Should Private Businesses Close During Bad Storms?

One Grafton resident was bothered that the local Dunkin' Donuts had planned to remain open through the storm.

With a "potentially historic" blizzard upon us, the governor has ordered all non-emergency employees to stay home.

Private businesses, however, may choose whether to stay open.

In Grafton Friday morning, Kristen Remillard was happy to be able to grab her morning coffee at Dunkin' Donuts before the snow started falling. When she asked an employee if they'd be leaving early because of the storm, she was surprised to hear "no."

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Remillard posted on the Grafton Patch Facebook page a letter she wrote to the chain, expressing her concern: 

Dear Dunkin Donuts (Massachusetts)
I was so very happy to get a coffee this morning on my mad rush before the snow storm "Nemo" ... BUT I was horrified to hear when I asked the employee if they were leaving early, that Dunkin Donuts is remaining OPEN during a STATE OF EMERGENCY here in MA. 
Yes I understand, people want their coffee - especially people plowing BUT I think it is pathetic you expect your employees, who are most likely only making $7-$9 an hour, to drive to work in these snow conditions. 
You are MILLION, most likely BILLION dollar company..... You will survive closing Massachusetts branches for a day or two. 
Putting money before the lives of your employees is just plain sad. 
Please reconsider keeping stores open during bad weather. We will survive without you for a day or two! We are more concerned with the safety of it's employees. Keep them home. 
Thank you, and Respectfully, Kristen

Contacted at 12:30 p.m. Friday, an employee said the 24-hour shop planned to remain open as usual "for now," and noted that while they had run out of donuts, muffins and beverages were still available.

What do you think of businesses remaining open during such storms? Do you appreciate it, or could you go without? Tell us in the comments.

Kristen Remillard February 09, 2013 at 01:55 AM
Prefect solution to the Dunkin' Donuts debate ... Anyone who works, gets paid double time ... Dunkin Donuts will provide transportation for employees to and from work, AND to show the plowers, EMTs, Cops and every one out there how much we appreciate them all Dunkin Donuts products will be free of charge! ;-)
Kelly O'Harra February 09, 2013 at 01:59 AM
Just to play devils advocate... At least one coffee shop or fast food establishment such as Dunkin Donuts (which is really the only fast food in Grafton) for the sake of plow drivers, police, fire/EMT's and local authorities that may need to have a coffee or food break. To them Dunkin Donuts may provide an essential service, such as sustenance, caffeine and a bathroom. Just because we are at home resting doesn't mean these local men and women aren't. That being said I would hope the employees are extra compensated for their over time in these circumstances.
Kristen Remillard February 09, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Kelly, you are not the devils advocate because every thing you say is true - But we have to ask - Is Dunkin Donuts REALLY needed during this time? Yes, when we see that big bright Dunkin Donuts sign glowing, we all do our little happy dance and buy our over priced coffee or food product - BUT there are other places that are also open during this time, like stop and shop (which provides food, coffee and rest rooms also) and they have to be open. It's stinks for them also, but it is a grocery store and apparently places like that are needed to remain open. So I mean, why risk the employees at Dunkin Donuts when there are other options available? We can't get picky during a life threatening storm and say "I can't live with out Dunkin Coffee" when stop and shop, cumbies or xtra mart also have food and coffee. All those places have more options as far as food also. The icing on the cake with all this is that it is Dunkin owner (of that particular store) who made the final choice to stay open either didn't bother showing up to help the employees or they showed up for like an hour then left. People have money signs in front of their eyes instead of safety. The employees fight the storm in fear they will lose their jobs just to sell us over priced coffee and food....
Kristen Remillard February 09, 2013 at 02:55 PM
I had to get the facts about this one - Just called - they are still open, 2 employee AND the MANAGER gave them a ride to work!!! Good news!! But the debate continues!


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