Photo by Ethan McLeod

Management at a Dunkin’ Donuts in North Baltimore on Monday took down a sign encouraging customers to report employees speaking any language other than English with a free pastry and coffee.

A photo posted by WBAL-TV news producer Gillian Morley this morning showed a sign printed on red construction paper with the following note to customers:

“If you hear any of our staff SHOUTING in a language other than ENGLISH Please call 443-415-7775 immediately with the name of the employee to receive a coupon for a FREE Coffee and a pastry.

-General Manager.”

This sign is being displayed at a @dunkindonuts in Baltimore. General manager posted a sign asking customers to report employees not speaking English. Even offering a reward. #shocking

— Gillian Morley (@GillianMorley_) June 18, 2018

Morley posted the image to Twitter around 8:30 a.m. By 11:30 a.m., it had been removed.

The register at Dunkin’ Donuts at 1020 W. 41st Street where the sign was removed. Photo by Ethan McLeod.
The register at Dunkin’ Donuts at 1020 W. 41st Street where the sign was removed. Photo by Ethan McLeod.

Abhi Sheth, who identified himself as an assistant manager of the franchise at 1020 W. 41st Street, declined to comment on the language or history of the sign, and did not say when it was taken down. (Sheth noted he usually manages another Dunkin’ Donuts location in Woodlawn.)

He offered reporters from Baltimore Fishbowl, the Baltimore Brew and The Sun a free sample of an iced cappuccino, but otherwise referred them to Dunkin Donuts’ corporate media line.

A company spokeswoman sent along a statement Monday afternoon that indicated the franchise’s general manager had initially intended to address a “customer service and satisfaction issue” by putting up the sign, but then took it down.

“Dunkin’ Donuts and our franchisees share the goal of creating a welcoming and hospitable environment for all guests,” the statement said. “The franchise owner has informed us that the sign was posted by their general manager based on her own personal judgment to ensure those standards are being met.

“While her intent was to address a customer service and satisfaction issue, the franchisee determined her approach was inappropriate and confirmed the sign has been removed.”

Twitter users seized the chance to condemn the instructions and Dunkin’ Donuts.

I won’t be going to @dunkindonuts until this is addressed publicly and the racist is dealt with

— Steph SP (@StephSPrice) June 18, 2018

This @dunkindonuts in Baltimore is offering special coupons to customers.

All they have to do is snitch on employees who yell in any language–other than English.

— Kim Bhasin (@KimBhasin) June 18, 2018

New England imperialism and bigotry. A toxic cocktail. #dunkindonuts #boycott

— Ticker & Ticker of Beverly Hills (@UTZAAKE) June 18, 2018

No one answered the number listed on the sign. WBAL-TV, which first reported the sign’s existence, relayed that a man who answered the phone line this morning “said it was an old sign and that he is no longer the general manager at that particular store.

“However, he did admit to putting up a similar sign in the past, saying customers had complained about it in the past,” the station reported.

Four employees working at the location this morning declined to comment.

This story has been updated.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...

3 replies on “Sign at Dunkin’ Donuts near Hampden encouraged customers to report employees ‘SHOUTING in a language other than ENGLISH’”

  1. Not that I’ve ever eaten a Dunkin’ Donut in my life, but I sure wouldn’t now. This is vile. Glad the sign was taken down and hope that management has learned a lesson — and that that particular manager has been fired.

  2. What, exactly, is wrong with this? Is there some snowflake who cannot understand SHOUTING? The manager is protecting customers and employees. Suppose an employees shouts, “ALLAHU AKBAR”. Or Louis Farrakhan shows up and a black employee shouts, “KILL ALL THE WHITES”. Think the manager might like to know about that? Dunkin’ Donuts continues to be my donut shop of choice!

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