McDonald’s said in a statement today that it paid Washington $33.5 million for the locations, “which is no more than what we deem a fair price for the value of the restaurants.”
Washington, a former Oakland A’s player, filed his suit in Ohio federal court in February, saying the Chicago-based chain had a pattern of steering Black owners into restaurants in impoverished neighborhoods that yielded less profit. He had been a franchisee for four decades, owning McDonald’s restaurants in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. At one point, his was the country’s largest Black-owned McDonald’s franchise operation with about 25 restaurants.
He alleged in the lawsuit that the fast-food giant began a campaign to drive him out in 2017 for speaking out against the “predatory, racially biased steering practices” against franchisees.
When the suit was filed, McDonald’s said in a statement it had invested “significantly” in his organization. “This situation is the result of years of mismanagement by Mr. Washington, whose organization has failed to meet many of our standards on people, operations, guest satisfaction and reinvestment,” the statement said.
More to come.