Iced Coffee Too Cold to Hold? Dunkin' Franchisees Have Final Say on 'Double Cupping.' Individual franchisees can decide whether to charge customers for putting a foam cup around a plastic cup of iced coffee.

By Kate Taylor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Ready to stop sipping iced coffee when the temperature drops below 40 degrees? New Englanders don't. They just "double cup."

The search for a more environmentally-friendly cup at Dunkin' Donuts has led to questions on how to deal with "double cupping" this winter – the practice of putting a plastic cup of iced coffee inside a foam cup. This prevents the coffee from chilling customers' already cold hands, as well as insulating the inner cup.

When in Boston, do as the Bostonians do. #doublecup #starbucksisbetter

A photo posted by Grace M (@gmats711) on Aug 8, 2014 at 1:50pm PDT

While Dunkin' doesn't support "double cupping" due to environmental reasons, it is the norm at countless franchise locations across New England. However, the donut chain is trying hard to be more sustainable, and is currently testing both polypropylene cups and double walled paper cups as recyclable alternatives to the current cup. With promises to phase out the famous – or infamous -- foam cup, customers have grown concerned the double cup will also fall.

Fortunately, has gotten to the bottom of the situation. The website reports that customers will still have the opportunity to ask for an extra cup intended for warm coffee, whether it be foam or double walled paper. Individual franchisees will be able to decide if they want to charge extra for the second cup -- the same policy as deployed in previous winters.

Franchisees often deal with hyper-specific regional issues, from marketing to personal menu favorites. For McDonald's, regional preferences determine whether customers love or hate the McRib. At Chick-fil-A, local inclinations force franchisees to change up employees' uniforms and restaurant design in urban areas. For Dunkin' Donuts, New England tradition means letting local franchisees who know the area best deal with double cupping.

Kate Taylor


Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

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