The Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), 4thMVMT, and PepsiCo announced a formal collaboration to provide leadership development and increase business ownership opportunities for Black people in the restaurant industry. Together, they are launching the Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership program, an innovative personal development training initiative that equips potential business owners to operate high-performing businesses.
Recent data shows that only eight percent of restaurants are owned by Black people. The program’s goal is to create 100 Black-owned franchise restaurants by the end of 2022 and to continue growing that number.
In alliance with the MFHA, the Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership program will be conducted with 4thMVMT, a social equity organization that vets, trains, facilitates funding, and partners with individuals from underserved communities to own and operate competitive businesses. As part of the company’s commitment to advance racial equality, PepsiCo is the founding sponsor committing $2.5 million over the next five years to build and sustain the program. The alliance aims to catalyze additional franchises and companies to join the effort.
“While the restaurant and foodservice industry is one of the most diverse industries in the economy, we know Black people are underrepresented in the ownership category. Training and access to capital remain significant barriers for Black women and men who want to own their own restaurant,” said Gerry Fernandez, President & Founder of MFHA. Fernandez is a 40-year industry veteran who will focus on strategic alignment with the National Restaurant Association as well as outreach to restaurant company CEOs.
“Through this collaboration, we’ll help hundreds of people become business owners who otherwise, in all likelihood, wouldn’t have had the resources to do so. These folks will experience improved outcomes for themselves and their families, enabling them to become civically engaged leaders in communities across America. This growth will benefit us all,” said Karim Webb, CEO of 4thMVMT. Webb is also a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise owner.
“As part of our initiative to support Black-owned restaurants, we’re proud to partner in unlocking access to ownership, recognizing it can have a massive positive ripple effect benefiting Black communities,” said Scott Finlow, Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo Global Foodservice. “We hope our investment will create a ripple effect of its own, inspiring more companies to get involved.”
To learn more about the Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership program, visit MFHA.net. The program will begin accepting applications in the first quarter of 2021.