SPARTANBURG, S.C. June 9, 2022 – Today, Denny’s announced its commitment to the Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership program created by the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA). Denny’s and MFHA have enjoyed a successful 25-year alliance and, as a new Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership partner, Denny’s will help MFHA reach its goal of creating 100 Black-owned franchises by 2023.
The Pathways to Black Franchising program aims to make systemic change and drive greater wealth in the Black community by empowering African American entrepreneurs to operate high-performing franchise businesses. Research from the US Census Bureau and the International Franchise Association shows that African Americans make up only 8% of franchise business owners, and, together, Denny’s and MFHA will work to close that gap by providing participants with specialized training, coaching, mentoring and other support to help them open both single and/or multi-unit franchise businesses.
Joining Pathways marks another chapter in Denny’s long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Since 1993, Denny’s has invested more than $2 billion in underrepresented suppliers, including hiring minority-owned small business operators and entrepreneurs as consultants.
“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,” said Denny’s CEO John Miller. “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.”
“MFHA is excited to welcome Denny’s to the Pathways program,” said Gerry Fernandez, Founder and President of MFHA. “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.”
Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership was launched in 2020 with the goal of creating 100 Black-owned franchises by the end of 2023. MFHA is working closely with the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) and the International Franchise Association to expand the program.