March 17, 2010
Jenifer Shockley, 404-644-0251
Robinson College of Business
ATLANTA - The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) has named the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University's J. Mack Robinson College of Business as its academic partner in the development of the Center for Achieving Foodservice Excellence.
Created in response to changes in consumer habits and the need to compete with the fast food industry, the Center for Achieving Foodservice Excellence (NACS CAFÉ) will provide convenience store managers and supervisors with the knowledge and skills required for profitable foodservice operations. There are nearly 145,000 convenience stores nationwide.
Robinson's hospitality program is developing education offerings for NACS CAFÉ including courses on menu selection and design; marketing and merchandising food and beverage items; human resources management; financial analysis; and strategic planning.
The emphasis will be on 'real-life' applications according to Hospitality School Director Debra Cannon. Noting that 62 percent of U.S. convenience stores are individually owned and operated, Cannon said, "This is the particular group we hope to reach with resources that are user-friendly and adaptable." She also said that approaches to creating and building a quality experience for customers will be integrated into every course.
NACS CAFÉ Managing Director Ira Blumenthal, who was the inaugural Executive-In-Residence at Robinson's School of Hospitality, said, "This is a terrific opportunity for these retailers to learn ways to develop meaningful, effective, efficient and profitable foodservice at one of the premier schools of hospitality in the United States. "He added that NACS and the founding partners of the CAFÉ-Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, McLane, Ecolab, Georgia Pacific and Anheuser-Busch- are "thrilled with the Georgia State alliance."
NACS board member Greg Parker, CEO of The Parker Company which operates over 21 convenience stores throughout Georgia and South Carolina, said, "Convenience retailers are poised to capitalize on our great locations and high customer traffic through the development and execution of meaningful foodservice. The playing field can be leveled through education and solutions."
The Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality is ranked among the top 25 hospitality programs in the nation by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education. It is the largest, oldest and only accredited hospitality program in Georgia.
The largest business school in the South and part of a major research institution, Georgia State University's J. Mack Robinson College of Business has 200 faculty, 8,000 students and 70,000 alumni. With programs on four continents and students from 160 countries, the College is worldwide and world class. Its part-time MBA is ranked among the best by BusinessWeek and U.S. News & World Report. Its Executive MBA is on the Financial Times list of the world's best EMBA programs. Located in Atlanta, the Robinson College and Georgia State have produced more of Georgia's top executives with graduate degrees than any other school in the nation.