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McDonald’s Emphasizes Inclusivity in Franchise Selection

McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) is making changes to how it awards franchises in the hopes of attracting more diverse candidates, the latest shakeup in how the burger chain’s management oversees its franchisees.

Starting in 2023, the fast-food giant will evaluate every potential new operator equally. In the past, the spouses and children of current franchisees have been given preferential treatment.

“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.

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. Additionally, Erlinger told U.S. franchisees that the company will incorporate its values more clearly into its standards for franchisees.

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. More than 1,750 locations were sold last year, in part because some operators chose to exit the franchise, according to Restaurant Business Online.

MCD shares gained $1.90 to $245.48.