Industry News | September 14, 2000

Burger King Minority Franchisees Respond to Boycott

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After years of conflict between Burger King Corporation and mega-franchisee La-Van Hawkins, both parties are at a veritable standoff over their businees deal gone sour. Hawkins, who claims Burger King has treated him unfairly and used him as a racial pawn, has organized a boycott of the chain's restaurants. Burger King, who maintains that Hawkins is evading massive debts to the company, has issued the following statement from its Minority Franchise Association in response.

"There are 1,173 minority-owned Burger King Corporation restaurants nationwide—15 percent of the 7,830 franchised-owned Burger King stores in the United States. The Minority Franchise Association of Burger King Corporation is a 26-year-old national organization made up of 75 minority franchisees. As a group, we are united in our opposition to the national boycott of Burger King restaurants initiated by La-Van Hawkins and his companies along with the Reverend Al Sharpton.

As a group, we are united in our opposition to the national boycott of Burger King restaurants initiated by La-Van Hawkins and his companies along with the Reverend Al Sharpton.


"We are committed to Burger King's corporate diversity philosophy and its five key provisions for striving toward diversity and economic parity in the areas of employment, franchisees, marketing and advertising, procurement and philanthropy. For example, Burger King has demonstrated its commitment to forming strategic alliances with a number of minority companies. This includes its 18-year partnership with the Uniworld Group, the largest African American advertising agency in the United States and its 11-year partnership with Bromley, Aguilar—its Hispanic-advertising agency of record. Additionally, in 1991 Burger King Corporation and the Minority Franchise Association formed a Diversity Action Council (DAC). The DAC was formed to extend economic and business development opportunities to all communities and to monitor the five diversity provisions.

"For the last 26 years, the Minority Franchise Association has worked in partnership with Burger King Corporation to stimulate economic growth and development in our communities. It is our strong belief that the people of these communities including our employees, our community-based business partners, our suppliers and their families will most harshly feel the effects of a national boycott. It is only with the ongoing support of our loyal customers that we can continue to make positive contributions to the communities that we serve."