How has Dunkin changed its business during COVID-19?

Dunkin' says it was one of the first chains to stop dine-in service

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dunkin' has shifted operations in order to stay viable while also safely catering to customers.

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While a vast majority of its shops throughout the country remain open, the company is limiting service to the drive-thru, carry-out, delivery, and curbside pick-up at select locations as a precaution, according to the company website.

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Additionally, guests can order and pay on the Dunkin' App for a contactless grab-and-go service, Dunkin' said. 

And, the company has encouraged guests to order ahead with the Dunkin’ App or order Dunkin’ for delivery with Grubhub and other delivery partners, "whenever possible" in an effort to limit contact between customers and staff.

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When the pandemic caused the first shelter-in-place orders to be issued, the company claimed it was one of the first chains to temporarily halt dine-in service operations at its shops while implementing national safety standards.

The company required hygiene training on restaurant sanitization disinfection practices. For instance, the company mandated that franchisees and their employees retake online food safety and hygiene training courses. Some locations even reduced their hours of operation to allow extra time for deep cleaning and disinfection, Dunkin' said.

DUNKIN' TO PERMANENTLY CLOSE 800 US STORES IN 2020, 8% OF US RESTAURANTS

In July, the company announced it joined the P&G Professional CleanPLUS Experience Program, ensuring that it's using Procter & Gamble Professional products to clean and disinfect restaurants especially as it prepared to reopen dining rooms in certain markets.

A person wears a protective face mask outside Dunkin' Donuts on July 14, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

All restaurant employees are required to wear face masks and single-use gloves "regardless of the task" during their shift. However, starting on Aug. 5, all of its customers will also be required to wear a face-covering while inside restaurants as the pandemic progresses.

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The company also implemented plexiglass guards at the front counter and provided franchisees with infrared thermometers to perform pre-shift employee health checks.

"We’re highly recommending franchisees conduct pre-shift employee health checks, including taking body temperatures using an FDA-cleared, infrared, no-touch thermometer," Dunkin' said, adding that it shipped the thermometers to every Dunkin’ U.S. restaurant.

The company has required social distancing and continues to "emphasize the importance of “work-circles” with employees. Employees are also encouraged to use trays to hand orders to guests at the drive-thru window, Dunkin' said.

For customers, there are markings on the floor of its restaurants to help guests stay at least six feet apart.

As an added precaution, the company noted that has temporarily suspended its refillable travel mug program and removed condiment stations.

"You have been there for us as loyal customers showing your passion and love for the brand," Dunkin said in a note to customers. "Our franchisees and their employees are committed to being there for you, serving you in the safest way possible and ensuring we are following all national, state and local guidelines."

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