MB Lifestyle Tries: Dunkin’s first-ever drive-thru service

Published February 5, 2021, 1:48 PM

by Noel Pabalate

If I hadn’t searched for Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru, Visayas Avenue, Quezon City on my navigation app, I might have missed it. There’s no pole sign yet and a narra tree blocks the stand-alone store. But if I happen to not see it the first time, there’s a U-turn slot nearby, before and after, to bring you back around.

Dunkin’s first drive-thru store along Visayas Avenue, Quezon City

The vibrant orange color scheme of brand was the first thing I saw as I turned the corner. It’s one of the stores in the metro that uses its new name, Dunkin’. The name change is a move to tell customers indirectly, “Hey, we’re not just selling donuts here!” Indeed, I went there not just to buy assorted donuts and munchkins, but also coffee and milk tea. 

Upon entering its driveway, I noticed that there was a pre-selling menu board, meant to make customers think ahead of their orders. Some of the products like the savory snacks were not yet written on it, but they were readily available as well. 

As I look at the main outdoor menu board and milk tea menu standee beside the speaker box, I heard the staff loud and clear asking for my order. After I mentioned my cravings, the LCD monitor provided a readable display of the items I’m about to pay for.

The no-contact order station is placed under the canopy of the drive-thru entrance, where the vehicle height detector, marked with 2.70 meters vertical clearance, is attached. 

Also as I drove in, I spotted some flowers and greens that added beauty to the driveway.   

My driving skill was tested before I got to the next station. Thank goodness, the yellow and black caution markers as well as the signage that says, “Lean to the right, take a long curve” guided me.

Following the instructions (plus a careful estimation of the curved space while glancing at the convex mirror positioned on the wall before the end of the turn) brought me safely to the window counter, where orders were being received and paid for.

Dunkin’ staff at the window counter hands over the orders through a tray

Dunkin’ observes safety prevention protocols against COVID-19. Thus, there’s a plastic barrier on the counter and store crew was wearing gloves, face masks, and face shields. However, cashless transactions weren’t available yet, so cash payments were collected through plastic trays.

After I received the change, the cashier immediately handed over my orders, well packed and certified fresh.

Before I exited, there’s another sign to look left for outgoing bikers, exiting in the same direction but coming from a separate lane for two-wheel vehicles. Another convex mirror to my right also helped me see if there’s a bike or motorcycle about to pass.

A single parking area for drive-thru customers is also provided as well as a slot for persons with disability. I guess drivers seldom use them, because judging from my own experience, I just drove through in less than a minute. 

For its grand opening this coming Feb. 9, 2021, where Dunkin’ will be giving away free stuff like umbrellas, tumblers, keychains and the like, the challenge might even be more apparent for motorists. Beyond this, Dunkin’s first-ever drive-thru service is worth a try for some sweet and caffeine treats.