Greater diversity and inclusion is now part of the menu at McDonald’s, especially when it comes to the suppliers the massive fast-food chain is committed to working with.
Hilary Russ from Reuters has reported that McDonald’s, along with 20 of its largest U.S. suppliers, including meat producers Cargill and Tyson Foods, have agreed to a giant push for diversity throughout the supply chain.
“The burger chain vowed to boost U.S. spending with diverse suppliers and service providers to 25% by 2025, from about 23% currently,” Russ said. “The increase will add at least another $200 million annually to the $3.3 billion that McDonald’s spent with diverse suppliers in 2020, out of the $14 billion it spends on suppliers altogether.”
According to Russ, the change in corporate policy was driven in large part by the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police, which has impacted the ongoing push for social reform and awareness of diversity efforts within the general public as a whole.
The change in policy for the company is McDonald’s second major commitment to DEI in less than a year. In February, McDonald’s announced that executive bonuses and pay for its top corporate leaders would be directly tied to the company’s overall diversity goals. The company also released details of its overall workforce demographics for the first time in its 66-year history.
“Because McDonald’s has more than 39,000 restaurants globally, small changes in its supply chain can ripple into other industries,” Russ reported.
In a nod to the type of reform they may be helping to usher in, the company also sent an internal document — seen by Reuters — which stated, “our size and scale is an asset in driving societal change and bringing others along.”
For critics of the company, the renewed focus on DEI is a welcome change for an organization previously dogged by repeated allegations of ongoing racism and corporate bias.
In May, media mogul Byron Allen sued the company for more than $10 billion, alleging it had an ongoing bias against Black-owned media companies and spent less than half the money with them as it did with non-diverse organizations.
Months before that, a number of Black franchisees (including former Oakland Athletics player and franchise owner Herb Washington) also filed their own lawsuit against the company, claiming discrimination and alleging that the company steered them towards underperforming stores in less profitable areas while denying them equal financial support as provided to white-run businesses.
In an interview with Reuters, McDonald’s global diversity equity and inclusion officer Reggie Miller, who joined the company in November 2020, said these latest changes were part of an ongoing system of reform and change within the company that has taken place over the last year.
“We’re trying to be different, [and] to make sure we’re really trying to build an inclusive workplace moving forward,” Miller said.