How McDonald’s empowered black America (but it’s complicated) with Dr. Marcia Chatelain

“It’s a lot easier to give someone the opportunity to run a business… than to say we’re going to invest in this idea of justice.” – Dr. Marcia Chatelain, Author of Franchise: The Golden Arches In Black America

Overview:

In the season 3 premiere of Innovation for All, Dr. Marcia Chatelain, author of Franchise: The Golden Arches In Black America and professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University, explains the complex history of McDonald’s in black America. She explains how the civil rights movement impacted black business ownership and how franchises, like McDonald’s, can be both an economic win and financially limiting for low-income communities.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How the civil rights movement impacted the growth of McDonald’s in black America
  • How McDonald’s utilized black-centered marketing strategies to fuel advertisements
  • The pros and cons to working in a franchise
  • How the fast food industry was seen as a win for low-income communities initially
  • How black-run McDonald’s franchises pooled resources to benefit the community
  • The differences of how white and black America viewed McDonald’s and its impact on advertising
  • How racist systems use black entrepreneurship as a way to avoid addressing racism
  • COVID-19: Challenges to the food justice movement and what environmental racism is
  • What are the limits of the private sector in COVID-19?
  • Experience and complexities of black franchise owners
  • How to reframe historical storytelling to highlight the community rather than the business

Links and mentions:

Connect with Marcia:

How Meal Delivery Apps are Killing Your Favorite Restaurants featuring Chris Webb, CEO of ChowNow

Food delivery apps like UberEats are putting mom and pop restaurants out of business. In final episode of Season 1 of the Innovation For All podcast, Chris Webb, CEO of ChowNow, shows the actual cost of meal delivery and how ChowNow is trying to mitigate those risks through an alternative business model.

You’ll learn:

  • How much food marketplaces charge the host restaurant, on top of the fees they charge the customer
  • How his experience at Lehman Brothers in 2008 shapes his current skepticism
  • Why ordering direct from the retailer should always be the consumer’s first option
  • Does the restaurant know who is buying their food when ordered through a delivery app?
  • Why are restaurants willing to use delivery apps even when they are unprofitable?
  • What does a model that puts the restaurant first look like?

Chris has always had an affinity for small and independently owned restaurants. His love of these small businesses and his own family’s small step into the food retail space revealed a passion at the intersection of food and technology.

ChowNow is the leading online ordering and marketing platform for local restaurants. Founded in 2011, ChowNow currently works with 11,000 restaurants nationwide – making it easy for customers to order directly from their websites, ChowNow-built branded mobile apps and third-party websites including Google, Yelp, and Instagram.

Prior to ChowNow, Chris was a founding investor in healthy, fast-casual chain Tender Greens. Chris’ involvement in Tender Greens fueled his mission to put smaller independent restaurants on a level playing field with the national chains when it came to technology solutions, tools, and apps.

Connect with Chris Webb & ChowNow:

Others Mentioned:

Stay Tuned for Season 2!

Innovation For All will be returning for Season 2 in May 2019. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcasting platform to listen to great episodes in Season 1 and get alerted as soon as Season 2 begins.