*McDonald’s is reportedly on a mission to attract more diverse candidates so the fast-food chain is making changes to how it awards franchises.
Starting in 2023, the fast-food giant will no longer give preferential treatment to the family members of current franchisees, CNBC reports. The company says as part of its new policy for franchise ownership, restaurant ownership has to be “earned, not given,” according to an internal memo.
Over the last few years, McDonald’s has implemented fees and strict rules for restauranteurs, which have sparked turmoil among the ranks, per MSN. Both current and former Black franchisees have sued the burger chain in recent years, alleging racial discrimination.
“We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how we continue to attract and retain the industry’s best owner/operators – individuals who represent the diverse communities we serve, bring a growth mindset and focus on executional excellence, while cultivating a positive work environment for restaurant teams,” McDonald’s U.S. President Joe Erlinger said in a message to franchisees, according to the report.
Here’s more from the report:
McDonald’s will also separate the process through which it renews franchisees’ 20-year agreements from the assessment of whether the franchisee can operate additional restaurants. The company recently came under pressure for a plan to roll out a new grading system early next year that rankled some franchisees, who have concerns about potentially alienating workers.
McDonald’s has about 13,000 franchised locations in the United States. In December, the company pledged to recruit more franchisees from diverse backgrounds. McDonald’s launched a $250 million, five-year initiative to attract more minority franchisees in the U.S.
The program comes amid a slew of lawsuits from former Black McDonald’s franchisees accusing McDonald’s of engaging in systemic discrimination and denying them the same opportunities as White franchisees.
“During a period of record performance, we must challenge ourselves — even more — to invest in the future,” McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempczinski previously said in a news release, as reported by The Chicago Tribune. “Today’s announcement to attract franchisees who represent the diverse communities we serve is fundamental to that goal and builds on McDonald’s rich history and pride in reflecting those we serve.”
According to the report, more than 1,750 McDonald’s locations were sold last year after several operators opted to exit the franchise, Restaurant Business Online reports.