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NACS Chairman Hank Armour announced two new initiatives at the annual NACS Show in Las Vegas yesterday.

The trade association is launching the NACS Center for Achieving Foodservice Excellence, also known as the NACS CAFE, as well as a NACS advocacy campaign that will integrate industry and consumer frustration over credit card interchange fees in order to achieve congressional action.

NACS CAFE, which debuts in early 2010, will “provide certified training programs for foodservice managers, supervisors and corporate directors through a series of online computer-based training modules and on-campus educational programs, as well as through a Web-based resource center,” the association said.

As for the interchange fee-related initiative, Armour pointed out that “successful political action requires two things: skillful lobbying on Capitol Hill and dramatic grassroots activity. We now need to light grassroots fire around the country.” The goal is to get customers to speak out over credit card interchange fees via a new petition campaign, similar to those that have already resulted in millions of signatures at 7-Eleven and Circle K stores, Armour told attendees.
KC's View:
The NACS CAFE is really interesting...especially because it signals to other companies in the retail food business that c-stores are serious about making a play in this segment.