The owner of two Dunkin’ Donuts franchises in East Boston is in some pretty hot water with the City of Boston and Dunkin’ Donuts Corporate.
The city’s Inspectional Services Department (ISD) shut down the Dunkin’ Donuts in Maverick Square last Wednesday after video shot by Peter Wild surfaced on social media of a half dozen or so mice freeley scurrying around the inside of the popular coffee shop.
ISD then inspected the Dunkin’ Donuts location and found a whole host of health code violations.
D’Alelio Management Co., operating as RMG Donuts, operates the Dunkin’ Donuts in Maverick as well as a second location on Bennington Street in Orient Heights.
During their inspection ISD inspectors found evidence of mice and roach infestations as well as small flies present in the dining area.
ISD also found that the interior of ice machine had visible soils; the outside alleyway area was full of debris, clothes and a blanket on the ground as well as excess leaves preventing full inspection of the exterior wall of the building; the grout on floors in the service were low, allowing for standing water and food debris to get trapped; weather stripping on the bottom of the back door was too high, allowing for gaps to the outdoors; and heavy soils built up and other debris was found on the floor behind equipment and under countertops.
A second inspection the next day showed RMG Donuts had not remedied the health code violations.
After the second ISD inspection Dunkin’ Donuts Corporate had enough and filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to strip RMG Donuts of its franchises in Eastie. In the suit Dunkin’ Donuts Corporate argues that RMG Donuts is in violation of its franchise agreement, which requires clean shops.
According to Universal HUB, the suit asked a judge to order RMG Donuts to remove any connection the store in Maverick Square has to the national coffee shop chain.
Prior to filing suit in federal court Dunkin’ Donuts Corporate sent a courier to hand deliver a letter to RMG Donuts demanding the health code violations ISD found within 24 hours.
When RMG Donuts failed the second ISD inspection last Thursday Dunkin’ Donuts Corporate sent a “franchise termination notice” to RMG Donuts demanding they stop operating under the Dunkin’ Donuts banner. The suit said RMG Donuts continued to operate the shop using the Dunkin’ system and Dunkin’s Marks without having any right or license to do so.
“The health and safety of customers is our top priority,” said Dunkin’ Donuts Corporate in a statement. “We take this matter very seriously, and upon learning of the issue, the restaurant was immediately closed.”
This wasn’t the first time RMG Donuts was on ISD’s radar.
In June of this year, the Maverick Square location was written up for numerous violations by ISD.
At that time ISD found two dead roaches under the Oasis ice blender; shelving under the registers was visible clutter with debris and soils; and the floors had visible soil and debris behind the donut and bagel racks and other equipment. The store passed a subsequent inspection five days later according to ISD documents.
Also in January 2018 ISD closed down RMG Donuts second location on Bennington Street in Orient Heights.
In that incident the Orient Heights location had been without hot water throughout the day. ISD requires restaurants have running hot water of at least 110F at hand sinks so employees can properly wash their hands. The same rule applies to having hot water to properly sanitize utensils and work surfaces in other sinks at the shop.