No question the quick-serve industry boasts a diverse workforce, and Dunkin’ Brands, parent company to Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, is doubling down on its own diversity efforts in the franchising space by partnering with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Announced at the NAACP’s 105th Annual Conference in Las Vegas on July 23, the partnership will include various educational initiatives to connect people of color with an in-depth look at the franchising business model.
“It’s something we’ve been working on for over a year,” says Grant Benson, vice president of global franchising and business development with Dunkin' Brands. “We had identified an opportunity to increase the diversity, in particular with people of color, about a year ago and had been working closely with the NAACP since then to come up with something that was unique.”
Benson says Dunkin’ Brands will run workshops, seminars, and webinars at various state conferences put on by the civil rights organization. While these educational session will be run by Dunkin’ Brand representatives, the curriculum will be broad, encompassing the inner workings of franchising applicable to any business. “They’re in-person, first-hand chances to see, touch, and feel the business,” Benson adds.
For those participants who are ultimately interested in joining the Dunkin’ family, the brand will offer access to its standard incentives, Benson says. These include reduced royalties for the early years of operation in new locations, reduced initial franchisee fees, and marketing incentives.
“There’s a population out there that maybe for many years has been overlooked. That’s maybe to the detriment of that group, but it’s also to the detriment of the franchisor,” Benson says. “As you look to expand and grow rapidly as Dunkin’ and Baskin are and have been, this is a pool of potentially highly-qualified candidates who may have some unique needs and bring some unique opportunities to the table that we need to do a better job of tapping into. This is a way to do that.”
By Tamara Omazic