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11 Secrets Dunkin' Doesn't Want You to Know

Former employees spill the beans on common practices at the coffee chain.
FACT CHECKED BY Meaghan Cameron

There's a lot to love about the chain formerly known as Dunkin' Donuts, now officially just called Dunkin'. Many of their coffees are consistently rated as better than comparable drinks from competitor Starbucks, according to People, and their beverage prices are usually better, too.

In terms of food at Dunkin', you can select from wraps and sandwiches, bagels and muffins, and of course a whole lot of donuts—name change notwithstanding. And you can get their celebrated coffee in ground form or single-serve pods, so you can brew your own joe at home. All that good stuff said, there are also plenty of things the staff at a Dunkin' shop (and the execs behind the billion-dollar brand) would surely prefer you didn't know. Recently former employees have spilled the beans on some of the questionable things that happen at Dunkin' locations. Here are 11 secrets about the coffee chain that you never knew. (Plus, come back to read 30 Secrets Starbucks Employees Wish You Knew.)

1

The beloved 'sweet cold foam' is just Reddi-Wip.

Shutterstock

In a viral video released by a disgruntled employee quitting a job at Dunkin', it was revealed that the chain's popular "sweet cold foam" used to top myriad drinks is nothing more than plain, old  Reddi-Wip, as reported by Newsweek.

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2

The stores throw away a lot of food.

Shutterstock

According to yet another video posted by a former employee, at the end of the day, a typical Dunkin' throws out a lot of perfectly edible food. What's worse is that company policy bans the donating of that food to the homeless, and in fact doing just that is apparently what got the young man in question terminated from his job at Dunkin', according to Daily Dot. (Many stores do partner with charitable organizations, for the record, but direct donations to the homeless are apparently not permitted.)

RELATED: 8 Secrets Wendy's Doesn't Want You to Know

3

The Coffee Cake Muffin has more calories than a Big Mac.

dunkin coffee cake muffin
Courtesy of Dunkin'

This muffin may be delicious, but it's really not worth the brief pleasure your tastebuds will reap, not when you'd have to jog about six miles to burn off its calories, according to Podium Runner. The Coffee Cake Muffin has about 590 calories and 24 grams of fat (note the eight grams of saturated fat, too), and 370 milligrams of sodium. Muffins are notoriously one of the worst baked goods to eat.

RELATED: The Unhealthiest Restaurant Desserts

4

If you brew store-bought Dunkin' coffee at home it will probably taste different.

coffee maker
Shutterstock

According to a self-described former regional manager of Dunkin', the beans in the store are fresh because they do not have to go through the whole packaging process, which can take up to a month. The person also claims that the beans are a mix of store beans and lower-quality beans.

RELATED: The #1 Worst Drink Order at Dunkin', According to an RD

5

Two popular syrups may be identical.

Dunkin Pink Velvet Macchiato
Courtesy of Dunkin'

According to the same TikTok video that purportedly revealed the sweet cold foam to be Reddi-Wip, the French Vanilla Swirl and Pink Velvet Swirl sauces are the exact same thing, albeit with different food colorings added. The video has garnered millions of views, so that secret is out.

RELATED: 5 Foods You'll Never See at Dunkin' Again

6

It's easy to get a free donut

dozen dunkin donuts in box
Julia Guerra/Eat This, Not That!

Almost every transaction you complete at a Dunkin' could lead to your getting a free donut, according to So Yummy. All you need to do is take the time to fill out the survey noted at the bottom of your receipt, print out proof you completed it (or keep the proof on your phone), and bring it to a Dunkin' for your free treat.

RELATED: The Best Donut in Every State

7

Coffee is discarded after just 18 minutes.

Dunkin donuts coffee cup and doughnut
Pere Rubi/Shutterstock

While of course, the intention here is to only provide customers only the freshest coffee, the fact that Dunkin' employees are obliged to dump out any unsold coffee after just 18 minutes is a terrible example of waste. And indeed this is official policy, even stated in the more arcane corners of the company's website.

RELATED: 6 Coffee Habits That Help With Weight Loss, Dietitians Say

8

The donuts are not baked on location.

dunkin donuts
Courtesy of Dunkin'

Dunkin' may want you to think their donuts are super fresh but they've got nothing on, say, Subway bread, which is indeed baked in the stores. Dunkin's donuts, on the other hand, are delivered to the store via truck at five in the morning, every morning, according to Chicago Business.

RELATED: The Best & Worst Menu Items at Dunkin' Donuts

9

The Caramel Swirl Frozen Coffee with Cream – has almost half your daily calories.

Dunkin Donuts frozen coffee
Courtesy of Dunkin' Donuts

This drink should be avoided at all costs, frankly. It packs in a shocking 860 calories, some 30 grams of fat, and delivers 17 grams of saturated fat, which is eight grams more saturated fat than an adult should consume all day, according to the Cleveland Clinic. What's more, these stats are not for an extra-large size Caramel Swirl Frozen Coffee with Cream beverage, but for a medium. Consult the calorie counts before sipping any of the frozen coffees. Many are just not worth the calorie price.

10

You can customize almost anything on the menu.

dunkin menu signs
Shutterstock

 

According to a not actually disgruntled former Dunkin' employee, the "beverages and sandwiches are completely customizable based on a guest's individual preferences," so don't be afraid to ask for changes, according to Pop Sugar. The employees may grumble a bit, but they can get it done for you.

RELATED: We Tried 12 Donuts from Dunkin' & This Is the Best One

11

The DD Perks Rewards Program provides freebies.

Dunkin' donuts perks
Courtsey of Instagram/@DunkinDonuts

Of course, Dunkin' wants you to take part in their loyalty program, but they would probably prefer you not make perfect use of it, as that can mean a free beverage with every $40 you spend. So if you spend $10 a day at Dunkin' on a coffee, donut, and breakfast sandwich on weekdays, by Friday you will have a coupon.

12

There is a secret menu

Dunkin' donuts national donut day box
Dunkin'/Facebook

Like many restaurant chains, Dunkin' does have a so-called "Secret Menu" but it is frankly not very popular, according to Spoon University. The featured items are apparently all beverages, and none seem so popular as to stir up a fraction of the excitement the standard menu does.

 

Read more about your favorite coffee chains:

The Best & Worst Coffee Brands in 2021—Ranked!

This Popular Coffee Chain Is Currently Outperforming Starbucks and Dunkin'

The Best & Worst New Coffee Drinks This Fall, Dietitian Says

Steven John
Steven John is a freelancer writer for Eat This, Not That! based just outside New York City. Read more