Restaurant Brands International Inc

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One of the world's largest fast-food restaurant companies. It uses prison labor at its restaurants and has prison labor in its supply chain. 

Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI) is one of the world's largest fast-food restaurant companies in the world, with some 30,000 owned or franchised restaurants in more than 100 countries. The company owns four fast-food restaurant brands: Burger King, Firehouse Subs, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, and Tim Hortons. In 2022, it employed approximately 6,400 people—while its franchisees employed more than 500,000—and generated $6.5 billion in revenue.

RBI uses incarcerated labor at its Burger King and Popeyes restaurants. According to a class-action lawsuit filed in December 2023, incarcerated individuals held in minimum-security prisons in Alabama are "leased" out and transported to day jobs at fast-food chains, including Burger King, KFC, McDonald's, and Wendy's. In Mississippi, incarcerated individuals held in "restitution centers," or halfway houses, work at Popeyes and other fast-food chains.

Under this "convict leasing" work scheme, incarcerated individuals are allegedly forced to work for Burger King, Popeyes, and other businesses that pay incarcerated workers wages lower than those required by law; impose long and and demanding work hours and sometimes unsafe conditions; and exploit such workers in other ways, knowing that they cannot refuse to work or raise concerns about workplace conditions without risking seriously disciplinary action, such as being returned to "more violent and life-threatening" prisons.

In addition, Burger King purchases food products from suppliers that source from prison labor programs. For example, cattle raised by people incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola)—a maximum-security prison located on the grounds of a former slave plantation—are processed at a slaughterhouse in Texas that supplies Burger King, Sam's Club, Tyson Foods, and other companies.

RBI's Ethics and Human Rights policies prohibit involuntary labor "of any kind" but do not ban all forms of prison labor.

Unless specified otherwise, the information in this page is valid as of
8 February 2024