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Couple Sues Dunkin' Donuts, Alleges Discrimination

Reggie and Amy Pretto once owned the Dunkin' Donuts store in Piney Orchard. They said the company lied to them about how much money the store would make.

A couple who once owned a is suing the coffee-and-donut chain for racial discrimination, alleging that the company gave more lucrative locations to white owners, the Boston Globe reported.

 The Globe said Reggie and Amy Pretto filed suit in New Jersey Superior Court, claiming that Dunkin’ Donuts steered them to franchises in poorer neighborhoods and lied to them about the projected revenues for stores in Maryland.

According to the report, the couple, who is black, approached Dunkin’ Donuts in 2004 to inquire about locations in New Jersey and New York. The company directed them instead to locations in poorer, predominantly African-American communities in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC, the couple said.

From the Globe:

Eventually the Prettos settled on several locations in Maryland, including Odenton, based on projections from Dunkin’ that the store there would average weekly sales of $15,500.

But their actual sales at the Odenton and other stores turned out to be substantially less, the Prettos said.

 

Court records show the Pretto’s owned the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise in Piney Orchard until 2007.

 

Read the full story in the Boston Globe.

Charles Mathews August 23, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Like I said I know them very well and this is what happened. Just to paint a picture of who they are, both are from great backgrounds, lived in affluent neighborhoods, graduated from prestgious universities, and had six figure incomes they gave up to persue their american dream of ownership that turned out to be a nightmare. Not only did Dunkin promise them things they could not deliver when things got bad they bailed on them. They were required to open 3 location 1 full production and 2 satellites. Dunkin does all the site reviews and evaluations years before they offer locations to franchisees in areas they want to grow their business.
Charles Mathews August 23, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Not only were these projections far off they were false. There was a serious problem that the franchisees were not privied to that prevented the development of the primary production facility that Dunkin should have caught in their site review. This problem prevented development for almost a year on the location that was suppose to produce all the bakery for itself as well as the other 2 satellites. Dunkin forced them to open the other 2 locations anyway threatening a breach of agreement if they didn't meet the contract deadline. Now they had 2 locations that could not produce their own donuts and they were paying a premium for bakery from other franchisees to make donuts for them, having to buy a truck to pick them up because they were refused delivery, and not to mention 10's of thousands of dollars a month in loans for a location that was nowhere close to being developed. Every ounce of profit the stores made went to cover problems preventable by Dunkin.
Charles Mathews August 23, 2012 at 06:51 PM
They didn't sit around blaming Dunkin and did their best for a year and a 1/2 to stay afloat. They only asked Dunkin to help with their legal influence with the undeveloped site or find a franchisee who were in a better positin to purchase the location. DUNKIN DID NOTHING! It wasn't until they filed for bankruptcy that Dunkin swooped in aquired the properties and sold them at a profit. The Odenton store so far has changed hands 4 times and the Bowie store 3 times and finally shut down in 2010. If the site for full production that Dunkin promised such a prime location why til this day has not yet been developed?
madmary August 26, 2012 at 02:44 PM
I really like the Annapolis DD shop. The staff is courteous and very nice. I think each DD franchise is different from another. It all depends who owns the franchise. The race card is so tiring.
Charles Mathews September 04, 2012 at 02:07 PM
I am a white american and to me that's like men saying women have no right to feel discriminated against when they do. If you don't experience it you can't see it. I don't know of any case where the "race card" was played that non blacks say it was justified.

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