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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.

3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

President Joe Biden: "Democracy has prevailed"

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Joe Biden sought to sooth a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, but warned that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

The big picture: Moments after taking the oath of office, Biden spoke on the Capitol’s West front, from the very steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier. They were attempting to overturn an election where Biden defeated former President Donald Trump by more than 7 million votes.

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden is delivering his inaugural address at the Capitol. Watch a livestream here.

What's next: Biden and Vice President Harris review readiness of military troops, a long-standing tradition to signify the peaceful transfer of power.