The medical center will offer McDonald's advice on best practices to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 and review the company's environmental health and safety precautions and some of its global standards. McDonald's did not disclose financial terms of the partnership, which was announced this week at its virtual Worldwide Connection event for all of its franchisees.
McDonald's and some of its franchisees face lawsuits from employees related to its response to the pandemic. A Chicago judge, for example, found that McDonald's had taken steps to mitigate the risk of contracting the virus, but some locations weren't enforcing mask policies and training on social distancing fell short.
The fast-food chain also shared with its franchisees more on its commitment to diversity and inclusion. It joins a number of companies, from Restaurant Brands International to Microsoft, in addressing those issues in the wake of worldwide protests against police brutality and racism. In June, McDonald's handed over most of its media time for the BET Awards to Black activists and business owners.
McDonald's said it will commit to addressing hiring bias and reducing barriers so its leadership becomes more diverse and better resembles the communities it serves. The company plans to enhance its efforts to attract and recruit diverse franchisees and reduce barriers to entry for diverse suppliers.
"We also have to acknowledge that some people in our system feel like they haven't been given a fair opportunity. We've got to face up to that fact and do better," CEO Chris Kempczinski said in prerecorded remarks to franchisees for the event.
The company also will audit its advertising and restaurant experiences to make sure they "reflect the needs" of all customers.
McDonald's did not define what characteristics make someone "diverse" or disclose internal diversity numbers. The company said it would share more time-bound commitments in the coming weeks.
McDonald's plans to have another virtual event in November.