Dunkin’ Donuts Investigates Store Incident

By Pamela Klier-Weidner
Director of Development and Communications, JCUA

Pamela Klier-WeidnerThe executive suite at Dunkin’ Brands is looking into a blatant example of racism I wrote about earlier this month on JCUA’s newsblog.

In that post, I described taking my daughters to a Chicago area Dunkin’ Donuts store last October. After reading my blog entry, Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. (parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts) asked me for more details about the incident.

In a time when some big corporations seem insensitive to public input, it’s nice to know there are other companies that monitor social media and respond.

Dunkin’ Brands is serious about publicly resolving the issue, their representative told me, and they are currently investigating the situation I described. In fact, I was told that the company’s CEO, Nigel Travis, is personally involved in this investigation.

You have to appreciate their quick response and willingness to look into what happened.

What my kids and I witnessed really was egregious behavior of one of their franchisees. I’m looking forward to hearing what the company finds out in their investigation — and what they’re going to do about it.

We certainly hope they can take some kind of concrete action to ensure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.

This incident is only one example of a much larger social issue.

Through their actions or lack thereof, corporations facilitate racism, intolerance and marginalization of minorities. From JCUA’s perspective, as a social justice organization, we believe that corporations in America have a responsibility to their stakeholders, not just their shareholders. That includes the people who buy their donuts and their power drills.

We have recently seen such corporate irresponsibility in the case of Lowe’s, who gave in to the demands of an Islamophobic group that pressured them to withdraw their advertising from a TV show about Muslims in America.

Corporations can and must be a contributor to a thriving diverse society.

Dunkin’ Brands has an opportunity to set a good example. I hope they seize it. And when they do, we’ll gladly tell you what they did.

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2 Responses to Dunkin’ Donuts Investigates Store Incident

  1. Nancy says:

    Obviously, corporate personality varies by franchise; I want to compliment the Dunkin Donuts around the corner from my house in Hyde Park for what seems to be a compassionate and tolerant attitude. An all-night fast food place offers tempting to shelter to those with no place else to go — but many all-night establishments push such people along rudely and hastily. The 53rd St. Dunkin Donuts appears more compassionate: I have been in there early in the morning and seen the staff gently waking people asleep at the tables, asking them to move on to make room for morning customers. I’m not sure if that’s official policy (hope I’m not getting some well-intentioned night crew in trouble), but I patronize the place more because of their caring attitude.

  2. That’s fantastic that Dunkin’ is taking this so seriously. We can’t move forward past racism without people like you taking a stand, and institutions like Dunkin’ responding to our concerns.

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