The Real Reason Inconsistent Orders At Dunkin' Might Be Unavoidable

You pull into the long Dunkin' drive-thru line, craving the perfect cup of coffee, made just the way you order it every single day on your way to work. Whether you want cream, sugar, the darkest roast served up hot and black, or your own secret menu item, your expectation is that each day will begin with that same cup of coffee. Obviously, that's not always the case. If you visit a different Dunkin' location, you may discover that your coffee tastes different, or you may end up paying a different amount. What's the deal?

Coffee enthusiast Niya Doyle explains her frustration with Dunkin's coffee this way: "One Dunks might automatically put sugar in your coffee so you never have to ask for it, while another one doesn't. Another Dunks might charge you an extra 5 cents for the same drink you ordered down the street!" And seriously, don't go down the Dunkin' Subreddit path on the topic of price fluctuations unless you've got some time to burn. Munchkin buyers reported that a three-pack of the tasty treats varied from $.99 in New York to $3.99 in Chicago.

Why is every Dunkin' different?

Every Dunkin' location is a franchise. The franchise is an interesting and often vexing proposition. In exchange for a relatively modest investment, franchise owners become part of a big brand, with all the visibility that brand possesses. Consumers expect consistency from one location to the next, and that's just not always the case.

That inconsistency doesn't sit well with all Dunkin' customers. One such customer, Danielle Valencia, even went so far as to start a petition to standardize procedures across the brand's franchises. She wrote, "Join me in demanding consistency. Every item should have a specific process on how to make it the same each and every time."

Dunkin' does offer training and support for its franchise owners, but individual policies, procedures, and pricing are at each owner's discretion. The author of the Munchkins post on the Dunkin' Subreddit followed up with the company's response to her pricing query. She wrote, "So basically Dunkin's response was franchisees can set their own prices." If location variation frustrates you, there's always the DIY option.