Dunkin’ runs first national recruitment campaign as coffee-buying perks up
Dunkin’s latest campaign suggests people stop in, not for coffee or donuts, but for jobs.
The chain is out with its first-ever national recruitment campaign as its U.S. franchisees look to fill roughly 25,000 jobs ranging from front-counter staff to restaurant management.
The “Dunkin’ Runs on You” campaign—its name is a play on its “America Runs on Dunkin’” slogan—came together during the coronavirus pandemic, which has left millions of Americans out of work as businesses have closed or cut back on staffing. Dunkin’ is also announcing a partnership with Southern New Hampshire University to offer a low-cost online college education to franchisees and their employees.
“Our responsibility now with the huge unemployment rate and those needs is to let people know that there is opportunity out there,” says Drayton Martin, Dunkin’s VP of brand stewardship.
Dunkin’s campaign kicks off as the nation saw early signals of a rebound in the job market.
On June 5, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate declined to 13.3 percent in May from 14.7 percent in April. The U.S. added 2.5 million jobs in May, including 1.4 million jobs in the restaurant industry. That said, the sector still cut 6.1 million positions in March and April combined, so there is a long way to go for an overall rebound.
As the country starts opening up, those who are now unemployed will be looking for jobs, perhaps in sectors where they haven’t previously considered applying. “We wanted to be sure that people understood the strength of working at Dunkin’ versus anywhere else,” says Martin.
Dunkin’ isn’t the first major restaurant chain to focus on recruitment due to COVID-19. Pizza chains were eager to fill thousands of jobs as people ordered while staying home, and marketing included Domino's running its first-ever national TV spot about hiring.
Dunkin’s new spots show footage shot during the pandemic, along with some older footage that doesn’t feature staff in masks. “I basically gave them a brief (which said) I’d love to see what’s unfolding in the store each day,” says Martin.
Dunkin’s franchisees are the ones that run the shops and will be doing the hiring, not the company itself. But the brand decided that it could provide more of a megaphone right now, Martin says.
There are opportunities nationwide, but Dunkin' says markets that may be seeking more help are large urban areas, including New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Chicago and Boston.
Dunkin’ will focus its marketing solely on the recruitment message this week. Then it will pepper the message in among other campaigns as it begins to get back to product-focused messages that have been largely absent during the pandemic, Martin says. Dunkin’ is also giving franchisees customizable assets that they can opt to use in their own markets.
Dunkin’s own business is still down but starting to improve. Same-store sales were down 15 percent at open stores in the week ended May 23, after being down 25 percent a month earlier. As of May 23, about 650 out of 9,637 Dunkin’ U.S. shops remained temporarily closed.
The recruitment campaign follows Dunkin’s celebration of National Donut Day on June 5. The chain opted to pull back on one part of that effort, a call for people to submit slogans for various donuts to win free donuts for a year, as protests about racial injustice intensified following the death of George Floyd. “Obviously, there is a significant and important cultural conversation going on and we thought it was more important to allow focus on that,” says Martin.
The “Dunkin’ Runs on You” campaign was created with BBDO New York. It is set to run more than 500 times on TV networks such as NBC, FOX, CBS, Univision, Telemundo, The CW, Bravo, USA, A&E, TBS, and E!, as well as on Dunkin’s social channels, the chain says.