A Dunkin’ location in Cranston, Rhode Island, wanted to celebrate its 30th anniversary on Wednesday by offering free coffee for a year to the first 100 guests.
However, a Facebook post announcing the event suggested it was limited to “White Cranston RI residents,” according to NBC Providence affiliate WJAR TV.
Dunkin’ spokesperson Kelsey Chester told the station that the seemingly racist offer was an “unfortunate” and “embarrassing mistake.”
Chester said the Facebook post for the Cranston store was copied from a post announcing a similar coffee giveaway in White Plains, New York. Whoever performed the copy/paste, she said, deleted the word “Plains” but accidentally left in the word “White.”
In any case, dozens of people lined up at the Cranston location hoping to get a year of free coffee.
Shelley Ramsey, a Black woman and a regular at the store, was shocked to find out about the post, but she believes it was an accident.
“It’s too racially diverse in there,” she told WJAR. “It’s just … that’s not how things roll.”
A spokesperson for Dunkin’ told HuffPost the company was “aware of the typo,” and attributed it “to a content transfer error involving a previous opening in White Plains, NY.”
“Upon the typo being discovered, we immediately corrected the post,” the spokesperson said.
This isn’t the first Dunkin’ location to come under fire for apparent insensitivity.
In June 2018, a Baltimore location was criticized for posting a sign that offered customers coupons if they reported any employees “shouting in a language other than English.”
In addition, in October of that year, two employees at a franchise in Syracuse, New York, were fired after a viral video showed one of them pouring water on a homeless man.