That's a whole lot of donuts going into the trash!
Kathleen Dias, a Dunkin' employee, shared a TikTok video showing how much food goes unconsumed and wasted in a day in her restaurant. The young TikToker is seen taking away racks of donuts and putting them into the garbage can.
Kathleen had shared the clip in January, but the post has recently resurfaced on social media and has almost 2 million views. The video has created an uproar among netizens witnessing such a significant wastage of food.
"Only me who got a pain in my heart when I saw this? Why don't you give it to someone who has needs," commented a user.
"Why don't you give them to homeless people," said another person.
"When I see this kind of vids I get really sad...why doesn't the company just donate de food ..." similar comments followed.
However, not all Dunkin' restaurants follow the policy of throwing away leftovers. The donut giant allows its franchisees to participate in programs like "The End of Day Donation Program," where the unconsumed edible food is distributed in underserving communities.
"It is left to the discretion of the individual owner of each restaurant whether or not food is donated at the end of the day,” Dunkin’ said on their website. "Here at Dunkin’, we encourage our franchisees to become involved with their local communities."
Still, some restaurants prefer to trash the leftovers instead of giving them away. "I assume it's a health code thing. My local grocery store will donate old baked goods but they have to be picked up ON the 'sell by' date, because if it's after, even given away, they can be sued when someone gets sued," wrote one Reddit user after Kathleen's video went viral on the social news site.
But, according to Huffington Post, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects the restaurants from civil and criminal liability in case of sickness from donated food.
In a 2013 survey conducted by the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, the records showed only 1.4% of food waste being donated to the needy. Transport constraints, lack of proper storage, and refrigeration of leftovers are a few reasons apart from liability concerns that lead to such a vast wastage of food. According to another organization, Rubicon's studies, "the annual food waste in America has an approximate value of $161 billion."
This is not the first time such a video from Dunkin' has emerged on social media. Another Dunkin' employee, Bryan Johnston, was fired for posting a similar video on TikTok and distributing the leftover food to homeless people.
What do you think of the restaurant's food policy? Is there a way to reduce food wastage in these eateries? Share your thoughts in the comments.