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.