A Miami law firm is representing former Black McDonald’s franchise owners in a $1 billion- dollar discrimination suit.

Former franchise owners of McDonald’s restaurants are alleging that the fast food giant denied them the same opportunities as White franchisees.



A Miami-based law firm has filed a billion-dollar lawsuit on behalf of 52 former Black McDonald’s franchise owners.

The lawsuit filed by the Ferraro Law Firm accuses the fast-food staple of denying their Black franchise owners the same opportunities as their White counterparts.

The complaint went on to explain how McDonald’s set their Black franchise owners up for “financial suicide missions” by setting up shop in low economic and dangerous areas where sales are low and rent is high.

The claims include over 200 stores with compensatory damages that average between $4 million and $5 million per store.

‘Hemorrhaging’ franchisees

The Ferraro Law Firm started investigating the case back in February.

“The notion that McDonald’s is a friend of the Black entrepreneur is complete fiction,” said James L. Ferraro, according to PR Newswire. “McDonald’s has been hemorrhaging Black franchisees for decades due to blatant and implicit racial discrimination. The company will now be held accountable.”

Ferraro says the stories of the Black men and women are heartbreaking. All of them were leaders who were forced out of business because of McDonald’s gross violations of federal law by:

  • Steering Black franchisees to inner-city neighborhoods with low volume sales, high security and insurance costs and constant employee turnover. Retaliating against Black franchisees for rejecting strong-arm offers to continue operations in crime-ridden neighborhoods.
  • Denying Black franchisees meaningful assistance during financial hardships while White
    franchisees were routinely given such support.
  • Excluding Black franchisees from the same growth opportunities found at safer, higher-volume, lower-cost stores offered to Whites.
  • Failing to provide any legitimate business reasons for repeated denials of franchise opportunities over many years.
  • Unfairly grading the operations of Black restaurants, which resulted in poor internal reviews, effectively pushing Black franchisees out of the  McDonald’s  system by denying them the eligibility for growth and favorable franchise terms.
  • Providing misleading projections which induced Black franchisees to purchase undesirable franchises.

Major decline

According to the lawsuit, the number of Black-owned McDonald’s franchises has declined from 377 in 1998 to 186 this year although the total number of franchises has continued to climb.

“The world will soon see how these 52 people of color risked everything on the Golden Arches only to be kept down, marginalized and driven to ruin,” Ferraro said.

“Black lives matter on the streets, in our communities and they matter in Corporate America.”

McDonald’s discriminatory history can be traced back to Chicago, after the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. The franchise denied Blacks entry into its system until the doors were pried open in 1969, after a boycott in Cleveland, the complaint states.

The boycott resulted in some of the first Black-owned franchises.



  1. What a Joke. These franchisees wanted to be in those areas, and they wanted to be McDonald’s Franchisees. That’s why they signed a franchise agreement. No one forced them to take those areas. The restaurants are likely still open, and making money. What’s the problem? I guess it’s a GREAT time for a racially charged LAWSUIT with BLM running the streets these days. Go figure.


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