Dunkin’ offers free donuts but fails to meet safety expectations

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Allison Raisner

A Dunkin' package arrived like this during their "free delivery" promotion.

Free donuts.

These two words can instantly spark a feeling of joy and satisfaction for almost anyone. 

Dunkin’ Donuts opened a store a few miles away from Carlmont about two years ago. Since then, it’s become a hub for Carlmont students. 

It was common to see teens roaming the halls with their iced coffees or bringing donuts into their classes. However, this changed with the rise of coronavirus. 

Once coronavirus hit the restaurant industry, Dunkin’ began to take some precautions. 

Their store hours shortened and in-person purchases were no longer available. This encouraged more customers to get the Dunkin’ app and join their rewards program. 

Part of the DD Rewards was free donut Fridays that started in March. The company later extended the promotion to go through April. The manager at the San Carlos store suspects this promotion was to encourage people to get the app and join the rewards program, building customer clientele. 

This was successful in encouraging customers to place a mobile order during the shelter-in-place. The store manager noticed an increase in drink sales on Fridays, as the promotion offers a free donut with the purchase of a drink.

“I got an email promoting Free Donut Friday last Thursday. We haven’t really eaten out since shelter-in-place took effect, so we thought it would be fun to get donuts and coffee for the family,” said Becky Scott, a Carlmont mom.  

 

However, Scott was surprised by the lack of precautions Dunkin’ took when preparing their order. The store was empty, but not all employees were wearing masks.

“I was surprised. No one had on gloves,” Scott said. 

Since her purchase, Dunkin’ tweeted that masks will now be required for employees to wear. 

Scott made sure to wipe down all the drinks and donuts, but she was disappointed with the overall experience.

“Typical of the Dunkin’ in San Carlos, our order wasn’t correct. They were out of glazed donuts and whole milk for the latte as well as the beverage carriers,” Scott said.

She said that her family opted to go into the store, but free delivery was offered as well.

The promotion emails read: “Get FREE, contactless delivery of orders of $10 or more with Grubhub.”

The store manager noted the increase in delivery sales as opposed to in-store pickups, although there are benefits to going into the store.

“Overall, I’m glad I went to the store to pick up our order versus having it delivered. I could see first-hand how the food and beverages were prepared and handled. Something you can’t do when it arrives on your doorstep,” Scott said.