Tag Archives: public relations

Dunkin’ Donuts Will Get Rid of Foam Cups by 2020

We know Planet Earth is in trouble with changing weather patterns, and a significant problem with plastics polluting and harming the oceans. The planet deserves the respect, and need the help, of all citizens and corporations.

One significant problem faced around the globe is the increased use of foam packaging, which has often been cited as a source of many environmental problems. A number of environmentally-focused organizations have challenged global companies to reduce or eliminate their use of polystyrene.

One company heeding the call is Dunkin’ Donuts. The company recently announced its plan to eliminate all polystyrene foam cups throughout its global supply chain by 2020. The coffee giant will replace foam coffee cups with double-walled paper cups. The majority of the company’s international operations have already begun using paper cups; New York City and California will be adopting the new cups this year.

The move to eliminate foam cups is a significant change in the company’s supply and distribution chains. This is no small matter – there are more than 9,000 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the U.S. alone – that’s a lot of coffee cups!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss setting SMART objectives (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound).
  2. Show video about Dunkin’ Donuts switch: https://youtu.be/3kAP01BeRo4
  3. What are the SMART objectives set by Dunkin’ Donuts?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop five SMART objectives for a product of their choosing. Have the goals reflect various strategies including growth, sustainability, profitability, etc.
  5. Discuss the objectives. How would the objectives change if a different strategy was used?
  6. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Sustainable Brands (9 February, 2018). Dunkin’ Donuts to eliminate foam cups by 2020.

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Where’s the Chicken?

In what might arguably be one of the most ironic situations faced by a restaurant, KFC ran out of chicken and had to close more than half of its 900 restaurants in the UK. Yes, you read that right – Kentucky Fried Chicken ran out of chicken (which I guess makes it KF instead of KFC).

The supply chain issue that closed the 562 outlets was blamed on switching KFC’s delivery contract from South African-owned distribution group Bidvest Logistics to DHL. DHL blamed “operational issues” for the snafu. Some of the outlets were able to remain open, but with a limited menu.

Indeed, one can understand that it is a complex task to get fresh chicken to 900 restaurants across the country. According to news reports, the GMB union warned KFC that switching suppliers was a mistake. It certainly appears that they were right.

(Update: As of Feb. 28, 97% of KFC stores were open, but according to Reuters the company is now reporting facing another shortage… this time it’s gravy!)

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. In order to be successful, companies must be able to physically get a product into the hands of the customers. Discuss how a distribution channel works.
  2. Show the video of the KFC issue: https://youtu.be/jM53cQJACCg
  3. For KFC, what distribution channels are used now?
  4. How can the channel be expanded? What approach could be used?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a flow chart for the distribution of the product.

Source:   BBC (19 February, 2018). Chicken chaos as KFC closes outlets.

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Stereotypes and Sports: Chief Wahoo to be Eliminated

Names and brands represent a significant investment for all organizations, no matter if they are corporations, private organizations, higher education, or athletics. Brands and logos are often loved and worn proudly by consumers. However, just as often a logo can be seen as offensive to individuals and groups.

Case in point: The Cleveland Indians recently announced that it will stop using the Chief Wahoo logo beginning in 2019. Major League Baseball’s position is that the logo is no longer appropriate. Some team supporters view the logo as traditional (Chief Wahoo has been used since 1948), while opposition characterizes the name as offensive to Native Americans.

Cleveland is not the only athletic team that has been criticized for its logo. A few years ago the University of North Dakota officially dropped its Fighting Sioux nickname in favor of the Fighting Hawks. However, other teams, such as the Washington Redskins and the Atlanta Braves (with the “Tomahawk chop” motion), have resisted pressure to change.

Some team supporters view the logo as traditional (Chief Wahoo has been used since 1948), while opposition characterizes the name as offensive to Native Americans. Regardless, logos have the power to motivate consumers, or to repel them.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show a video about the issue faced by the Cleveland Indians: https://nyti.ms/2Guw0H2
  2. What are the essential elements of this issue?
  3. What have been the experiences of other athletic teams in similar situations?
  4. Have students research the number of athletic teams with nicknames that could be detrimental to a race or ethnical group.
  5. What is the impact of a new logo on sales of apparel?
  6. How important is brand to athletic teams?

Source: Waldstein, D. (29, January, 2018). Cleveland Indians will abandon Chief Wahoo logo next year. New York Times.

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