Free Dunkin' Doughnut With Rays Win Means Lots Of Free Doughnuts
By Keith Morelli | Tribune StaffTAMPA - Although the number of doughnuts given away after a Tampa Bay Rays win Monday night had yet to be counted, Dunkin' Donuts officials say they have given away more pastries over the first half of this season than the entire 2007 season.
Published: July 1, 2008
Published: July 1, 2008
In April 2007, the Rays and Dunkin' Donuts entered into a promotion in which the restaurants would give away one free doughnut to anyone who came after a Rays win and mentioned the game.
Last year, the team only won 66 games, and Dunkin' Doughnuts gave away 117,650 freebies, said Toby Srebnik, spokesman for Boca Raton-based Dunkin' Donuts.
"As of today, we are going to be past that point," he said. "It's crazy."
Not including Monday night's dramatic win over the bitter rival Boston Red Sox, Dunkin' Donuts had given away 116,375 doughnuts, Srebnik said.
"We didn't' expect we would be giving this many away," Srebnik said. "In our wildest dreams, we would have never have expected this."
Still, he said, it's worth it. The promotion brings in fans who might not have come in otherwise and ensures a repeat customer base, he said.
On Tuesday, free doughnuts were flying off the shelves of Tampa Dunkin' Donuts.
Mary Jones, a hard-core Boston Red Sox fan, took advantage of the win over the Beantown team Monday night, striding out of a Dunkin' Donuts on Fletcher Avenue with a free pastry.
"I just found out about this," the Tampa resident said Tuesday morning, ruing her team's loss to its American League East rivals but grinning about the Dunkin' Donuts promotion.
Jones read the score this morning, a 5-4 victory for the home team, and decided to take the doughnut as consolation.
"Absolutely," she said. "Who would turn down a doughnut?"
She was among a throng of hungry breakfast munchers who are cashing in on the Rays success these days.
Last year, the team finished with 66 wins. They have won 50 so far this year and the season is only half over. Last night's win pushed the Rays to a game-and-a-half lead over the Sox.
With the Rays winning all those games, going from worst to first with the best record in Major League Baseball today, well, that translates into a lot of free doughnuts handed out.
Mark Guzel, manager of the shop on Fletcher Avenue, said people know about the deal and lots of customers show up the morning after a win wanting their free doughnut.
Regular customers also come in and get an extra pastry with whatever their regular breakfast is, he said.
A win is a win is a win, Guzel said. It doesn't matter if the game is important like last night's game, or if the team is playing in Pittsburgh, which it did over the weekend, taking two out of three.
Even with the handing out of free doughnuts, the promotion helps business, said Janice Myers, day shift manager at the franchise on Highlands Preserve Parkway in New Tampa.
"They come in in the mornings or afternoons and tell us the Rays won and we ask them what kind of doughnut they would like," she said.
Customers get their pick of any doughnut in the place, she said.
Early morning customer Vinny Tafuro of Tampa is not as conflicted as Sox fans taking advantage of the offer. He's a Rays fan and relishes a win and free doughnut without any misgivings.
Tafuro usually comes into the Fletcher Dunkin' Donuts shop for a breakfast sandwich, but after a Rays win, he orders a sweet.
"That's how I moderate my treats," he said.
Reporter Keith Morelli can be reached at (813) 259-7760 or email@example.com.