Canada Connect- Independent Operators Leverage Network to Win Big Accounts
Independent Operators Leverage Network to Win Big Accounts, Upgrade Technology
Canada’s independent operators are capitalizing on a rare opportunity for growth and scale through affiliating with a nationwide network of select independent foodservice companies. CanadaConnect®, headquartered in Quebec, is expanding its network of affiliated independent operators throughout Canada. Membership is by affiliation, not acquisition, and independent operator members continue to own and operate their businesses.
The organization is the Canadian arm of GlobalConnect®, a North American consortium of independent operators that has had great success with its American division, USConnect®, using the same model. In the seven years since its inception, the consortium has grown to over 100 affiliate members and has become a key player in the national market, with sales of $143 million dollars last year and expected to hit $381 million by 2025. Much of that growth is due to national accounts won and awarded to its affiliates (independent operators) across the country. Many of those accounts include titans of industry like Amazon, American Express and T-Mobile, which have awarded the consortium with accounts that span the country due to their many locations. “These type accounts were once out of reach for independent operators, because they didn’t have the ability to service accounts nationwide,” says Jeff Whitacre, founder and CEO of GlobalConnect. “Through our network of independent operators, we are able to match the nationwide footprint of these large multinational foodservice companies and can directly compete on their level.”
Another benefit to independent operators—beyond the opportunity to be awarded national accounts—are supplier-sponsored promotions, product rebates and access to enterprise-class technology and customer programs, all of which increase their ability to compete. Signature offerings include the industry’s best loyalty rewards program, a health and wellness program (The Right Choice…for a Healthier You®), charitable contributions, and sustainability programs, which are provided to all affiliates.
The consortium actively works with affiliates to integrate technology to streamline their operations and improve margins. This includes providing assistance in evaluating options and access to better pricing on equipment as well as exclusive access to some of the industry’s leading new developments.
The consortium has taken an active role in pioneering technology for the industry, some of which is developed directly by GlobalConnect, or in partnership with leading manufacturers. Designed specifically for its affiliate members, the technology is priced affordably to remove barriers to implementation. An example is the LYNK® cashless payment device, which combines the functionality of a telemeter and cashless bezel. Available in two sizes (large screen and cash acceptance overlay), LYNK integrates with most VMS systems, has dual language capability, accepts credit cards, debit cards and the loyalty rewards program, is able to be reloaded at the machine and is EMV certified.
Karine Gadoury, President of CanadaConnect, gives some insight on the Canadian expansion: “We currently have affiliates in each of the major cities in Canada, but are looking to add more to broaden our footprint and strengthen our independent network across the country. We have a number of national accounts like Amazon, Pearson, American Express, Rogers and others; their locations are spread across the country, and we are rapidly gaining additional large clients.”
Gadoury states that good candidates for affiliation are independent operators interested in a more technology-driven approach to market, whether they currently utilize connectivity services or wish to do so. She is actively recruiting affiliate members and welcomes inquiries from interested independent operators. Gadoury can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.