May 5, 2021

How Small Business Franchises Make McDonald's Possible

by Karmetria Burton, Sr. Director – Global Supplier Diversity and Inclusion for McDonald’s USA

When you hear “McDonald’s,” you probably don’t think “small business.” But small businesses are a large part of our McFamily – and McDonald’s wouldn’t be possible without them.

Advocating Small Business Franchises

I've long advocated for small businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans and disabled entrepreneurs and am proud to see so many small businesses in the McDonald’s system, supplying everything from uniforms to McCafé  flavored syrups and helping to keep our restaurants running smoothly every single day.

It feels fortuitous that I’m starting my McDonald’s career during Small Business Week because I know how game-changing it can be for a small business to win a contract with a corporation the size of McDonald’s. I remember speaking with a small business owner years ago who explained how much a corporate contract he’d won meant to him, his company – and his community. The way he saw it, he could now send his children to college. He could hire more people from his town. He could take his family on a vacation. And he could pass a thriving family business on to his children in the future.

That said, I know how intimidating it can be to approach a company as large as McDonald’s and bid for business. I’ve been on both sides of the table. My dad is an entrepreneur and a small business owner. I worked for him after graduating college, landing contracts for his business, before I joined the corporate world, where small businesses were bidding for contracts with my much larger organization.

Supporting Small Business Communities

Because of this experience, I'm a firm believer in educating the small business community on what it takes to be a strong McDonald’s business partner. I'm ready to help teach them our business model and coach them around how to get their foot in the door, long before they even bid on our business. I’d love if small businesses could count on McDonald’s for guidance and mentorship – even if they end up working with a different corporation down the line.

It’s amazing what can happen when a small business partners with a giant corporation. McDonald’s has a massive opportunity to change entire communities in partnering with small businesses. A McDonald’s contract results in more than just a revenue boost; it can allow a small business owner to create a long-lasting legacy that positively impacts their community for decades. I'm looking forward to making this dream a reality for more small businesses in the months and years to come.