Owning a McDonald’s franchise may become an increasingly uphill battle for Blacks in America, according to Business Insider. A recent series of reports highlights the ownership and income disparities for Black operators of McDonald’s franchises.
Business Insider examines data obtained from the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association, which has existed for over 50 years to support Black McDonald’s company owners in their business efforts. Statistics show that in 2012, Black franchises earned $319K compared to the $344K earnings of fellow franchises. By 2017, that gap had widened to $312K versus $372K. Black franchises earned $60K less than other franchises operating within the five years outlined, and Blacks have owned fewer franchises in general. The past decade has seen a 100-store drop for Black company owners. These figures are alarming, considering that there are less than 2,000 McDonald’s franchises overall.
NBMOA data and Business Insider interviews of Black franchisees attribute the revenue and ownership disparities among McDonald’s franchises to several factors. Some owners explained that operating franchises in areas that are less economically sound — with higher crime rates — affects revenue. Though those stores have less financial stability, they are held to the same standards as their higher-earning peers when it comes to cosmetic renovations and other repairs. Franchisees also point out that while entrepreneurship requires speaking out and identifying issues that stymie growth, their assertiveness has “coincided” with additional evaluations and harsh ratings that have appeared punitive.
The current unbalanced climate has many looking to the fast-food giant to work with its franchise owners to help chart a viable path for their success. McDonald’s has recently responded by announcing a new position — a vice president focused on franchisee diversity. While not a panacea, the executive may help create an environment where franchisees feel that their concerns will be heard, without unjust ramifications. Happy meals aside, many franchisees may just be looking for a fair shake.