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McDonald's Diversity Drive

It’s no accident that McDonald’s has regained its grip as the world’s top franchise. In the face of criticism from books like Fast Food Nation, McDonald’s has rethought its entire modus operandi. One of the key platforms for its renewed fortunes, undoubtedly, is its diverse clientele.


The CSR blog of Forbes magazine has investigated the relationship between McDonald’s and diversity in a fascinating recent article. Author Amin Singh attended a course at McDonald’s Hamburger Universtiy which explained the roots of McDonald’s diversity strategy. Diversity is so important to McDonald’s employ a Diversity Officer, Pat Harris, who himself has tried to re-invigorate the focus of the Hamburger University to build better bridges between McDonald’s and America’s various minority communities.


It’s an apt strategy for planning for the future. Look at these statistics that Singh produces:

  • Women and people of color make up 73% of McDonald’s total workforce, 43% of all franchise staff and 55% of suppliers.
  • 298 Ronald McDonald Houses of Charity saves families of sick children $250 million in hotel costs annually.
  • 90% of all facilitators (decision makers) at McDonald’s have been promoted from within.
  • A majority of the senior management presenting at the meeting has been with the company for over a decade, with Pat Harris in her 35th year.


Clearly McDonald’s is trying to create greater synergy between its strong minority customer base and its expanding franchise network. They’ve done their math here. Competitors and franchisors looking to growing must take a leaf out of the McDonald’s play book when it comes to courting a more diverse customer base. It can only pay off.

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