Denny’s Committed to Black Franchise Business Ownership Program

Denny’s recently announced its commitment to the Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership program established by the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA).

Denny’s Committed to Black Franchise Business Ownership Program

The goal of the Pathways to Black Franchising program is to implement systemic changes to generate greater wealth in the black community by enabling African American entrepreneurs to operate high-performing franchise businesses. Denny’s aims to help MFHA achieve a goal of creating 100 Black-owned franchises by 2023, with the two entities already having a successful 25-year alliance.

Increasing African American Franchise Ownership

The Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership program was launched in 2020 with the aforementioned goal of creating 100 Black-owned franchises by the end of 2023. The MFHA has already worked closely with the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF), and the International Franchise Association to expand the program.

The US Census Bureau and International Franchise Association also conducted a survey that found that African Americans make up only 8% of franchisees. Denny’s and MFHA hope to close that gap by providing participants with specialized training, coaching and mentoring, as well as other support, to help black entrepreneurs open both single and multi-unit franchise businesses.

Helping Black Entrepreneurs Achieve Their Dreams

Denny’s CEO John Miller said of his company’s extensive partnership with MFHA: “At Denny’s, diversity, equity and inclusion are key components of our corporate strategy and that encompasses every part of our organization, from our board of directors to our Franchisees Association. Our expanded partnership with MFHA will help close the ownership gap for black business owners and bring new faces and fresh ideas to Denny’s. We are humbled to create more opportunities for black entrepreneurs who have historically been underrepresented in the restaurant industry.”

MFHA Founder and President Gerry Fernandez added: “MFHA is pleased to welcome Denny’s to the Pathways program. Together, we can make a lasting impact by helping black entrepreneurs achieve their dream of owning their own restaurant, elevating their communities and building wealth for their families and future generations.”

On the MFHA website, they explain: “Today, black Americans make up only 8 percent of franchisees, yet they make up 13 percent of the population and nearly 10 percent of food service executives. Pathways solve this inequality through training and access to capital, the two biggest barriers for black women and men to have profitable businesses.

“Training and access to capital are the biggest barriers for black women and men wanting to start their own businesses. Through pathways, the restaurant industry has the opportunity to make tangible lasting change in the communities they serve by helping to increase Black ownership. Property is a crucial element of racial and social justice. And economic mobility cannot be achieved until black Americans have a fair chance to participate in the nation’s shared prosperity.

Paths to Black Franchise Ownership

The Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership program identifies, funds and prepares aspiring black entrepreneurs to own and operate high-performing restaurants. It also helps companies grow their brands and build wealth in the black community by embracing a social ownership model.

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