Submitted by Yum! Brands
The events of 2020 have made it even clearer that one of the most pressing issues we face together in society is inequality and the lack of access and opportunity that goes with it. Around the world, this unfortunate reality has many faces, and it pressures the lives of too many individuals, families and communities. Though addressing inequality is challenging and complex and there is no easy fix, as the world’s largest restaurant company, we’re at an inflection point where our actions can, and should, make real and lasting change.
A global initiative
Today, I’m proud to announce Yum! Brands’ global Unlocking Opportunity Initiative with a $100 million commitment over the next five years. This initiative builds on more than 20 years of investing in our people-first culture. Across KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill, and alongside our franchisees, we will tackle inequality with an emphasis on three areas that can unlock opportunity for our employees, frontline restaurant teams and communities around the world: equity and inclusion, education and entrepreneurship.
With the unwavering support of our Board of Directors and Global Leadership Team, and working with our 2,000-plus franchisees, we plan to advance these efforts inside our brands and beyond our business in communities and with key partners addressing the regional and local challenges of inequality. As we have for many years through the Yum! Foundation, we will also find opportunities to partner with our franchisee community to unlock opportunity for those most affected by inequality.
Tackling inequality and racial injustice in the United States
Our global efforts will start in the U.S., our largest market comprising more than 40% of our global sales and half of our franchisees. In addition, the majority of restaurant employees within our system in the U.S. are people of color, which makes fighting systemic inequality and racism a top priority. The three levers of our Unlocking Opportunity Initiative will guide our efforts.
The past few weeks have shown me the immediacy of the need to address inequality in the U.S., and I have been enlightened and humbled by conversations with many employees. They have opened my eyes to the resolve we will need in order to grow through our collective discomfort and arrive squarely on the side of history that uplifts Black communities and others in crisis along with everyone else. Building on our ongoing inclusion efforts, starting from the inside out, Yum! and our U.S. brands will:
1. Increase representation of Black, Latinx, people of color and women among our executive and management ranks, franchisees and suppliers. This builds on our initiative to advance women in leadership. In the coming months, we will set targets that inspire and hold us accountable for aggressive progress over time.
2. Continue rolling out inclusive leadership and anti-racism training across our system, including company and franchise restaurants.
3. Partner with U.S. franchisees on implementing the Unlocking Opportunity Initiative, leveraging and expanding involvement in Yum!’s inclusion advisory group – the Leading Inclusion for Today & Tomorrow (LIFT2) Council.
4. Ensure Black, Latinx and diverse representation in leadership and account teams at our U.S. agencies.
5. Invest in entrepreneurship, education and social justice in communities throughout the U.S. that have been historically marginalized and cities where our corporate offices are located, including Louisville, Kentucky.
While the road ahead will not be easy, I’m more confident and convicted than ever that with the strength of our culture, we will meet the challenges head-on. I am proud to see our company courageously coming together to shape a future with more equality, fairness and opportunity for all. We simply can’t miss this historic moment to do our part to unlock opportunities that improve the lives of the people who run our restaurants and serve our local communities.
Thank you to those of you who are asking questions.
Thank you to those of you who have had the courage to speak up and share your concerns.
Thank you to those of you who have brought forward solutions.
Thank you to those of you who are educating yourselves and others.
Thank you to those of you who are committed to being allies to your colleagues with different backgrounds.
Thank you to those of you who are simply keeping open minds.
Thanks to you, we will seize this moment.
We need each and every one of you on this journey to make a difference for our frontline team members and communities and leave a legacy of meaningful opportunities for the next generation.
— David Gibbs, Yum! CEO
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 54,000 restaurants in more than 155 countries and territories, operating the Company’s brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. The Company’s family of brands also includes The Habit Burger Grill, a fast-casual restaurant concept specializing in made-to-order chargrilled burgers, sandwiches and more. Yum! Brands was named to the 2021 Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and was ranked on Newsweek’s list of 2021 America’s Most Responsible Companies. In 2022, Yum! Brands was named to 3BL Media’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens.
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