C-Stores Earn a Seat in Restaurant Conversation

Industry event to look at the ‘Future of Dining’
chris ghysens
Photograph courtesy of Wawa Inc.

CHICAGO — Foodservice in convenience stores, and in retail in general, will earn a nod of respect from the National Restaurant Association as it brings leaders from both channels to the National Restaurant Association Show's most high-profile presentation.

Chris Gheysens, president and CEO of Wawa Inc., will join company leaders from Hy-Vee Inc., Applebee's and Cooper's Hawk Winery in the Signature ’19 session "The Future of Dining" on May 19, the second day of the conference.

“We’re thrilled to have Chris Gheysens from Wawa join us for our most prominent session, Signature ’19,” said Mary Pat Heftman, president of the Restaurant Show Group of Winsight Inc., which owns the Show. “C-stores have entered the prepared food conversation in a big way—particularly Wawa and their fierce fandom—and will certainly continue to do so.”

“C-store owners, and all in foodservice, will have the chance to hear first-hand what some of the most successful c-stores, grocery stores and restaurants are doing, and take away lessons they can apply in their own stores. The session will no doubt have a big impact on how the audience thinks about their competition and growing their foodservice business,” she said.

With the rapid changes happening today in foodservice, everyone—no matter what business you run—needs to know where the industry is headed and who is your new competition, Heftman said. Signature ’19 will allow attendees to hear from visionary industry leaders about the where, what and how of consumer changes and quickly approaching trends that business leaders needs to know now.

Moderated by Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, "The Future of Dining" will give a glimpse into the changes happening across the entire foodservice landscape.

The panel discussion will include:

  • John Cywinski, president, Applebee's Grill & Bar
  • Randy Edeker, chairman, president & CEO, Hy-Vee Inc.
  • Chris Gheysens, president & CEO, Wawa
  • Tim McEnery, founder & CEO, Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants

These leaders are creatively answering consumer demands and succeeding by doing business in bold new ways, Heftman said, and will give clear insights into how people will dine in the coming years.

Wawa Inc. is one of the nation’s leading c-stores chains, particularly when it comes to foodservice. In addition to a slew of fresh foods and beverages, Wawa also sells a wide selection of private-label products such as bagged Wawa coffees, Wawa dairy products and Wawa teas.

Wawa, Pa.-based Wawa is No. 9 in the Top 40 update to CSP’s 2018 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of company-owned retail outlets.

The National Restaurant Association Show 2019 will be held May 18 through May 21 in Chicago. Click here to register.

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