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Denny’s Makes Commitment to Black Franchise Business Ownership Program

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



Denny’s Makes Commitment to Black Franchise Business Ownership Program

The aim of the Pathways to Black Franchising program is to make systemic change in order to drive greater wealth in the Black community by empowering African American entrepreneurs to operate high-performing franchise businesses. Denny’s aims to help MFHA reach a goal of creating 100 Black-owned franchises by 2023, with the two entities having already enjoyed 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 been working closely with the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) and the International Franchise Association to expand the program.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the International Franchise Association also conducted a study which discovered that African Americans make up only 8% of franchise business owners. 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

The CEO of Denny’s, John Miller, said of his firm’s expanded partnership with MFHA: “At Denny’s, diversity, equity and inclusion are key components of our business strategy and that includes every part of our organization from our board of directors to our franchisee association. Our expanded partnership with MFHA will help close the ownership gap for Black business owners and bring new faces and fresh thinking to Denny’s. We’re humbled to be able to create more opportunities for Black business owners who are historically underrepresented in the restaurant industry.”

The Founder and President of MFHA, Gerry Fernandez, added: “MFHA is excited 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, uplifting their communities and building wealth for their family and future generations.”

On the MFHA website, they explain: “Today, Black Americans make up only 8 percent of franchise business owners, yet they comprise 13 percent of the population and nearly 10 percent of food service managers. Pathways addresses this disparity through training and access to capital, the two biggest barriers for Black women and men who want to own profitable businesses.

“Training and access to capital are the biggest barriers for Black women and men who want to own their own business. Through Pathways, the restaurant industry has the opportunity to create tangible lasting change in the communities they serve by helping to increase Black ownership. Ownership is a critical element of racial and social justice. And economic mobility cannot be achieved until Black Americans have a fair opportunity to participate in the nation’s shared prosperity.”

Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership

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

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