Report: McDonald’s to promote diversity among franchisees

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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McDonald’s will end preferential treatment of certain franchisee candidates.

McDonald’s is reportedly revamping its franchisee selection process with an eye toward leveling the competitive field.

According to CNBC, in 2023, the fast-food hamburger giant will begin evaluating new candidates for franchise ownership using the same set of criteria. Up until now, the company has been giving preference to spouses and children of current franchise holders.

As part of changes to its franchise process, McDonald’s will also reportedly separately consider renewals of existing franchise agreements from requests to open additional franchise locations. In December, the company announced a plan to spend $250 million over the next five years to recruit more franchisees from minority groups.

McDonald’s has previously been sued by Black franchisees alleging racial discrimination, and settled one such suit for $33.5 million. The company is also currently conducting a third-party assessment of its corporate diversity.

“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 that CNBC says it viewed.

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Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill.,McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with more than 39,000 locations in over 100 countries. Approximately 95% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business owners.