Dunkin’ commits to P&G cleaning products to lure customers back inside

Dive Brief:

  • Dunkin’ joined P&G Professional CleanPLUS Experience Program as the fast food chain prepares to reopen in regions that are loosening stay-at-home restrictions, the company said in a press release shared with Marketing Dive.
  • Dunkin’ franchisees will follow the program to ensure restaurants are cleaned from top to bottom using well-known brands like Dawn Professional, Comet, Spic and Span, and Safeguard in a move to make consumers feel safer when returning to restaurants. Participating locations will feature co-branded stickers on front doors, drive-thru windows and in restrooms. Dunkin’ sister brand Baskin-Robbins is also participating in the program.
  • Seventy percent of diners expect thorough and frequent restaurant cleaning, and 63% want to see cleaning safety measures posted in restaurants, according to a May survey conducted by P&G Professional.

Dive Insight:

While many retail establishments were closed for in-person activity in the pandemic’s early days, most Dunkin’ locations have remained open for drive-thru, carryout, delivery and curbside pickup. As the chain prepares to reopen in more markets, this new partnership with P&G aims to make consumers feel comfortable about coming back inside.

As P&G’s data from the May survey suggests, consumers will feel safer about returning if they are confident a restaurant is being regularly cleaned, with signage posted to communicate that this is happening. With these measures in mind — along with contactless payment available through Dunkin’s app and its grab-and-go options — Dunkin’ is illustrating what the future of fast food consumption can look like with an in-store experience that prioritizes cleanliness while minimizing the need to touch surfaces and interact with others.

Still, it could be a long time before many consumers feel comfortable eating in a restaurant, as a recent Harris poll found that 60% are not ready to start dining out, per Business Insider.

Co-branding partnerships between service industries and well-known consumer cleaning brands are becoming more popular in response to COVID-19. United Airlines, for instance, partnered with Clorox and medical experts at Cleveland Clinic to develop its new United CleanPlus program. The travel industry has been hit hard by people canceling trips over fears of catching or spreading the coronavirus, something United’s new cleaning program is designed to address.

The trend is apparent in the hospitality space as well. Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide both have updated their cleaning procedures in a move to rebuild trust around hotel stays. Hilton partnered with Lysol’s parent company RB and the Mayo Clinic while Marriott launched a global cleanliness council to develop technology for enhanced cleaning procedures, including hospital-grade disinfectant. Airbnb also created new cleaning protocol for hosts.

The pandemic has boosted consumer trust and brand equity in cleaning products from well-known companies like P&G and Lysol as shoppers turn to these products to make them feel safer during the pandemic. These partnerships could be an opportunity for CPG companies to boost their B2B revenue streams.

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