retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Boston Globe reports on how a Dunkin’ Donuts in Baltimore got into hot water when the manager put out a sign by the cash registers asking customers to report any employee heard “‘shouting in a language other than English’ … The store’s general manager offered customers a coupon for free coffee and a pastry in return.”

A photo of the sign posted on social media “resulted in a online uproar as national news outlets picked up the story and social media users criticized the sign as xenophobic. Some even threatened boycotts.”

In a statement, Dunkin’ Donuts said that “the sign was posted by the franchise’s general manager ‘based on her own personal judgment to ensure standards are being met.’ However, the franchisee ‘determined her approach was inappropriate and confirmed the sign has been removed’.”

Inappropriate is right. And, in its own way, Eye-Opening.

Beyond the fact that “Dunkin’ Brands has stated in the past that it is committed to ‘creating an inclusive workplace’,” it seems to me that it takes a special kind of managerial arrogance to pit your customers against your employees. A store - any store - is only as good as its employees. Shouting never is a great thing, unless, of course, it is in the interest of getting customers what they want.

Bad idea. This is not how you lead.
KC's View: