Dunkin Donuts Has Gone Stale

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I grew up with Dunkin Donuts. So much so that I still view competitor Krispy Kreme as a poor imitation (and still don’t like all the glaze they use on nearly all their flavors). However, I’ve had to come to the realization that this view may need to be relegated to the confines of pure nostalgia. The current state of Dunkin Donuts is nothing short of a disaster.

Back in their history Dunkin Donuts could be relied on for having the freshest donuts along with the widest selection of varieties. Their commercials focused on a poor, over-worked baker, always having to drop what he was in the middle of enjoying, to go make more donuts. For much of their existence this meant every six hours (at 6am, 12pm, 6pm and 12am).

Dunkin Donuts locations were, for the most part, clean, efficient, and staffed by people who understood customers and the business.

Then something changed. Here’s where the post is going to become questionable and not politically correct, and to be frank, I don’t care.

Dunkin Donuts decided that they needed to grow — exponentially. They started offering up franchises, and for some reason the overwhelming majority of the franchises (including the original locations) were bought up by families whose English leaves a lot to be desired. The brand has not been the same since.

I have several Dunkin Donuts around me. When I go to them now the staff rarely understand me. It’s a battle to order the most basic of things. How anyone in retail can’t understand common English just, frankly, baffles me.

Just today a family member mentioned that they wanted to get an order put in for work for tomorrow morning. Dunkin Donuts allows you to fax in orders. She called the first location and the person said she was too busy to give her the number and hung up. At the second location a staffer answered the phone and said, “Fax? I’m new here. I don’t know fax. You call back later” and hung up. The third location asked her to call back at 11 o’clock. She asked, “PM?” The response was, “Yes, PM.” When she asked why so late the person said, “No, 11 tomorrow.” When she pointed out the order was for tomorrow morning the response was, “Call back at 11 pm.

Not only is interaction a problem but the variety is no longer there. Of the last dozen visits I’ve made, I’ve not found more than a smattering of options. Virtually all the donuts I want are always sold-out. In the rare cases where I have found them, they’ve turned out to be stale. I see commercials about new breakfast sandwiches, improved coffee, and other attempts to improve the chain, but then I pause and think, “What’s the point if no one there can get the order right, or provide the selections in the way they’re supposed to be presented?”

How a company can allow this sort of downward spiral in their brand I just don’t understand. Dunkin Donuts used to be reliable and enjoyable. Now I don’t even bother. I’d rather just get boxed donuts from the supermarket. At least I know what to expect from them.

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5 Comments

  1. I am a donut lover. I recently went to a Dunkins in Bristol, RI. They had few donuts left but from far away, they looked pretty good.

    So I got an Apple-N -Spice donut…my girlfriend treated me to it. We got outside, and I grabbed it out of the bag. It was small and hard. ..

    I bit into it anyway and it was stale.

    I know I shouldn’t be buying donuts anymore because I’m pushing 50. I’ve even gone to see a nutritionist, who I made the complaint about Dunkins and she said they don’t make them on the spot anymore, they just truck the donuts in.

    I might try it again…but as our ex-president famously said:

    “Fool me once…shame on me…Fool me twice…won’t get fooled again!

  2. I won’t be politically correct as people have become waaay too sensitive these days and need to hear it the way it is. It’s time to turn the tide. If you are easily offended, f**k off.

    The reason Dunkin Donuts has gone down the crapper is painfully obvious and if you don’t see it, you need to have your eyes checked. It is because of all the new immigrants that are now running them all across America. It is as if when imigrating to the US from Pakistan the final check off on the list is “…and here is you complimentary Dunkin Donuts, welcome the the United States. Have a great stay”.

    The Pakistani, Indians, whoever running them now have no work ethic (time to make the donuts), customer service skills or let along a grasp of the English language. This is absolutely unacceptable for a company that has franchises around the world. They are simply limping by on their great reputation from yesteryear. Sorry but the way it’s going, they aren’t going to last too long.

    I also have fond Dunkin Donuts memories. In simpler times (the 70’s and 80’s) when I was kid my parents would surprise us to a dozen assortment of fresh donuts. I even have fond memories as an adult where every morning I would, along with many others, stop off at DD’s to get a cup of their addictive coffee and maybe a dozen for the office. Every now and then on Sundays, I would get up before the kids and go out to get a dozen. I’m only talking 2003 here. I saw the writing on the wall as both of the DDs were run by Pakistani’s but they seemed to actually care. Maybe it was because we were still reeling from 9/11.

    Anyway, I moved to Australia in 2004 and haven’t really been back since. In Australia they don’t quite appreciate the donut as much as Americans do so Krispy Kreme came out and did a number on the Aussies with their sugary, expensive donuts. I don’t think Aussies will ever get it now. Thanks KK!

    So a month ago I go on a vacation back to America with a longing for a Dunkin Donuts coffee and some donuts. Me and my wife were shocked at what we found as I had been talking Dunkin Donuts up and it was nothing like I remembered or described. It was as if I had taken a trip on a time machine and found a not so bright future. It was horrible. In NYC (midtown)the DD’s was dirty, had absolutely no selection (at 9am in the morning!!) and the coffee she made was absolute crap!! How can you screw up a Dunkin Donuts coffee?! Same thing in LA, PA and NJ! Eventually I gave simply gave up. I would walk by one, see who was running it and walk on by. It’s a shame.

    I still have the fond memories but I realize that the Dunkin Donuts of today is in name only. A shell. The one from my memories died awhile ago. Hopefully they retire the ‘Time to make the donuts’ commericials because the ethic and actual act of making fresh donuts no longer apply.

    Rest In Peace.

  3. Thanks for the comment. I believe you overstated the situation a bit as I’ve encountered MANY hard-working Asian and Mid-Easterners who have come here. However, this does not seem to have happened at Dunkin Donuts. It’s as if Dunkin Donuts has the lowest barrier to getting a franchise. The last time I was in one near my home (in New Jersey) ALL the donuts were stale and the ice cream they served all had heavy freezer burn (served anyway).

    I have had one exception in, of all places, center city Philadelphia where I thought things would go poorly at a shoddy-looking Dunkin Donuts being staffed by a single east-Asian. I was shocked to find a wide assortment of varieties and all of them quite fresh and this was at 9pm at night or so.

    Maybe it’s just the few of us but I prefer it when strong brands from my past find a way to move forward and keep the reputation intact. There are just too many IBM’s, RCA’s and Dunkin Donuts these days for my tastes.

  4. I’ve bought doughnuts from there like 8 times over the past decade and every single time Ive gone there, I get stale doughnuts hoping next time they will be fresh. How the hell can they stay in business!?! Just Google “Dunkin Doughnuts stale” and this post and many come up. I hope they go outof business! BOYCOTT!!!

  5. I’m glad it’s not only me lamenting the loss of the Dunkin’ Donuts of the past. The elimination of in-store bakeries was the first death knell, and the poor selection of stale Donuts is the second. I’m done with them. You’re better off going to the Entenmann’s endcap at the supermarket, although that’s not what it used to be either!

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