Three panel screenshot from TikTok of ex-Carl's Jr. worker reacting to Dunkin' employees throwing out an entire tray of donuts


‘I kept doing it’: Ex-Carl’s Jr. worker says manager threatened to fire him for leaving food out for homeless people

'Isn't that evil?'


Jennifer Xia


Published Jul 9, 2021

In response to a TikTok video of Dunkin’ employees throwing out a whole tray of donuts, an alleged ex-Carl’s Jr. worker claimed that his manager threatened to fire him for leaving leftover food out for unhoused people by the dumpsters.

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“I kept doing it, but, still, isn’t that evil?” the TikToker, @datt_boii_t, said. “Capitalism.”

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The video garnered more than 410,000 views and continued the ongoing debate on food waste versus food safety. Videos featuring Dunkin’ workers throwing away trays of donuts have gone viral in the past and sparked similar conversations. 

The creator said he would leave extra chicken tenders and burger patties by the dumpsters. The manager, he alleged, told him he would be fired if he kept leaving food out but that didn’t stop him. 

“I feel like it’s human nature to feel inclined to help others out and feed them,” @datt_boii_t told the Daily Dot. “But sometimes I feel like the world we live in tries to demonize being homeless and helping them out. Seeing that video just reminded me of the time I got in trouble for just feeding people leftovers.”

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The reactions to the TikTok video were divided. People were either outraged at the idea of big companies throwing away large amounts of food or justified the practice by saying companies want to prevent lawsuits for possible food poisoning. 

“While I seriously appreciate your kindness, as a business owner, we only discourage people to do it for our protection,” one user commented. “If they get food poisoning, they can sue us for mishandling of food. Let’s be honest, not everyone is a good person and we can’t risk being exploited.”

However, the Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act of 1996 protects companies and organizations from liability when food is donated to a non-profit organization if donated in good faith. The act was created to reduce the 22 to 33 billion pounds of food waste generated by U.S. restaurants each year. 

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“For people saying companies can get sued, that’s just propaganda to use as a scapegoat,” one user commented. “U.S. companies can donate excess food in good faith under U.S. law.”

Some shared their stories of how their lives had been changed by people like him who left food out.

“My uncle died and all these homeless came to his funeral,” one user commented. “We found out he was doing this at McD’s. You’re great for this just like he was.”

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The creator shared in the comments that he had been unhoused at one point in his life, too, and understood the struggle.

“God bless you man,” one user commented. “I was homeless once. Thank you for your compassion.”

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Carl’s Jr. did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment. 

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*First Published: Jul 9, 2021, 12:18 pm CDT