Sporting a new “UConn Runs On Dunkin” sign, the Dunkin’ Donuts located in the University of Connecticut’s Student Union opened on Tuesday for the first time since renovations began during winter break.
Despite there still being a line out the door during its busiest hours, it was obvious that students were eager to see the new look Dunkin’ Donuts offered, as many were seen taking photos on their phones.
The exterior of the new Dunkin’ Donuts is decorated with new signs and neon lights on the top edge of the wall, and offers a computer kiosk for easier ordering, according to Nicole Pacheco, a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee. The interior of the new Dunkin’ Donuts has double the space, which allows for more people to comfortably wait for their orders, and a separate line for customers with mobile orders.
“[We focused on] ease of access, meaning you can come in and out easier, pick up your on-the-go orders easier and … we added the kiosk for additional on-the-go orders,” Pacheco said.
Some new additions to the Dunkin’ Donuts includes donuts and bagels in a display case next to the register, as opposed to being behind the counter, and a new tap system for serving drinks.
“We brew the coffee, we chill it at a certain temperature and then we take these big canisters and tie them up to a system. It’s almost like a beer tap,” Pacheco said.
While there were a few complications with the barcode scanners not working with the mobile app and the computer kiosk malfunctioning, Pacheco said these issues would be fixed by the next day and everything would continue running smoothly.
“It is really nice to see somebody’s funds going towards something [that] affects everyday life on campus.” Aner Bajraktarevic, an eighth-semester communication major, said. “They’ll revamp science wings, and if you’re not a science student you don’t reap any of those benefits, but when they revamp the Dunkin’ … that makes everyone’s life better.”
Bajraktarevic said while he may not go to the Dunkin’ Donuts in the Union any more than he did before, he said he’ll enjoy his experience a lot more now.
Some students commented on the fact that the addition of more space helps deal with the amount of traffic that goes through the Dunkin’ Donuts in the Union.
When asked about the difference of traffic between the Dunkin’ Donuts in the Union and the Dunkin’ Donuts in Storrs Center, Pacheco said the Dunkin’ Donuts in the Student Union gets double, or even triple, the traffic during finals week, than the latter.
“I feel like a lot of the time when I don’t want to go to Dunkin’ it’s because there’s a really long line out the door and [the renovations] makes it where it doesn’t seem as crowded,” Malek Al-Shammary, an eighth-semester communication major, said.
Al-Shammary noted how the old Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t fit in with the rest of the Student Union and stood out because of how old it looked and felt.
“The Student Union itself looks really nice and it looks more modern, while the old Dunkin’ looked like it didn’t belong a lot. [The new Dunkin’] looks more fitting,” Al-Shammary said. “Walking into the Union, especially from [the perspective of] a first-time student, and I see this pretty-looking Dunkin’ I’m like, ‘Oh, this is a first-class university.’”
Brandon Barzola is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.