I have been working at Dunkin' Donuts for over two years, and during this time, I have progressed from regular crew member to crew coach, and finally, to shift leader. Among my great skills involving the job is my ability to deal with stressful situations, including awful customers. My boss has continuously pointed out the fact that I am able to handle these people with grace and kindness. She herself often finds that she gets snippy with rude customers, but somehow I am able to keep a straight face through these tough times.
Most of the stressful people that come in are people that are just unaware of Dunkin' rules, especially the ones that visit via drive-thru.
There are some things that I'm sure every Dunkin' employee has wanted to tell the customers. Here is a list of things that Dunkin' Donuts workers want you to know. Read this, and you will become very well informed about the Dunkin' life!
1. There is a standard for the amount of cream and sugar.
Small is 2, medium is 3, large is 4, and extra-large is 5. If you ask for a small coffee with cream and sugar, and we repeat back two and two, don't correct us. We're right. (The same goes for the number of shots/swirls we put in.)
2. If you don't say whether your coffee is hot or iced, we assume it is hot.
We thrive on being fast, so it really drives us nuts when we have to remake a coffee because you never specified whether it was hot or iced. Tell us, or we won't know. We also lose money if we charged you for a hot and you wanted iced, which makes us even angrier.
3. Lattes are espresso and milk.
They don't come “light and sweet." They don't come with cream. The only choice you have is whole milk or skim milk, regular or decaf. We can add sugar if you like, but it isn't standard, so you have to ask if you want it.
4. “Regular" has more than one meaning.
A lot of people tend to order their coffee regular, then get mad when we ask exactly how their coffee is. To some people, “regular" refers to original blend, as opposed to decaf or dark roast. To others, it means hot rather than iced. And to others, it simply means regular cream and sugar. So just be specific and we will make it right.
5. Bagels, croissants, and English muffins, etc. are supposed to come toasted.
If you order a bagel with cream cheese, it will come toasted. It's standard. Make sure you tell us if you don't want it toasted, or else you will be disappointed and with a toasted bagel.
6. If you order a Coolatta, iced latte, or hot chocolate, tell us if you want whipped cream.
It doesn't come with it, and we are only supposed to give it upon request. Some people are nice and ask if you want it, but technically we are supposed to withhold it unless you request it.
7. Combos go by meat, not bread.
For example, at my Dunkin' a #5 is a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel and a #7 is a ham, egg, and cheese English muffin. If you want bacon, egg, and cheese on an English muffin, don't order the #7 with bacon, order the #5 on an English muffin. The meat makes the combo, not the bread.
8. If the combo comes with hash browns, and you order the combo, it comes with hash browns.
As my boss always says, they wouldn't ask you at McDonald's if you wanted fries with your number 5. A combo number comes with them, just like most of Dunkin's combos come with hash. If you don't want the hash browns, don't order it by number, order it by the sandwich. It's not a combo number if you're not getting the combo.
9. Flavored cream isn't a thing.
We don't have 10 different flavored creams that we pour into your coffee. It's a flavor shot, and we put it in before adding the coffee. Also, we don't have ten different pots of different flavors. We would waste so much coffee that way.
10. There is no such thing as “half" a sugar or cream.
Every Dunkin' uses machinery to dispense cream, milk, and sugar. If you ask for half a cream, and someone tells you that's what you're getting, they're lying. Unless they pour it out, which they might do if they don't care about speed, you are getting one cream. It's a machine with predetermined settings. Same goes for sugar. Don't be mean about it, we're just being honest.
11. Decaf coffee still has caffeine in it.
I repeat, DECAF COFFEE STILL HAS CAFFEINE IN IT. I hate when people use the excuse that they're allergic to caffeine in order to get decaf coffee. If you're allergic to caffeine, don't drink it at all, because decaf doesn't mean caffeine-free. It's just a reduced amount. However, if you want decaf, just order it. We will give it to you.
12. We are on a timer.
Every Dunkin's success is measured by how fast their drive-thru is. The Dunkin' I work at is the fastest in our company, which is comprised of over 300 Dunkin' Donuts in the Eastern United States. We work hard for that timer. Please do not mess it up with large orders. If you don't know what you want, just come inside. You won't be rushed, and you will be able to look carefully at all of our products and really think about what you want.
13. You don't need to talk to the manager for everything.
Although the manager does need to deal with large issues, not everything needs to be solved by addressing them. My boss becomes annoyed when a customer demands to talk to her when she's busy, and then discovers that it was an easily fixable situation. We have crew coaches and shift leaders that are capable of fixing drinks, giving refunds, etc. We will tell our manager anything that they need to know, but not all problems require a manager in order to be fixed.
14. We are not Starbucks.
While Dunkin' has introduced Americanos and Macchiatos, we still do not offer the same products as Starbucks. We do not carry frappucinos, grande or venti sizes, or anything that's “skinny." But we do have some equivalents. Coolattas come in coffee flavors. You can get small, medium, large, or sometimes extra large beverages. We have latte lites, which are made with skim milk. If you are a Starbucks regular and want to try something similar, just ask and we can recommend something to you.
15. We are required to up-sell.
People always get frustrated when we offer them food with their coffee or drinks with their food. We have a job to do, and I don't want to get yelled at because you don't want to be asked if you would like to try a donut. I just want to do my job right.
16. We hate when you talk on the phone in the drive-thru.
Don't do it. Just don't. It's rude, disrespectful, and annoying. It also makes it difficult to keep our time low.
17. Don't have a passenger order.
It is super difficult to hear them, so it's best just to have the driver say whatever the rest of the car wants.
18. If we repeat something back, please listen.
You don't want the wrong coffee. We don't want to remake a coffee. If you listen when we repeat the order back, we can ensure you get what you want. I can't stress this one more; so many people drive off without ever listening to a word the order taker says. If you listen, then we can make sure you get exactly what you want!
19. Respect the store policies.
Different stores have different rules. My store forbids more than one order via drive-thru. We are also required to charge for extra cups and cups of water. Please don't fight back or complain — 99.9% of the time you are talking to someone who has no control over the rules. We just want to keep our jobs.
20. Fill out the surveys.
At the bottom of every receipt, there is a link to a survey online. Fill that out, and you can get a free donut (or whatever other product your local Dunkin' offers). Please do these; it may seem like a simple thing, but it means the world to us to know what we are doing right (or wrong).
Overall, respect and common sense go a long way. We try our best to offer the best service possible, but it can be difficult when customers do not know the basics. If you follow these simple tips and go in knowing your stuff, we appreciate it way more than you know. Just try to stay light and sweet!