the bigger fast-food chains have invested in technology that can reduce wait times at the drive-thru. They’ve also stepped up rewards programs and special deals for customers who download their apps, which have become key promotional tools. McDonald’s, for instance, offers coffee, hot or iced, any size, for 99 cents. But it must be ordered through the app. Branded apps not only increase efficiency by allowing customers to order ahead, they

also produce a steady stream of data that makes it easy for restaurants to feed them a steady stream of targeted promotions. Smaller players, such as Taco Bell and convenience stores, including 7-Eleven and Wawa, are also looking to carve out a bigger piece of the breakfast market by offering low-cost breakfast sandwiches, two-for-one deals and discounts on coffee.

Employers Giving Workers Gas Money Rising gasoline prices are prompting more companies to offer fuel stipends, gift cards and other benefits, including continued

work-from-home privileges, as they try to retain employees, reported the Wall Street Journal. Though some executives are starting to worry a recession could be looming, several said making commutes affordable is essential as workers continue to quit jobs and it remains challenging to fill vacant positions. Employers say the perks are critical to keeping their businesses open as employees grumble about rising gas prices and office return plans. The national average price for a gallon of gasoline recently topped $5, coinciding with U.S. office occupancy in major cities hitting 44 percent in mid-June, its highest level since the pandemic began. Employers say a lot of office chatter revolves around surging household costs.

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Legislative Update

continued from page 52

New Jersey laws enacted after the end of Prohibition limit the number of available liquor licenses to a town’s population. For every 3,000 residents, a municipality can issue a single license. Those rules, long targets of reformers who argue the strict license limits have slowed economic growth in the state, keep demand for licenses high and push their prices even higher.

Styrofoam Cups & Plates Banned In New Jersey It’s not just plastic and paper bags that went away when New Jersey’s single-use plastic bag ban kicked in on May 4, Styrofoam products—including cups, plates, and to-go containers—went to

the wayside too, reported NJ.com. Convenience stores, restaurants and other food service businesses cannot hand food out in Styrofoam containers and stores are not able to sell Styrofoam products under the ban. Unlike the paper bag restrictions that do have some exceptions for stores depending on size, the Styrofoam ban is sweeping and applies to every establishment and entity the same. The single-use plastic bag ban, signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy on November 4, 2020, is considered the strictest in the nation because of its Styrofoam ban and paper bag limitations.

You have the power to impact change. Legislators around the country are consistently voting for policies that impact your livelihood. As a business owner, your voice matters in local, state, and federal issues – and we can ensure it is heard.

Scan the QR Code and take action now!

Own It Voice It created a portal to amplify your voice on the legislation and policies that have the biggest impact on your business.

Thousands of retailers reached out to legislators in 2020 to enact change. AVANTI MAY | JUNE 2022


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Latest Evolution Store Opens In Dallas SEI recently announced the opening of its fifth Evolution Store in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and ninth in the country. Located at the corner of Preston Road and Alpha Road in Dallas, this new location boasts customizable beverage options, a premium cigar humidor and the latest digital innovations in addition to Laredo Taco Company, a popular south Texas restaurant concept known for its authentic flavors of the Texas and Mexico border. The store’s digital innovations provide customers with added convenience, including mobile checkout and delivery. With 7Rewards in-store customers can skip the checkout counter and pay for their

“The new Evolution Store in Dallas boasts customizable beverage options and a premium cigar humidor.”

purchases directly from their phone. The 7NOW delivery app also lets customers order more than 3,000 of their favorite foods, beverages, groceries and household products to be delivered straight to their door. SEI said its Evolution Store concept continues to set a benchmark for convenience retailing, serving as an experiential testing ground for customers to try the brand’s latest products and innovations. While all Evolution Stores include a restaurant concept, no two locations are exactly alike as the company continues to tweak the design and product mix based on customer feedback and shopping habits.

‘Brands With Heart’ Program Returns The 7-Eleven, Inc. Brands with Heart event has returned. This program is designed to give brands the opportunity to enter a new retail channel and introduce their products to 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes customers across the country. Applications remained open through the end of May. For the fourth year, emerging brands were invited to make their case for why they deserve a spot on the shelves of 7-Eleven, Speedway, and Stripes stores. Whether a product is ready to go to market or is still upand-coming, all brands were invited to apply. SEI said it is looking to diversify its product offerings beyond

the traditional c-store assortment and put innovative products on the shelves that meet the needs of its on-the-go customers. This includes a variety of snacks, beverages, confectionery, and ‘better-for-you’ items. Following the application process, stand out brands will be invited to participate in an in-store test at participating 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes stores located in their region. Fan-favorite brands from each market will move on to the Brands with Heart showcase where they will present their products to a panel of leaders from the company. Selected brands from the showcase will be paired with 7-Eleven leaders for coaching, mentoring, and training to prepare them for the opportunity to secure a place on shelves at participating stores throughout the nation.

“SEI’s new collaboration calls for Waitr to deliver from more than 700 7-Eleven locations.”

SEI Widens Delivery Options With Waitr SEI has teamed with on-demand food ordering and delivery company Waitr to offering another delivery option to 7-Eleven customers. The new collaboration calls for Waitr, continued on page 62



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along with Bite Squad and Delivery Dudes, to deliver from more than 700 7-Eleven locations. Waitr operates in

“7-Eleven is celebrating its 95th birthday this summer with a free Slurpee drink and other deals.”



over 1,000 cities in the United States and has more than 26,000 restaurants on its platform. Just last year, the company launched in over 90 new cities and widened its areas of service in the on-demand delivery sector.

7-Eleven Celebrates 95th Birthday 7-Eleven is celebrating its 95th birthday party this summer and the party kicks off with a free Slurpee drink, SEI announced. On July 1, a

coupon for one free small Slurpee drink was loaded into the accounts of 7Rewards and Speedy Rewards loyalty app members. The free small Slurpee drink offer was redeemable continued on next page

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in-store from July 1 through July 11 (7-Eleven’s actual birthday). SEI said it will celebrate Slurpee Day across all 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes stores for the first time, and even after redeeming their free drink, customers can head to 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes to sip on even more small Slurpee drinks for just $1 in-store and via 7NOW delivery all summer long. SEI also rewarded customers with 11 days of one dollar deals on their favorite snacks. Between July 1 and July 11, 7Rewards and Speedy Rewards members were invited to snack on select items in-store at participating 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes locations for just $1. The deal included $1 roller grill items like Big Bite hot dogs, taquitos and mini tacos, birthday cake and s’mores muffins, and $1 slices of pizza. Any size iced coffee was also $1, and for a limited-time-only, new users of 7NOW can score a free pizza with their first delivery order using code PIZZA.

Completed Model 711 Car Unveiled SEI recently revealed its completed Model 711, a 2021 Ford Mustang transformed into a 7-Eleven-inspired masterpiece thanks to hundreds of thousands of social interactions from car enthusiasts and 7-Eleven fans. SEI gave customers the chance to win it by purchasing select items at 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes stores. With a stellar classic racer wrap featuring the 7-Eleven colors, this custom car—brought from a dream to reality by the famous automotive restoration shop, Galpin Auto Sports in Los Angeles, California—features super green rims and a cherry red under glow that mirror the iconic, neon 7-Eleven sign that glimmers after dark. It also has slick leather seats adorned with red, orange, and green sunset stripes, and a Slurpee drink gear shift.

Brainfreeze Season Kicks Off This summer 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes stores are helping customers feel hot and stay cool throughout Brainfreeze Season by rewarding them with exciting new prizes every Friday this summer. Customers who purchase participating products can win giveaways inspired by some of their favorite things: music, fashion and of course, Slurpee drinks. 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes customers can earn a chance to win one-of-a-kind musical experiences—

from VIP tickets to events like Life is Beautiful Festival and Coca-Cola Presents Float Fest, to meet and greets and signed merch from the hottest artists—by fueling up with their favorite snacks. All they need to do is purchase select items through the Speedy Rewards and 7Rewards loyalty programs or via 7NOW® delivery. Even better, when customers purchase the product featured on their 7-Eleven and Speedway app each week, they will earn double entries for double the chance to win (contest ends September 6, 2022). SEI said it will also be dropping some show-stopping, custom fashion pieces through unexpected brand collaborations and a limited-edition apparel collection with a trendsetting streetwear designer. 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes

“This Brainfreeze Season, customers can enter to win one-ofa-kind giveaways by purchasing participating products.” continued on page 64



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know that summer is synonymous with Slurpee drinks, so to celebrate customers can enjoy $1 small Slurpee drinks all season long. Additionally,

first-time 7NOW customers can redeem a free pizza with any 7NOW delivery order by entering the code PIZZA at checkout (valid until September 6, 2022).

Hot Honey Boneless Wings Heat Up Summer Menu For a limited-time-only, customers can get 16 Boneless Wings for just $5 at 7-Eleven and Stripes Stores, including

the newly launched signature flavor, Hot Honey, SEI announced. Made with all white meat chicken covered in a sweet and savory sauce made with real honey, Hot Honey Boneless Wings are covered in a sweet honey chili glaze, roasted garlic, and chili pepper. The deals don’t stop there. For a limited time, members of the awardwinning 7Rewards loyalty program can purchase eight boneless wings for $2.99 (at 7-Eleven, Speedway, and Stripes locations.

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New Bud Light Seltzer Cocktail Hour Variety Pack Favorite summer cocktail flavors meet the refreshment of a hard seltzer in the new limited-edition Bud Light Seltzer Cocktail Hour variety pack. Whether lounging at the pool, soaking in the sun at the beach, or relaxing in the backyard, these classic cocktail-inspired seltzers are perfect for any occasion. A vibrant twist on classic, bold cocktail flavors with seltzer stats, this limited-edition variety pack includes Tropical Punch, Lime Margarita, Watermelon Mojito and Strawberry Daiquiri flavors. Cheers to Seltzer Hour! Tropical Punch: Grab a towel because this new flavor will transport seltzer drinkers to the beach with its tropical aroma and summery notes. Lime Margarita: This fresh, citrusy seltzer is a good reminder that it’s LIME o’clock somewhere. Watermelon Mojito: Sure to cool seltzer fans down this summer with its sweet, fresh watermelon taste and crisp minty finish. Strawberry Daiquiri: This take on the chilled summer classic offers a mild sweetness, with a hint of lime-flavored tartness, in the refreshment of a hard seltzer. All four Cocktail Hour flavors contain 5% Alc./vol and contain ZERO sugar per 12 ounces. Plus, they are 100 calories, gluten-free and naturally flavored.

ful and ready-to-drink, the iced beverage comes in four flavors—Oreo, Vanilla, Mocha, and Caramel Macchiato—and offers a just-right balance of creaminess to coffee that can be taken on the go. This is a great way to compliment your readyto-drink coffee selection providing the on-the-go consumer with delicious, creamy iced coffee that is made with real milk and Compliment your ready-to-drink cream. coffee selection with International Delight Iced Coffee. Your customers can pick up a ready-to-drink International Delight Iced Coffee with lunch—afternoon consumption has grown since 2013. Iced Coffee can drive afternoon and lunch appeal for any 7-Eleven shopper. Ready to drink coffee is the largest and fastest growing coffee segment, with growth forecasted to continue. Growing in both multi-outlet and Convenience. To place an order or learn more, please call 888-620-9910 or visit DanoneAwayFromHome.com.

Swisher Sweets Kicks Off Second-Annual ‘Life Is Sweet’ Contest The Bud Light Seltzer Cocktail Hour variety pack features four favorite summer cocktail flavors.

Ready To Drink International Delight Iced Coffee Customers looking for that refreshing drink but who also need that coffee fix will enjoy delicious ready-to-drink International Delight Iced Coffee—bringing the taste of the coffeehouse to their hand and letting it transform their daily cup of coffee into a world of fantastic flavor. Delight-

To reward its greatest fans, Swisher Sweets recently announced that it is bringing back the “Life is Sweet” contest for a second year, which runs through August 21. Similar to the inaugural contest in 2021, Swisher Sweets will promote “Life is Sweet” through limited-edition packaging. This year, the contest has expanded to BLK and Leaf packaging in addition to Swisher Sweets. Be on the lookout for Swisher Sweets’ Original, BLK Smooth and Leaf Original to be released as limited-edition packaging for the contest. Adult consumers can enter the “Life is Sweet” contest by scanning the QR code found on the packaging or on point of sale and uploading a photo or video with a caption answering the question, “How can Swisher Sweets make your life sweeter?” Entries can also be uploaded at swishersweetslifeissweet.com. continued on page 66



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Swisher Sweets’ Original, BLK Smooth and Leaf Original have limited-edition packaging for the “Life is Sweet” contest.

Six bi-weekly prizes of $2,500 each will be awarded to individuals with the best submissions on June 13, June 27, July 11, July 25, August 8 and August 22. Weekly winners will be announced on Swisher Sweets’ social media channels. A grand prize winner will be selected among these recipients on August 28, awarded $100,000 in cash and recognized as Swisher Sweet’s No. 1 fan in 2022.

Be on the lookout for specially marked shipping boxes to begin arriving immediately. To place an order, contact your Swisher representative at 1-800-874-9720 or visit Swisher.com.

Introducing Simply Spiked Lemonade MolsonCoors introduces Simply Spiked Lemonade, a line of naturally flavored alcohol beverages from Simply. These juicy spiked lemonades are bursting with a sweet and tart lemonade flavor that’s perfect for any occasion. With 5% real fruit juice and 5% ABV, this ready-to-drink line of flavored alcohol beverages are crafted with the unmistakable taste of real fruit. The multipack contains Signature Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, Watermelon Lemonade and Blueberry Lemonade, and the two 24oz single cans come in Signature and Strawberry Lemonade. Simply Spiked Lemonade is authorized on the flavor endcap for P5 and P6 and will be promoted with digital savings for shoppers. Don’t miss out, order Simply Spiked Lemonade today!

Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails is now a top 10 FMB brand with the highest cumulative growth rate.

Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails #1 Growth FMB Brand Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails are the perfect way to enjoy your favorite Jack Daniel’s beverage. Inspired by over 150 years of premium craft tradition, Country Cocktails are a refreshing new take on classic Jack flavors. There’s no mixing, no muddling, no ice, and best of all, no waiting around. Just pop the cap and enjoy a fresh take on your favorite summer cocktails. With eight unique offerings from Watermelon Punch to Southern Peach. Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails is now a top 10 FMB brand with the highest cumulative growth rate of any top FMB brand over the last two years (+46 percent). Not only does Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails drive sales in FMB, but the average Jack consumer spends 30 percent more per trip than the average FMB consumer. With Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails, there’s a flavor for every taste and every occasion. Now available in 24oz Singles, 16oz Can Singles, 6pk Bottles and 8pk 16oz Variety Packs.

Electrolit Cucumber Lime Only At 7-Eleven Electrolit—the preferred, premium hydration beverage made from pharmaceutical quality grade ingredients—is launching a refreshing new flavor for Summer 2022. Electrolit Cucumber Lime is an exclusive flavor to 7-Eleven. Cucumber Lime is a proven flavor with a fresh cucumber forward taste and the perfect twist of lime. You don’t have to wait long, FOD is July 4, 2022. There will be a free fill active July 4 to July 24.

Simply Spiked Lemonade is authorized on the flavor endcap for P5 and P6. 66


Electrolit is scientifically formulated with magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium and glucose to provide complete hydration. Electrolit is ideal for consumption after prolonged continued on next page

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exposure to heat, physical activity, hangover and sickness for immediate replenishment to the body. Electrolit will support the launch of the Exclusive Cucumber-Lime Electrolit with advertising via its social media platforms and radio ads. Electrolit Cucumber Lime is an exclusive flavor to 7-Eleven.

Increase Sales With Hostess Boost Jumbo Donettes & Baby Bundts Watch your sweet baked goods sales grow with new Hostess Boost Jumbo Donettes singles and Hostess Baby Bundts. Hostess Boost Jumbo Donettes deliver as much caffeine as one cup of coffee. Available in two delicious flavors—Caramel Macchiato and Chocolate Mocha—the 2.5oz donuts are 25 percent bigger than regular Jumbo Donettes and have 70 mg of caffeine per serving. Hostess is a highly recognizable brand with a loyal customer base, and consumers are drawn to the nostalgia of Hostess items like Donettes. A Permanent Wire Rack is available for merchandising (contact jlawing@hostessbrands to order). SRP is $2.39, Hostess Rebate program via BB is$.22/ unit, P3 promotion is 7Rewards Buy Hostess 2 Singles get 1 Boost/$1 (fully funded—$1.39). • Boost Caramel Macchiato SLIN: 177883 • Boost Chocolate Mocha SLIN: 177882

Hostess Baby Bundts Lemon Drizzle and Strawberry Cheesecake are a sweet twist on the familiar. Baby Bundt’s quantitative research surpassed BASES concept hurdles for success and ranked #4 and #9 in the grocery channel with Outstanding Purchase Intent, Outstanding Uniqueness, Outstanding Value, and Incrementality. Sweet Baked Goods is a winning category—large, growing, and is a frequently purchased category, up 13.7 percent in the latest 26 weeks. Hostess is a category leader and is winning in the marketplace +38 percent in the latest 26 weeks. Warehouse brands like Hostess are growth drivers in the packaged bakery category for c-stores. Upcoming Baby Bundt promotions include: • P3—7Rewards Boost with Coffee Bundle • P4—Hostess Single Serve 2/$3.50 • P5—7Rewards 2 Hostess Singles get 400 points and Speedy Rewards Order today: Baby Bundt Strawberry Cheesecake SLIN: 177884; Baby Bundt Lemon Drizzle SLIN: 177885. Hot-selling Hostess Boost Jumbo Donettes singles and Baby Bundts.

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Glanbia.......................................60, 69 Pabst..................................................28

Ball Corp....................................40, 41 Hostess .............................................35 Sierra.................................................64 Bic.....................................................44

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C4 Nutrabolt.....................................47 InComm...........................................30 Swisher..............................................72 Coca Cola...........................................2 Kellogg’s............................................71 Tell Industries...................................14 Constellation Brands................36, 37 Lucas Oil...........................................58 Vita Coco.......................................6, 7 Danone.............................................11 McLane.............................................20 Diageo................................................3

Molson Coors...................................22 AVANTI MAY | JUNE 2022


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Southern California FOA

Phone: 207-415-0924

Phone: 847-971-9457

Phone: 818-357-5985

August 24, 2022—General Meeting

August 24, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

July 20, 2022— Board of Directors & Members Meeting

September 21, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

August 17, 2022—Board of Directors Meeting

October 5, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

September 21, 2022— Board of Directors & Members Meeting

October 19, 2022—Michigan General Meeting/Mini-Show

October 19, 2022—Board of Directors Meeting

November 16, 2022—Webinar Wednesday

November 16, 2022— Board of Directors & Members Meeting

San Diego FOA


Phone: 619-713-2411

Phone: 631-793-6348

July 21, 2022—Board Meeting

September 20, 2022—General Membership Meeting

November 9, 2022—General Meeting

Chicagoland FOA Phone: 847-278-7415 July 28, 2022—Board Meeting August 25, 2022—Board Meeting September 22, 2022—Board Meeting October 27, 2022—Board Meeting December 8, 2022—Board Meeting

FOA Of Greater Los Angeles Phone: 619-726-9016 July 19, 2022—Board Meeting September 20, 2022—Board Meeting

August 18, 2022—Board Meeting September 15, 2022—Board Meeting October 20, 2022—Board Meeting

October 18, 2022—Mini Trade Show November 15, 2022—Board Meeting

Greater Bay FOA Phone: 707-344-1070 July 19, 2022—Board Meeting August 16, 2022—Board Meeting September 20, 2022—Board Meeting October 18, 2022—Board Meeting November 15, 2022—Board Meeting December 20, 2022—Board Meeting



October 25, 2022—General Membership Meeting November 29, 2022—General Membership Meeting

San Francisco/Monterey Bay FOA

United FOA Of Northern Florida

Phone: 408-203-1039

Phone: 602-614-8083

July 13, 2022—Board Meeting

November 9, 2022—General Meeting

August 10, 2022—Board Meeting September 14, 2022—Board Meeting October 12, 2022—Board Meeting November 9, 2022—Board Meeting





SLIN 247178

SLIN 248197

SLIN 248188

SLIN 244785


SLIN 248205

SR. CUSTOMER BUSINESS MANAGER NATIONAL CONVENIENCE ADAMFRIDAY@GLANBIA.COM | 561-353-8563 As much Caffeine from Natural Sources as 8 fl oz of standard brewed coffee

FOA EVENTS San Diego FOA Charity Golf Tournament Rancho Bernardo Inn San Diego, California July 13, 2022 Phone: 619-713-2411

Greater Oregon FOA Annual Golf Tournament Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club North Plains, Oregon July 18, 2022 Phone: 503-516-3483

Greater Oregon FOA Annual Trade Show Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club North Plains, Oregon July 19, 2022 Phone: 503-516-3483

Chicagoland FOA Annual Picnic Cook County Forest Preserve, Grove #27 Chicago, Illinois July 31, 2022 Phone: 847-278-7415

Eastern Virginia FOA Trade Show North Carolina The River Place Fort Mill, South Carolina August 26, 2022 Phone: 757-506-5926

San Francisco/Monterey Bay FOA Annual Golf Tournament Silver Creek Valley Country Club San Jose, California September 12, 2022 Phone: 408-203-1039

Metro New Jersey FOA Annual Golf Event Charleston Springs Golf Course Millstone, New Jersey September 14, 2022 Phone: 973-979-9870

Metro New Jersey FOA Annual Trade Show Royal Albert’s Palace Fords, New Jersey September 15, 2022 Phone: 973-979-9870

San Diego FOA Vendor Appreciation Day Alesmith Brewing Co. San Diego, California October 6, 2022 Phone: 619-713-2411

Chicagoland FOA Holiday Trade Show Venue TBD November 10, 2022 Phone: 847-278-7415

San Diego FOA Day At The Races

San Diego FOA Christmas Party

Del Mar Racetrack Del Mar, California August 26, 2022 Phone: 619-713-2411

Coronado Community Center (Nautillus Room) Coronado, California December 2, 2022 Phone: 619-713-2411

UFOLINY Golf Outing Baiting Hollow Golf Club Baiting Hallow, New York September 7, 2022 Phone: 631-793-6348

United FOA Of Northern Florida Annual Trade Show Space Coast Convention Center Cocoa Beach, Florida September 8, 2022 Phone: 602-614-8083 70


United FOA Of Northern Florida Annual Holiday Party Space Coast Convention Center Cocoa Beach, Florida December 2, 2022 Phone: 602-614-8083

Southern California FOA Holiday Party Universal Studios Universal City, California

NCASEF BOAR D MEETINGS 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 Board of Directors Meeting Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center National Harbor, Maryland August 6-7, 2022

NCASEF 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center National Harbor, Maryland August 7-10, 2022

December 3, 2022 Phone: 818-357-5985

Midwest FOA Chicago Holiday Showcase Venue TBD Rosemont, Illinois December 7, 2022 Phone: 847-971-9457

Central Florida FOA Holiday Party Holiday Inn Orlando Florida December 10, 2022 Phone: 207-415-0924

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