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6 Warnings From Dunkin' Employees

Here's what you need to know before you grab your next coffee or breakfast treat.

Whether you're looking to get your coffee fix or want a quick and easy breakfast, Dunkin' serves as a convenient option for those on the go. Since it was founded in 1950, the chain has grown to over 8,500 locations, shelling out tasty beverages and delicious donuts across 41 states. But just as with every major franchise, the hardworking staff have some inside information you might want to know about before you make your next run. Read on for six warnings from Dunkin' employees.

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The staff might be taking some shortcuts.

The exterior signage of a Dunkin' Donuts location
Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

Besides the number of locations in certain areas of the U.S., part of Dunkin's appeal is that you can place your favorite order across any of their restaurants and expect to get the same thing. However, in a Reddit AMA discussing their jobs, some staff have admitted to cutting corners when things get hectic.

"I'm the only employee who makes sure decaf is decaf," Dunkin' employee and Reddit user Annual_Chain_3341 posted on the thread. "Also, my location just puts an espresso shot in regular coffee instead of brewing Midnight," referring to the darker roast offered by the chain.

Others have admitted they took the same shortcuts—but not intentionally.

"It took a year in for me to find out that Midnight coffee beans existed and were in the back," a Dunkin employee with the Reddit username ThisGuyBlah posted in a thread. "Even the manager just poured espresso in the coffee, so I had no idea."

You shouldn't order donuts after a specific time.

dunkin donuts donuts, state slang

Even though Dunkin' may have officially dropped the "Donuts" part of its name years ago, the chain is still beloved for its sweet treats as well as its coffee. But if you're indulging your sweet tooth, some workers caution that you might want to get it in earlier in the day.

In a Reddit AMA thread, a Dunkin' employee with the username Global_Ad_1170 says they wouldn't eat any donuts after 2 p.m.—especially during the summer.

"They get so gross because they've been sitting out and it's hot. After 2 p.m., they've been out for 8-to-10 hours (depending on when your store opens) in the heat, so I promise you don't want them."

Another employee shared the same opinion.

"Dunkin' changed their policies on donuts a while ago by extending the time we're allowed to sell them by an extra 12 hours," Reddit user and Dunkin' employee erand5 said in an AMA thread. "I wouldn't recommend buying donuts past noon at most Dunkin' stores."

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You can't score free donuts just by going near closing time.

Dunkin' drive-thru

Even if you're willing to consume half-day-old donuts, some employees warn that you won't necessarily be able to save them from the dumpster at the end of the day.

"We're not allowed to hand out donuts at closing so we end up throwing them in the trash," Dunkin' employee and Reddit user kkgyo explained in an AMA thread.

However, you might be able to hold out hope if you choose the right location.

"If you're lucky, some stores will still hand them out if the manager doesn't care," they said, adding that the chain's "Free Donut Day" is always a genuinely good option otherwise.

Your cold drinks might be more watery during a major rush.


Most Dunkin' locations know how to handle the daily breakfast rush that comes when they open. But if you've ever noticed that your favorite iced drink seems a little diluted, you might be on to something.

"Our ice boxes are not temp controlled, so as the ice melts, the water collects at the bottom, and it'll end up in the scoop," kkgyo explained in their AMA. "This causes there to be water at the bottom. When it gets really busy, we don't really have time to drain the bucket or drain the cup, so we end up just making the coffee, although we try our hardest not to."

But that doesn't mean you have to suffer: If you're ever unhappy with how your order has turned out and you have the time, they say it's perfectly acceptable to come back around and very politely ask for a re-do.

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Those fresh-tasting donuts aren't always made on-site.

dunkin donuts store in manhattan

Your tasty morning donuts and bagels might taste fresh, but that doesn't mean they were actually made on-site. You might be disappointed to learn that your favorite baked goods are manufactured elsewhere.

"Everything pretty much comes frozen (including the donuts—which are finished in-store by adding filling/frosting/etc.)," Dunkin' employee and Reddit user c0sm0c0w explained in an AMA. "[But] our ovens are around 550 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's easy and quick to warm up (or burn) whatever you'd like."

There's a reason your frozen drink orders may feel inconsistent.

international dunkin store in china airport

No matter which chain you're visiting, nothing is worse than placing your regular order and being disappointed with the results. Unfortunately, in a Reddit AMA thread, a Dunkin' employee with the username beniswashere explained to one concerned customer that this likely has to do with "human error" that occurs while getting your beverage ready at one of their locations.

"It's pretty hard to make the same drink the same way every time," they say. "Especially with frozen drinks where you mostly have to measure the amount of each ingredient by eye."

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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