Yum Brand declared that it might be ready to invest a heavy sum of $100 million to fight inequality. It was announced on Thursday by CEO of Yum brands, David Gibbs. He posted a letter on his LinkedIn page that talked about this investment plan ‘Unlocking opportunity initiative’ that will spend $100 million over five years with a global initiative to improve opportunities for its frontline restaurant workers. This initiative will allow the company to diversify its executive teams. The Louisville-KY based Yum brand is the parent to some of the most popular fast-food chains like Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, and Habit Burger.
Gibbs pointed out that the events of 2020 have made it quite clear that inequality is a huge issue even in today’s date and it still does cause a lack of access to career opportunities for a lot of people. He also went on to add that although there is no quick fix to this challenging and pressing matter, as the world’s biggest restaurant company, they consider it their responsibility to make as much change as they can and they should, which will last. The announcement of this investment has come out amidst rising awareness about these inequality issues that have been the talk of the town for the past few weeks now. These issues have taken to the headlines, especially after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville which has highlighted the issue of systemic racism.
After these uprisings and protests, many firms have started noticing that although the restaurant employees are a diverse set, the executive teams at most companies are predominantly white which points to the issue of development and advancement in these companies. In the letter that Gibbs posted, he vowed to work on diversifying the company’s workforce at executive and management ranks, suppliers, and franchises. He said that the process would be initiated in a few months and the executives would be held accountable for meeting these goals. He also added that the company would be rolling out inclusive leadership and anti-racism training sessions at their own as well as franchisee-owned restaurants.
The company has big plans on investing in entrepreneurship, social justice, and education in communities around the US, starting from its home town Louisville. The company will work with its US franchisees to execute the initiative and thus bring in more diversity in its accounts and executive teams. The initiative includes projects on encouraging, entrepreneurship, equality, and education. The company says that it intends to create ways for restaurant employees who want to have their businesses or open up their franchisees in doing so.
Lastly, Gibbs wrote that inequality should not be allowed to stand in the way of opportunities. He ended his letter saying “Difference should not stand in the way of opportunity,”. He further added that every day, their brand gets the privilege to serve and employ people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and background. He believes that they remain steadfast against all forms of discrimination and inequality, both conscious and unconscious, that thwart opportunity for the people.