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SIGMA Virtual Foodservice Share Group Program #1

» Date: March 9, 2021

» Time:
 Commences at 12:00 pm PST

» Audience: 
This program is appropriate for anyone charged with Retail Strategy & Development, Retail Marketing or Foodservice Strategy and Development.

» Inclusions: 
Program includes a formal presentation with unique content, both large and small group discussion and the ability for peer interaction.

The flexibility and agility of the convenience & retail petroleum sector experienced growth in 2020 while other channels experienced disaster.  To maintain this growth, we must continue to evolve as retail outlets, food outlets and immediate consumption foodservice venues for our communities. 

Gaining perspective and an understanding of the major trends within other channels of trade, from retail to restaurant, and how these channels are positioning for these trends will help us stay ahead of the development curve.  Our sector must strive to innovate. We must interpret the implications of short and long-term trends to convenience and our consumers’ usage of our locations. We must continue to creatively forge and incorporate new business practices which support positioning of our offering for consumers now and in what will be the “new normal”. 

For SIGMA’s first virtual program in 2021, Business Accelerator Team (BATeam) has teamed with an esteemed group that provides consulting, branding and development services in the hospitality and restaurant industries – af&co. + Carbonate.  BATeam partners provide development, marketing, problem solving and operations consulting within the convenience and retail petroleum channel.  This program exemplifies 1+1 = 3

Utilizing a special rendition of the af&co. + Carbonate “Do the Hustle: 2021 Hospitality Trends”, our guest speakers Andrew Freeman and Candace MacDonald will share pertinent consumer insights and trends while BATeam Partner Ed Burcher will apply these broader trends to our convenience channel of trade.  

This is a one-of-a-kind program! 


"Do the Hustle: 2021 Hospitality Trends Translation" 

Now in its 13th edition, this annual hospitality trends report published by af&co. + Carbonate has become a well-regarded guide for the restaurant and hotel industry. While 2020 was a year like no other, there is little doubt that many of the actions, sentiments and behaviors around foodservice initiated during the pandemic will carry forward with lasting effect. Presented in conjunction with convenience retailing experts from Business Accelerator Team, this session will provide insights and inspiration for strategies and tactics that convenience retailers can expand and refine their retail and foodservice offerings to better meet changing expectations in the years ahead.  Consumer expectations for food and beverage are changing, creating sizable opportunities for innovation and revenue.  


Andrew Freeman, Founder, af&co. + Carbonate

Named as one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, Andrew brings a combination of experience, passion and creativity to every endeavor. A dedicated philanthropist, Andrew sits on the boards of CUESA, Dress for Success San Francisco and The Richmond Ermet AIDS Foundation. He is a former board member of Meals on Wheels San Francisco, the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Anti-Defamation League and was an advisor for the American Airlines LGBT committee. He began his career at several legendary New York venues including Windows on the World, the Russian Tea Room and the Rainbow Room. Andrew was Vice President of Public Relations and Strategic Partnerships for Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants for 10 years, helping to launch over 40 hotels and restaurants as well as the global brand. In 2005 Andrew launched his own agency, af&co., and with his amazing team of professionals, the agency has developed and launched concepts, created unique culinary events, provided ongoing marketing, public relations and operations consulting for over 300 restaurants and hotels. In 2019, Andrew co-founded Carbonate to offer expanded creative strategy and brand communications services. Andrew is a contributor to numerous industry magazines and blogs and guest speaker at industry conferences both in the US and internationally. 

Candace MacDonald, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Carbonate

Copy of Candace MacDonald
A brand strategist with over 15 years of experience, Candace has worked for a range of clients from large corporations to multi-concept operators to Silicon Valley start-ups. Prior to launching Carbonate, Candace was Managing Director of Consulting Services at af&co., one of the country’s leading hospitality consulting firms. In this role, she led a team in creating, launching and refining brand identities for over 40 different restaurants and culinary experiences. Her team authored the publication of af&co.’s highly regarded annual hospitality trend report. With experience across a wide range of channels, Candace is a results-oriented marketer, experienced at translating creative vision into communications programs that build brands and generate revenue. Candace holds a B.S. in Communications from Northwestern University and an M.S in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University’s Medill School.

Ed Burcher, Partner, Business Accelerator Team

Ed Burcher Photo
A 40-year convenience industry veteran, Ed provides unique perspectives in creating and delivering world-class food and retail offerings through enhanced operations and store makeovers.  Ed provides the un-biased analysis businesses need to improve. Ed’s varied background holds one common denominator – he has dedicated his career with hands-on involvement that underscores his belief in the power of branding.  With his solutions-oriented leadership style, he has received numerous accolades and recognition within the industry throughout his career. Ed honed his unique craft during his tenure at Wawa.  His operational experience culminated in leading a team that was responsible for developing the proprietary fresh food program that included hot foods, build-to-order Hoagies and the Sizzli Breakfast program.  Eventually he was recruited to Petro-Canada to support its change from a dealer network to a company-oriented network.  During his 16 years at Petro-Canada, Ed helped create the Neighbours brand.  After leaving Petro-Canada, Ed held positions with Coen Oil and Beck Suppliers (dba Friendship Stores) before joining Business Accelerator Team in July 2020.