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National Restaurant Association - Dunkin' Donuts: NYC beverage ban will affect business

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Dunkin' Donuts: NYC beverage ban will affect business

Dunkin Donuts is one of the many chains that would be affected if the New York City health department approves Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to ban sugar-sweetened drinks above 16 ounces at foodservice establishments throughout the area. Recently, Bob Wiggins, regional vice president, Dunkin' Donuts Central Atlantic, discussed the situation with the National Restaurant Association.

How would the proposed beverage ban in New York affect your franchisees?
The proposed beverage ban would definitely affect our franchisees in New York City both financially and operationally. Dunkin' Donuts would not be able to sell several beverages in sizes over 16 ounces, including sweetened hot and iced beverages, sweetened hot and iced tea, hot chocolate, Dunkaccino coffees with flavored toppings and some frozen beverages such as Coolatta frozen drinks and Frozen Coffee. Also, as part of the proposed ban, Dunkin' Donuts crewmembers would not be allowed to add sweetener to beverages larger than 16 ounces.

What difficulties would be involved in complying with the ban?
Operationally, the biggest change would affect how coffee is served. At Dunkin' Donuts, we make guests' coffee just the way they like it, by adding dairy and sweetener for them to help them get on their way, fast and quickly. Because of the proposed ban, guests would have to add sweetener themselves.

How many operators are affected by this proposed ban?
Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins restaurants are almost 100-percent franchised, meaning our restaurants are owned and operated by independent business owners. These franchisees own and operate approximately 478 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in New York City, and 196 of those locations are Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins combination shops. There are also five standalone Baskin-Robbins shops in New York City.

How much sales tax revenue would the city and the state stand to lose if the ban is implemented?
While we are unable to disclose figures specific to Dunkin' Donuts, we believe the city and state stand to lose millions of dollars of tax revenue when the proposed ban goes into effect.

What does the ban mean for business, especially small businesses, in an already challenged economy?
We believe that Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to eliminate the people's right to purchase beverages in sizes of their choice is not in the public's interest and is not an appropriate or ideal solution for curbing obesity in New York City. At Dunkin' Donuts, we offer a wide range of product choices in various sizes and flavors that fit any of our guests' lifestyles and meet their dietary preferences. We strongly encourage our guests to make decisions that are right for them. We also believe forcing customers to purchase smaller beverages will negatively impact small business owners, like our franchisees, who are still dealing with a challenging economy. Placing another burden on their businesses is not the way to go.

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