In the Dunkin’ Q1 earnings call held yesterday, company executives described the positive Dunkin US and Baskin sales momentum the brand had experienced leading into mid-March, only to be knocked down by the Covid 19 impact. By early April, Dunkin US same store sales had fallen to minus 35% but has since improved to almost minus 20% last week. Traffic was negative but the average ticket was higher. CEO Dave Hoffmann, along with Scott Murphy, and Kate Jaspon described the brand’s current near-term objectives as being: (1) ensure crew and guest safety; (2) provide franchisees flexibility in operational procedures; (3) provide franchisees financial assistance within bounds; and (4) provide for quick decision-making. They reported that Dunkin itself has suspended stock buybacks and the company dividend program – one of the reasons the stock closed down 2.9% at $62.84 Thursday. The dividend cancellation was logical given its liquidity plan and CFO Kate Jaspon described several other financing actions taken to provide for more unrestricted cash and a solid position going forward. For example, non-essential and less essential spending has been curtailed and ad fund expenditures will be lower and more narrowly focused toward digital. Franchisee economic health was addressed and it was explained that working with franchisees, Dunkin had waived one month rent for its tenants and extended royalty and ad fund payment terms.  Additionally, Kate’s shop also set up conference calls with franchise lenders that were said to be ultimately productive in yielding concessions to franchisees. Dunkin contacted franchisees with upcoming remodels and/or new unit opens scheduled and has come to allow them to be pushed off into the future where the franchisee felt so inclined.  Some franchisees are moving ahead as planned.  Dunkin’ also provided franchisees a cash flow stress model and noted on the call, that with CARES loan support – no other lending support and the current lower AUVs trend – cash flow would be 80% of normal. No other franchisor provided such detail this week, and, in the opinion of DDIFO financial analyst, Dunkin actually should get credit for their analysis and disclosure.  Sales weakness in the 6a to 9a slot was acknowledged and expected with so many people off work, but the brand also noted a partial, if not offsetting uptick in the 10a-2p time zone. Dunkin’ noted that value and tactics such as more curbside platforms, along with digital were envisioned remedies, and in response to a question, confirmed that it did not expect protein food supply chain problems.