Curious Rules That Dunkin' Donuts Workers Have To Follow

May 12, 2021Luísa Santos

Hello, there, fellow Dunkin' Donuts lovers! Given a chance, would you consider working at your favorite coffee-and-donut house? If you do, please know that Dunkin' Donuts' workers have to follow some pretty weird rules—weirder than the genius that decided it was a good idea to make a hole on the donut's dough. Let's say that some of the rules are just ... too unique. Yes, we stand by that, so let's read them all!

Image Credits: Instagram/mycherrylipsblog

Welcome To Open Kettle

In its original iteration, Dunkin’ Donuts was called Open Kettle. Sadly, since the brand was named Dunkin' Donuts, no more coffee was sold at just $0.10—like it was in the good old days. The business grew larger and larger, to the point that more coffee is sold rather than donuts. So why not change the brand's name to Dunkin' Coffee?


Dunkin' Coffee

"America runs on Dunkin" appears to be a fairly accurate statement. This is true when you consider there are more than 8,500 Dunkin locations across the country. About sixty percent of the chain's annual revenue comes from coffee—you know the saying, "May your coffee be strong, and your Monday be short." So, Dunkin' Coffee seems a pretty accurate name for the chain. 

Image Credits: Instagram/dunkindonuts_usa

Only Dunkin', Please

Dunkin' may have originally been known for its donuts, but these days, it's a fast-food establishment with breakfast sandwiches galore. In 2019, Dunkin officially changed its name to Dunkin' only. Is it so usual for people to dip their donuts into coffee these days? Or is the world focusing now on healthy foods and sugar-less vegan donuts? 

Image Credits: Instagram/dunkindonuts_usa

This Is A Coffee World

Healthy and fit foods are becoming a thing in our current world, but people still have a soft heart when it comes to coffee. Every year, Dunkin' sells about 2 billion cups of hot and iced coffee globally, and there are more than 15,000 different ways to order your coffee. No wonder why Dunkin workers have to follow a lot of strict and quite weird rules...

Image Credits: Instagram/dunkindonuts_usa

The Way You Present Yourself To The World

If you want to be the employee of the month at Dunkin, you have to remove your acrylic nails. Actually, it would help if you were as pale and boring as ever because Dunkin has an anti-fancy-nail policy outlined in its handbook. Let the donuts shine on their own, and don't you dare to steal their spotlight with your colorful nails! Shame on you, nail art lovers!

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No Need To Be Fabulous

Tell yourself the following: Your nails do not define you; your nails do not define you! It's a hard pill to swallow, but once you work for someone, you have no choice but to follow their rules. So instead of wasting your money on nail polish, invest in a good and big bottle of acetone—you can thank us later for this friendly advice. What? Do you think we are exaggerating?

Image Credits: Instagram/dunkin

The Nails Policy

Dunkin has an employee handbook—which, by the way, you can read online on those summery days—that precisely says that "Nail polish is limited to natural colors and may not be more than ½" long from the tip of the finger. Artificial nails, nail charms, or decals are not permitted." Well, just cut your fingernails, end of the problem. Oh, and laser your tattoos off too!

Image Credits: Instagram/dunkin

Bye-Bye Tat Guy

Do you have any visible tattoos? Good for you! You now know that you could never work on Dunkin' Donuts! Do you know what this means? That you're destined for greatness, and not for donuts! The starts aligned—not the ones you have on your elbow—to tell you that to work next to your beloved donuts, you have to use some makeup to cover your tattoos...

Image Credits: Instagram/littletattoosz

Nice And Smooth

Sorry to inform you that heavy makeup is a huge no-no in the unique world of Dunkin. So, if you want to impress your hot co-worker with your gorgeous red lips, think twice. You can still rock those lips in the comfort of your home because Dunkin will definitely fire you. If you think this rule is stupid, you better skip the next one. Or don't, and laugh a bit with us then!

Image Credits: Instagram/dunkin

Beautiful Jewelry

It's your first day of work—and probably your last—so you thought about wearing that amazing necklace your mother gave you when you turned 15. But do you know what goes really well with that necklace? A turtle neck shirt! You better wear that shirt with confidence! Even on the hottest days, your boss will love it! Ok, we got a bit carried away now, so let's check that famous handbook again.

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Natural Beauty?

"Necklaces must be worn under shirts," the book goes on to outline, "Watches and a single ring on each hand may be worn. Bracelets should be removed before starting a shift. Facial jewelry and tongue rings must be removed before the start of a shift." They better pay their employees a fair amount of money; otherwise, there's no need to apply for such a job. Believe us. Things can get even worse than this.

Image Credits: Instagram/michello.jello.eats

Fifty Shades Of Black

We don't know about you, but we love black clothes and will only stop wearing them when someone, somehow, comes with an even darker color—to suit our everyday mood, of course. Workers at Dunkin cannot wear colorful nails, but they cannot wear black jeans either! Hey Dunkin, we've got a call for you guys! Hello? Common sense, is that you?

Image Credits: Instagram/dunkin

Dress Code: Anything But Black Jeans

Almost every workplace has a dress code, and Dunkin is no different. If you want to work there, you better buy a pair—or two or thirty—of blue jeans. Actually, this is your only opportunity to channel Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake's all denim outfit! Or not, because Dunkin's signature white polo is a must in every haute-couture fashion show!

Image Credits: Instagram/dunkin

Smile, With Your Eyes

It's time to embrace your white polo and wear it with confidence! We don't quite understand why Dunkin thought the color white worked well in a coffee chain. Nevermind. Your mother will know how to get those coffee stains off your polo, don't you worry. Just remember to wear your brown apron and your beloved blue jeans! 

Image Credits: Imgur/FrozenFoodGuy

Blue Jeans, White Shirt

Blue jeans, white shirt, walked into the room. You know you made my eyes burn ... Thanks, Lana Del Rey, for that amazing song! This Lana song is going to be your new life motto if you intend to work at Dunkin. Their clothes policies are also quite strict, so you better be up to the task! Oh, and if you work at Dunkin, you know your freeing elf career is over...

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Dobby Isn't A Free Elf

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you know that handling elves a pair of socks is the correct way to release them in a free and fair world. Here's the metaphor: If you work at Dunkin, then you are the elf, sorry to inform you. The employee handbook clearly states that employees must wear socks at all times, and it's all about hygiene. Do you know why?

Image Credits: Instagram/dunkin

Healthy Feet

Wearing socks keeps your feet dry and healthy at all times! Actually, to maintain good foot hygiene, one must change their socks daily, don't you ever forget that. You can go and buy those avocado and pineapple socks and wear them with your best shoes! You know, those beautiful rubber-soled shoes your job requires you to buy...

Image Credits: Instagram/flower_dunkin

Special Shoes  

"We had to purchase a very, very ugly and specific shoe for the job. This might be standard for other food service jobs, this was the only one I ever had, but I remember going to the mall with the photo in my hand looking for it," a Dunkin' Donuts employee said. This rule might be odd, but, at least, it's reasonable and rational, don't you agree?

Image Credits: Instagram/dunkin_at

Say No To Broken Teeth

Rubber-soled shoes prevent you from falling, and coffee chains are known for having—ahem—a gross and slippery floor. So you better thank your boss for saving you a trip to the dentist or a sweet date with a plastic surgeon because face falls often result in broken noses. Enough with this nonsense. Let's talk training now! 

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What It Takes To Be The Very Best

Ok, this is the most serious and important part of this article. If you want to work at Dunkin, you need to learn the basics first. How? Do the same thing you did throughout your student life! Yes, watch some youtube tutorials! We are kidding, though there are some tutorials online that you can check in advance before your big interview day...

Image Credits: Instagram/karim.haidar

The Acronyms

First of all, they will teach you many acronyms like E.M.C., which stands for "egg meat cheese equation." Yes, we invented this, so, please, don't use it in your workplace. Jokes aside, this acronym is super useful and easy to remember, which is crucial for mastering Dunkin's required skills...

Image Credits: Instagram/dr.donuts_gourmet


C.A.R.E apparently means "greet, take an order, collect a payment, assemble an order, deliver, thank you and come again." We are still figuring out exactly how the letters translate, so if you happen to know the correct answer, please tell us in the comments below—thank you and come again! Do you like Dunkin's iced coffees? 

Image Credits: Instagram/jleung92

First Things First

Newbies generally learn how to make iced and hot coffee before becoming that coffee-skilled-gymnast that somehow makes the perfect drink in seconds. Iced and hot coffee drinks are not that complicated to make, so every new employee will, for sure, make one or two of those before mastering the art of...breakfast sandwiches.

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Sandwich Art

Breakfast is often described as the most important meal of the day; no wonder only more experienced workers are allowed to prepare and put together Dunkin's breakfast sandwiches. Yes, if you are a newbie, you cannot make a sandwich. Do you know why? No, it has nothing to do with the level of difficulty. Think again, please!

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A Subtle Reward

Let's think about it for a second. Preparing drinks or working at a drive-through is way more demanding than putting cheese inside a croissant. You'll have to work fast while dealing with moody customers that had a terrible day—and need a little donut boost ASAP. Why are experienced workers doing the "easy" work while newbies work at the front line?

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The Beautiful World Of Sandwiches

This Dunkin' Donut rule is a subtle way of rewarding senior workers for their daily effort and commitment to this coffee chain. Hoffman, a former Dunkin worker, admitted she never made it to breakfast-sandwich level, though she wanted to, like badly. We get you, Hoffman. Serving coffee is way more demanding than preparing hot breakfast sandwiches...

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Freshly Brewed

Dunkin' Donuts proudly proclaim that their coffee is "freshly ground, freshly brewed, and freshly served. If not used within 18 minutes, Dunkin' Donuts coffee is discarded, and a new carafe is freshly brewed." This is so good to know and not pathetic at all! The thing we don't understand is the apparent coffee science behind the magical number 18. Why wait 18 minutes and not 15, for example?

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Math Time

A Reddit user said that not all Dunkin stores have this 18-minute rule, though they are all super careful when it comes to fresh coffee. We guess it depends on the employee. Some follow the 18-minute rule, while others prefer to wait a bit longer. Let's see what Hoffman had to say to us about this matter. 

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The Magic Of Numbers

As Hoffman remembers, this rule was pretty strictly adhered to at her branch in Parma, Ohio. Hoffman recalled an actual timer on the coffee carafe, and whenever it would ring, an employee was charged with pouring it out and refreshing it. That's precisely what happens when we work out at the gym, but when the timer rings, we leave for good. Let's talk love now!

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Love Always Wins

...or not. Dunkin wants you all to understand that falling in love with a co-worker is completely normal, but one of you has to go. Apparently, it's too much to handle, so focus on the coffee instead of focusing on your partner—we guess. You do know that distance makes the heart grow fonder. So is Dunkin your cupid now? And should you respect it at all costs?

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Missing Someone?

Spending eigh-hours with the same person will probably make your heart skip a beat or two. Oh, and if that person knows how to make the perfect coffee, what are you waiting for? Just move into another Dunkin store and let the love game begin—from a distance, that is. Too weird? Perhaps...

Image Credits: Instagram/urnovafoodie

Weird Things Happen All The Time

Do you think this policy is stupid and strange? We do too. But it's written on their employee handbook, so it should come as no surprise to you all. Prepare yourself to read the best employee novel of all time! Who knew Dunkin Donuts could be so ... cold-hearted? Well, now you know! So let's read that famous handbook again!

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Clear From The Beginning

If you really want to kiss your co-worker or move in together, please mind the following: "Dunkin' "will first attempt to offer comparable employment in another department/store to one of the individuals." There you have it, lovebirds! What? You can't move to another location? Oh, dears, we are so sorry to inform you that you have to seek a job somewhere else. 

Image Credits: Instagram/dunkindonutsgent


Love is hard, tough, challenging, and comforting—outside Dunkin' Donuts. If an alternate employment option isn't available, Dunkin says, they will "terminate" the relationship for you. Do you know what this means? You can now end that toxic relationship for good if you apply for a job at Dunkin! Brace yourselves because we have even more stupid policies to tell you!

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Love Over Donuts

Imagine that neither you nor your lover can decide about who stays and who moves. Does that mean you will be both fired? Of course not! Dunkin will gladly offer their cold-hearted services and decide for you all! According to their handbook, "if the two employees together cannot decide on the job move or the termination, the Company will make that decision." Should we thank them?

Image Credits: Instagram/aerynsusan

Work, Work, Work

Working at this coffee chain means weekends with your friends and family are completely over—or with your partner, now miles away from you and working at another Dunkin store. "We will not be able to offer employment to any employee that cannot work weekends," the handbook says. This rule makes a lot of sense because weekends are always more crowded...

Image Credits: Instagram/michellemquinn

Always Available

Before applying for a job, you should do your homework first. Check their policies and see if you agree with their rules—if you don't, don't waste your time. You can have an impressive resume and still don't get that job at Dunkin if you can't work on Saturdays and Sundays. That's life, and you might as well accept it as it is. But hey, don't tell this to anyone...

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Can't Talk, Won't Talk

Mayday! Mayday! "If you are ever approached by a reporter or any member of the media for any reason, you should first have your Manager contact the 24 Hour Dunkin HELP Line; and, then immediately notify Don MacDonald, VP of Operations." Please, remain calm and carry on with your duty. Mayday! Mayday! Stay silent! We don't want any unnecessary scandals over here! 

Image Credits: Instagram/my_caffeine_fix

Saying No To Drama

Every business has its secrets and miracle recipes. If you want to keep your job at Dunkin, do what they've told you to do. Dunkin wants to avoid any unwanted tabloid drama over who gets paid the most, who works the most, or whether or not the products are of good quality, etc. No one cares about all of this nonsense. 

Making Headlines

This policy protects the brand from possible media scandals. Dunkin is known for some TikTok controversies, for exploiting their workers, and let's say they are no strange to racist advertisements. Needless to say, Dunkin apologized for this all and continues to sell doughnuts all over the US happily, and people absolutely love them! Too much, that is...

Image Credits: Instagram/bacho_nadiradze_

Marry You

Americans do love Dunkin a bit more than they love their partners ... Or just as much! Two couples said “I do” in the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru after winning a statewide contest for the coffee company to host their weddings in a nontraditional, COVID-safe ceremony! Does life get better than this? We don't think so! Let's meet the newlyweds then!

Image Credits: Instagram/kelly.marsh86

A Marriage And A Donut, Please

“I hit Dunkin’s stories [on Instagram], and it said ‘do you want to get married in a Dunkin' Donut’s drive-thru?’ and I went ‘yes,’ and I clicked the button again and it said ‘do you live in New York state?’ and I said ‘yes!’ and clicked through again,” Dana Shulman said. “When I saw it, I knew.” People do get lovestruck over drive-thrus, that's for sure ...

Image Credits: Instagram/kelly.marsh86

Inside Joke, Outside Marriage

Surrounded by doughnuts, Cliff Ranson and Elizabeth Fischer tied the knot (while drinking coffee) in a Williamstown, New Jersey location in December 2010. The pair said it was their own inside joke, though they did exchange some vows outside their favorite coffee-and-donut house ...

Image Credits: Instagram/kelly.marsh86

Bonding Over Donuts And Coffee

Who said the perfect wedding ceremony doesn't exist? A New Jersey couple who says they constantly come to the chain and “hit the drive-thru sometimes twice a night” got married inside the Dunkin’ Donuts store on Route 42 South in New Jersey. We don't know about you, but we will surely marry outside a McDonald's drive-through while holding a huge basket of fries!

Image Credits: Instgram/dunkin/For Illustrative Purposes

Who knew Dunkin' Donuts workers had to follow such strict and weird rules? Well, now you know what to expect if you intend to work there. Hey, but don't forget that romance is totally forbidden—with a human being, loving donuts is totally allowed. If you liked this article just as much as you adore Dunkin, please share it with your friends and family! See you soon!

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