Choice Hotels recognized among top franchises for DE&I

Choice Hotels International Inc. has been recognized as a top franchise for diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) by Entrepreneur magazine. The first-ever ranking conducted by the publication named Choice among the top 50 brands in the franchising industry that exemplify an enterprise-wide commitment to DE&I. It is the only hotel franchising company to make the list.

“Cultivating an inclusive culture—in which diversity of thought, background and experience are celebrated—is a commitment driven at the top of the organization that extends to every facet of the company, from our corporate associates to our franchise owners and their guests,” said Patrick Cimerola, chief human resources officer, Choice Hotels. “This latest ranking by Entrepreneur isn’t just a testament to our ability to live out Choice’s brand promise of ensuring everyone who walks through our doors feel welcome, wanted and respected, but speaks to the many initiatives our company continues to undertake to fuel diversity and equitable opportunity across the entire hotel industry.”

Choice Hotels has a long history of creating and supporting a diverse associate and franchisee base. For nearly 20 years, the company’s emerging markets team has been dedicated to making small business ownership a reality for underrepresented and minority entrepreneurs. Since the program began, the company has awarded and financially supported more than 310 franchise agreements with underrepresented minority and veteran entrepreneurs, including 24 deals awarded last year despite the pandemic. Earlier this year, in an effort to expand its support, the company developed the newly enhanced HERtels by Choice, a program that leverages a multi-faceted approach to advance and empower women hotel ownership.

All of the companies recognized as Entrepreneur‘s first-ever Top Franchises for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion list were chosen editorially. Publication editors based their decisions on information submitted by the companies as well as their own independent research. Brands were selected for a variety of reasons. Some offer franchise fee discounts and other assistance to help those who identify as Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), women, or LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. Some promote DE&I in other ways, including the communities they serve and the services they offer; initiatives and programs they have implemented at both the corporate and franchise level; representation among their leadership team, franchisees, and employees; and more.

For more on HERtels by Choice and other industry initiatives helping women hotel owners, see the cover story of the August issue of Hotel Business.