Dunkin' announced it would remove all tables and chairs from its restaurants to prevent the congregation of customers and encourage social distancing, a public health practice recommended to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The restaurants will pivot to an off-premise format and make a series of other changes in light of the pandemic.
Dunkin' is joining a growing list of restaurant brands, like McDonald's, Starbucks and Chipotle, that have halted dine-in services while at the same time state and local governments across the country have begun mandating that restaurants close and move to delivery, takeout and curbside pickup.
"As we navigate through the challenges of COVID-19, I want to reiterate our commitment to the health and safety of our guests, franchisees, employees, and the communities we serve," said Dave Hoffmann, Dunkin' Brands CEO, in a news release. "We are continuing our legacy of being there when people need us most by taking additional steps to be a safe and welcoming environment during all of this uncertainty. We are grateful for the dedication of our franchisees and crew, who make our brand stand tall every day."
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A majority of transactions at Dunkin' restaurants are already carry-out orders, the company said. But the company will encourage app use to limit interactions further, promote delivery service via Grubhub and other delivery partners where available, expand curbside services, and reduce hours to give employees relief and to allow for deep cleaning and sanitation processes in the evening.
Dunkin' franchisees are also being given the option to temporarily close locations in markets where there are other Dunkin' restaurants nearby.
"For more than 70 years, Dunkin' has been at the heart of the communities we serve, keeping America running and taking care of our guests," Hoffman said. "We are grateful for the dedication of our franchisees and crew members who make our brand stand tall every day. We're continuing our legacy of being there when people need us most by taking these additional steps to be your place of comfort during all of this uncertainty."
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