Slipping in under the midnight wire to the newly re-established Bow Street Dunkin’ Donuts, that glittering beacon of inexpensive (and occasionally stale) caffeinated products and baked goods, a late-night customer is immediately struck by the ample stock of untouched muffins and doughnuts, getting staler by the minute under the heat lamps.
Knowing that Au Bon Pain, the other local provider of stale mass-produced muffins and coffee, often donates its leftover pastries to volunteers from the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter and other organizations, an inquiring consumer had to know: whither the Dunkin’ Donuts once the fluorescent lights click off?
An inquiring mind was soon disappointed.
At the Bow Street location, everything goes in the trash. According to Dunkin’ Donuts PR rep Louise, who refused to give her last name, company policy explicitly forbids franchise owners from donating surplus food items. “If we don’t think it’s fit enough to sell to our paying customers,” she explains, “then we don’t want to insult people with food that we would throw away otherwise. And it’s not something that we would donate to people.”