Yum! Brands Commits $100 Million to Unlock Opportunity Around the World

by Savoy Staff

Yum! Brands is committing $100 million over five years to fight inequality with a focus on equity and inclusion, education and entrepreneurship through its Unlocking Opportunity Initiative.

“One of the most pressing issues we face together in society is inequality and the lack of access and opportunity that goes with it,” said Yum! Brands CEO David Gibbs.  “As the world’s largest restaurant company, we’re at an inflection point where our actions can, and should, make real and lasting change.”

On June 25, 2020, Yum! Brands announced its global Unlocking Opportunity Initiative with a $100 million commitment over the next five years. This initiative builds on more than 20 years of investing in the company’s people-first culture. Across KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill, and alongside more than 2,000 franchisees, the company will tackle inequality with an emphasis on three areas that can unlock opportunity for its employees, frontline restaurant teams and communities around the world: equity and inclusion, education and entrepreneurship.

Equity and Inclusion: Every day Yum!’s restaurant brands have the privilege to serve and employ people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age and background. As such, the company remains steadfast against all forms of discrimination and inequality – both conscious and unconscious – that thwart opportunity for its people, and it is deepening investments and public commitments to produce equity, fairness, inclusion and belonging in all aspects of its global business.

Education: Everyone should have the opportunity to build a positive future. However, far too many lack access to the kind of education and on-the-job and transferable skills training that can change the trajectory of lives, families and communities. In response, Yum! commits to be a force for change in this area while it continues its multimillion-dollar scholarship programs and the rollout of its world-class Heartstyles leadership development program. In addition, it will expand access and funding of education and skills training, which both empower restaurant team members to build their best lives and uplift their communities.

Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship and small businesses are essential to create opportunity and resilient communities. Each of Yum!’s brands was created by entrepreneurs with a dream to share a delicious meal and make a better life. Many Yum! franchisees share the same passion, whether they started as restaurant employees, customers or growth-minded businesspeople. To unlock opportunity, the company is creating pathways to entrepreneurship for restaurant employees wanting to lead a business, franchise or social enterprise, as well as for small businesses and social entrepreneurs looking to make a meaningful difference in their communities.

These focus areas of the Unlocking Opportunity Initiative have already come to life in the company’s global headquarters, Louisville, Kentucky, also the hometown of Breonna Taylor. In September 2020, Yum! Brands and KFC U.S. announced plans to invest $6 million over five years to advance equity and opportunity across the community. This expanded investment in Louisville will target endeavors that tackle inequality and uplift Black students, educators, entrepreneurs and social change agents.

This is just the beginning. To reflect the growing intersection of business and social purpose, in 2020, Yum! integrated its Recipe for Growth – the guiding principles of its business strategy – with the company’s Recipe for Good – its global citizenship and sustainability strategy. This unified approach will help Yum! better serve its employees, customers and communities when it comes to the issues they care about most.

“We know that today’s leading companies demonstrate social value alongside financial value,” said Yum! Global Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer Jerilan Greene. “Through these commitments and more, Yum! Brands is doing our part to have a positive and sustainable social impact on the communities where we operate and our restaurant team members around the world.”

To learn more about Yum!’s social purpose and the Unlocking Opportunity Initiative, please visit the People section of the company’s Recipe for Good citizenship and sustainability report at www.yum.com.

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