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Kate Jaspon, the chief financial officer of Dunkin' Brands (right). Photo: Axios

About 20% of Dunkin' Brands' customer transactions are digital in some form, Kate Jaspon, the company's chief financial officer, said Tuesday during an Axios virtual event.

Why it matters: Many restaurants and fast-food chains have had to drastically change or speed up their investment in technology services to make orders hands-free, cashless and safer for customers and workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The state of play: Jaspon said their app, perks, curbside pickup and drive-thru options have made it easier for people to access coffee and drinks that are not so easy to make at home.

  • "It’s really about providing products that apply to all different demographics and really provide a product that is not something the consumer can make at home and maybe provides them with a nice break from reality," she said.
  • "Now-days I like to joke that folks get 'Zoomed out' and they need to get out and get a break, and so it’s important to have these products."

Yes, but: Companies that push cashless or virtual-only payment options often leave some demographic groups out of the mix. Jaspon said Dunkin' franchisees accept all forms of payment during the pandemic.

Watch the event, Axios' Smart Main Street, on Axios.com.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 31, 2020 - Health

California reports first case of new coronavirus variant

Healthcare workers treating a patient in UCLA Medical Center in Torrence, California, on Dec. 29. Photo: Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California reported its first case of a new variant of the coronavirus that may be more transmissible, AP reports.

The big picture: California is the second state to document a confirmed case of the variant — which originated in the United Kingdom — after Colorado reported the first case in the United States on Tuesday.

2 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania. 

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.