How McDonald's Is Planning To Increase Franchise Owner Diversity

The McDonald's Corporation has just announced plans to launch a new global diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative that will help lower the barrier to entry for potential franchisee owners belonging to traditionally underrepresented groups, the company announced in a press release. McDonald's has acknowledged that the high upfront costs of opening a franchise may be a deterrent for many potential franchisees, especially those who face socio-economic challenges. Therefore, the company plans to work with its partners to increase access to financing, as well as lower restrictions on some of its upfront equity requirements. 

The goal is to attract more eligible franchisee candidates across broader communities. McDonald's has also pledged to commit $250 million over the next 5 years toward potential franchisees who have struggled to receive funding to open restaurants by other means, according to USA Today. The chain plans to expand its franchisee recruiting and training efforts to increase the number of qualified franchisees who better reflect the communities they serve, both in McDonald's U.S. and McDonald's International Operated Markets.

McDonald's will increase its investment in diverse-owned suppliers

This new initiative is only the latest of many new diversity initiatives McDonald's has launched in recent months. In the summer of 2021, the company announced plans to increase its partnerships with diverse businesses by joining the Mutual Commitment to Diversity Equity and Inclusion, a group committed to "dismantling barriers to economic opportunity," according to QSR Web. The chain also publicly committed to a 10% increase in purchases from diverse-owned suppliers by McDonald's U.S. This means about $3.5 billion will be spent on business conducted with diverse-owned suppliers by 2025.

"During a period of record performance, we must challenge ourselves — even more — to invest in the future," McDonald's president and CEO Chris Kempczinsk said of its new efforts to increase franchise owner diversity (via McDonald's). "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. With this action, we are taking another step forward in fostering an environment where equitable opportunity is part of the lived experience for all our communities."