Jan 19, 2022 - Economy & Business

Taco Bell's diversity boot camp

An employee takes an order at a Taco Bell Cantina in Brookline, Mass., on Dec. 4, 2020. Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

An employee takes an order at a Taco Bell Cantina in Brookline, Mass., on Dec. 4, 2020. Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Taco Bell is launching a training program to groom underrepresented employees to become franchisees, aiming to diversify the ownership of its 7,500 restaurants.

The big picture: The Yum Brands-owned fast-food chain is forming the Taco Bell Business School with a goal of boosting the “low percentage” of its franchised restaurants currently owned by people of color, Taco Bell CEO Mark King tells Axios.

  • The six-week business boot camp, launched in partnership with the University of Louisville, will provide students with free classes on finance, marketing and HR.

By the numbers: People of color are better represented among the ownership ranks of franchises than general businesses.

Yes, but: One of the biggest barriers to franchise ownership is access to financing.

  • King said Taco Bell is considering financial help for managers to become part-owners.
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