Fast Food Restaurants That Support LGBTQ

Businesses across all sectors are waking up and lending their support to the LGBTQ community. That’s especially true in the food industry, with fast-food restaurants standing out as excellent examples.

Top fast-food restaurants that support the LGBTQ community include McDonald’s, Dunkin’, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s. They support the community by sponsoring and participating in Pride events, contributing to local organizations, and championing inclusivity. Your support of these businesses helps them continue being a strong ally for the LGBTQ community.

This guide will help you understand which fast-food restaurants support the LGBTQ community and how they continue to do so. You’ll also learn the traits to look for in an LGBTQ-friendly business and why your support for them matters.

McDonald’s Supporting Pride Month

What Are The Traits Of An LGBTQ-Friendly Food Business?

Before diving deeper into the topic of fast-food restaurants that support the LGBTQ community, it’s essential to understand the traits that such businesses have in common.

Understanding what an LGBTQ-friendly food business looks like will help you choose which ones to support. 

Remember that the fast food sector isn’t the only place you’ll find these traits. Instead, you can search for them in other food businesses like casual dining restaurants and even food trucks.

Food businesses that support the LGBTQ community tend to have these traits in common:

  • Support for LGBTQ Causes: Firstly, they openly support LGBTQ causes, most notably Pride Month. That’s an important trait, but it shouldn’t be the only one. After all, they should show their support throughout the year and not just in June every year.
  • Community engagement: Aside from supporting causes, LGBTQ-friendly food businesses also engage the community throughout the year. For example, they might open a pop-up booth at local LGBTQ community events and network with local community leaders.
  • Welcoming atmosphere: A restaurant’s LGBTQ support should also be felt in its day-to-day operations. You’ll notice that their atmosphere feels like a safe space that welcomes people of all backgrounds and sexual orientations.
  • Staff policies: Naturally, a restaurant that supports the LGBTQ community also does so internally with its staff. They do that with inclusive hiring policies that support diversity and self-expression, particularly regarding sexual orientation and gender identities.
  • Accessible bathrooms: Many supportive food businesses prepare accessible bathrooms for all customers. A typical example is to have gender-neutral bathrooms that anyone can use.

Understanding these traits is crucial when judging whether a food business is LGBTQ-friendly. That way, you’ll know if their support is genuine or if they’re only doing it as part of a marketing strategy.

Which Fast Food Restaurants Are LGBTQ-Friendly?

So far, you’ve read about the common traits shared by LGBTQ-friendly businesses. Now, it’s time to discover the top fast-food restaurants that continue to demonstrate those traits and set an excellent example for all food businesses.

Here are the fast food restaurants that support the LGBTQ community:

1. McDonald’s

McDonald’s is the first fast food restaurant on this list. That should come as no surprise, considering how the brand has always had a very open and welcoming vibe since its inception.

These days, though, you’ll see that McDonald’s continuously supports the LGBTQ community in many ways.

On a large scale, McDonald’s has a history of participating in Pride events worldwide. Aside from providing sponsorships, the company and its employees also have a strong presence on the ground at those events.

Seeing McDonald’s employees at LGBTQ events reflects the company’s inclusive policies, creating a diverse workplace in their corporate offices and restaurants.

2. Dunkin’

Formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts, Dunkin’ is another fast food restaurant strongly supporting the LGBTQ community. Despite serving a different menu of donuts and coffee, you’ll still see a lot of similarities in their LGBTQ support to McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants on this list.

One thing that stands out is Dunkin’s promotion of inclusivity. Through its advertising and other corporate messaging, Dunkin’ continues to express its commitment towards the inclusivity of the LGBTQ community.

That applies to its customers and employees, as well. The company has strong anti-discrimination policies to foster a more diverse work environment.

Of course, you’ll also find that Dunkin’ contributes to LGBTQ organizations regularly.

Dunkin Pride

3. Shake Shack

Shake Shack is another fast food restaurant that earns its place on this list, and rightfully so. That’s because the company exemplifies all the traits of a food business that does the right thing in supporting the LGBTQ community.

As you might’ve guessed, Shake Shack contributes funds to LGBTQ organizations to help the community directly. Similarly, it also makes its presence known at Pride events with sponsorships and active participation.

However, one notable trait of Shake Shack’s support is in its messaging. The company makes it clear in its messaging, including its language and imagery, that it supports the LGBTQ community wholeheartedly.

For example, Shake Shack strongly engages its staff and encourages them to participate in LGBTQ events on the brand’s behalf.

4. Burger King

As the name suggests, Burger King is a fast-food restaurant known for its burgers. One thing that stands out about its support for the LGBTQ community is its release of limited edition products to coincide with Pride Month.

Aside from that, the brand is also known for its strong outreach. Burger King doesn’t just participate in Pride Month events, but it also contributes to LGBTQ events at the local level.

Burger King also earns a spot on this list for its consistency when supporting the community. You will see visible support not only in its advertisements and in-store menus but also in its workplace policies.

Staff enjoy inclusive policies that guarantee no one will be discriminated against based on gender identity. In doing so, the brand has successfully built a place where LGBTQ workers feel welcome and safe.

Burger King Pride

5. Chipotle Mexican Grill

The big names in burgers and fries aren’t the only fast food restaurants joining the chorus supporting the LGBTQ community. Chipotle Mexican Grill, known for its tacos, bowls, and other Mexican delicacies, is also a staunch community supporter.

Employees at this restaurant go through diversity and inclusivity training as part of their work experience. As a result, the restaurant’s work environment is one of solid awareness and understanding regarding LGBTQ issues.

Of course, that support also extends into the dining room, where customers will see inclusive language and imagery everywhere they look. That includes any marketing materials and menus prepared by Chipotle.

Beyond the restaurant, Chipotle also does plenty of community outreach, doing what it can to support LGBTQ causes.

6. Pizza Hut

Fast food restaurants specializing in pizzas also have become supporters of the LGBTQ community. A classic example is Pizza Hut, one of the most prominent names in the business.

Pizza Hut checks all the right boxes regarding LGBTQ support in the food service industry. 

They use inclusive language in all their public communications, such as those for their marketing and advertising campaigns. They have consistently communicated their support for the LGBTQ community through these channels.

Besides that, their employees come to work in an inclusive environment. That environment results from both inclusive corporate policies and the company’s effective employee engagement efforts.

Naturally, Pizza Hut’s support goes beyond just words and gestures. They also contribute to Pride Month campaigns and on-the-ground community outreach with their presence, sponsorships, and employee participation.

Pizza Hut Pride

7. Papa John’s

Last but certainly not least, pizza joint Papa John’s has also built a strong reputation as being LGBTQ-friendly.

The restaurant has done so in all the same ways as other leading fast food restaurants, such as their public commitment to LGBTQ equality. That commitment is evident in its marketing campaigns and other formal statements made by the company.

One thing’s for sure: all Papa John’s stakeholders feel its support for the community. That includes its customers, employees, and members of local areas surrounding their restaurants.

Papa John’s makes its presence and support known at high-level Pride Month celebrations, ground-level organizations, and events. Its corporate policies also reflect its commitment to the community.

Why Is It Important To Support LGBTQ-Friendly Restaurants?

Whether you’re a member or an ally of the community, you must understand the importance of supporting LGBTQ-friendly restaurants. That includes fast food outlets like the ones described above and smaller food service businesses doing the same.

Remember: Your support doesn’t necessarily have to be in dollars and cents. As you’ll discover in the next section, there are plenty of ways you can support a business that shares the same values as you.

For now, here are 5 reasons it is crucial to support LGBTQ-friendly restaurants:

  • Promote inclusivity: Food businesses use their restaurants as platforms to promote inclusivity. Your support would reward them for doing so and encourage them to keep going.
  • Fight discrimination: Similarly, restaurants that support the LGBTQ community do a lot to fight discrimination. Not only do they promote positive values, but they also maintain a discrimination-free work environment. Your support helps them continue to do so.
  • Empowerment: The money you spend at an LGBTQ-friendly restaurant goes a long way towards empowering many people. Not only do you empower the business to continue with their efforts, but you also indirectly empower their employees economically. Many of them are likely members of the LGBTQ community themselves.
  • Community building: Food businesses are part of the local community, regardless of the food they sell. Your support for them and their pro-LGBTQ efforts helps to build and strengthen the local community through economic empowerment and by creating a safe space.
  • Advocacy: Lastly, remember that some food businesses have a platform that can reach far and wide. Some even have worldwide reach for their advocacy, and your support helps them to continue using it to promote positive values!

Final Thoughts

Many food businesses support the LGBTQ community, including world-renowned fast-food restaurants. Some top examples include McDonald’s, Dunkin’, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Papa Johns. However, even small, family-owned food businesses also do the same.

Your support for these businesses is crucial so they can continue championing the LGBTQ community. Supporting them not only empowers the company to continue its advocacy but also empowers many of its LGBTQ employees.

Gay Worlley
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