Dan Edwards is an accomplished executive with a diverse background and extensive experience in North America and global markets. Throughout his career, he has held key positions at renowned companies including Cracker Barrel, McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons, and The Coca-Cola Company. With a proven track record of success, Dan has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in both corporate giants and start-up ventures. He is widely recognized for his ability to build high-performing teams and foster strong business relationships across various sectors, ranging from corporate partnerships to private equity and family office engagements.
During his tenure at Sodexo, a leading food service and facilities management company, Dan played a pivotal role as the Director of Brand Development and Vice President of Franchising. His contributions were instrumental in the company’s franchising expansion, particularly in the nationwide start-up launch of Sodexo USA’s entrance into the franchising community. Dan led the brand and business development efforts for nine restaurant brands, including Jazzman’s Café, which garnered recognition with the Nation’s Restaurant News Hot Concepts award in 2004, and Pandini’s Italian Bistro, which achieved the same accolade in 2006.
At Sodexo’s Allentown location, Dan served as the Senior Director of Brand Development and oversaw the national brand portfolio for over 10,000 locations across the United States. In this role, he managed profit and loss statements, cultivated brand personality and culture, led menu and product development and testing, implemented efficient operations systems, devised pricing strategies, managed the supply chain, and supervised marketing promotions. Additionally, he provided guidance and leadership to the Retail Brand Group Creative department, consisting of five graphic designers responsible for developing store point-of-purchase materials, resource development, unit advertising, electronic media, packaging, and more. Dan’s expertise in brand development and strategic marketing was evident throughout his tenure at Sodexo.
During his tenure as a Franchising Executive at Dunkin’ Brands, Dan Edwards played a crucial role in establishing Dunkin’ as a prominent national brand. He was recruited specifically for this purpose and worked closely with Dunkin’s Chief Executive Officer and Executive Team to cultivate relationships with high net worth individuals and prestigious organizations, including the New York Yankees, Houston Texans, and Reliant Energy. Dan’s efforts in building relationships and negotiating franchise deals contributed significantly to the brand’s growth. Notably, he invented and named the Wake-Up Wrap®, a signature breakfast menu item that played a critical role in bridging the gap between coffee consumption and food purchases. This innovative creation enhanced the viability of restaurant placements, particularly in new markets, and underscored Dan’s strategic thinking and commitment to brand success.
Joining Global Ventures, Dan Edwards assumed a leadership role in integrating and growing the Costa Coffee acquisition within the Coca-Cola system. His expertise and strategic approach led to the successful placement of 60 Costa Smart Café locations within a single year, in collaboration with esteemed partners. Dan was instrumental in formulating a comprehensive go-to-market customer placement strategy, negotiating deal terms, optimizing channels, developing pricing strategies, and streamlining workflows for the Costa Smart Café platform. His contributions ensured a smooth and successful integration of Costa Coffee into the Coca-Cola system.
In his role as the US Region Director and General Manager for The Coca-Cola Company’s McDonald’s business, Dan Edwards oversaw beverage strategy and performance for approximately 10% of McDonald’s domestic portfolio. His responsibilities encompassed managing equipment and service operations, implementing marketing initiatives, cultivating franchisee relationships, overseeing corporate account management, and providing support to the bottling system. One of Dan’s notable achievements was his proposal and implementation of key strategies such as the highly successful “$1 Any Size Soft Drink” and Minute Maid Slushie campaigns. These category strategies resulted in a remarkable 14% improvement in revenue over a three-year period, demonstrating Dan’s ability to drive significant business growth through innovative initiatives.
In addition to his corporate roles, Dan Edwards has also served as the President of Creative Texts Publishers, LLC and Retail Brand Consultants, LLC for a decade. These ventures further highlight his diverse background and extensive experience in driving growth and enhancing brand performance. Dan’s unique blend of skills, combined with his strong business acumen and valuable industry relationships, have positioned him as a sought-after executive capable of consistently delivering exceptional results.
With a proven track record of success, Dan Edwards continues to make significant contributions to the growth and success of renowned brands. His ability to navigate complex business environments, build high-performing teams, forge valuable partnerships, and implement effective strategies sets him apart as a versatile executive in the industry. Dan’s leadership and strategic acumen have consistently propelled brands forward, and his commitment to excellence has made him a trusted and respected figure in the business world.