Dunkin' Fans Are Divided Over Its Salted Caramel Announcement

February is in its final days, meaning that much of the nation is getting ready to bid farewell to winter and give a hearty hello to the warmer days of spring. As such, a number of restaurant chains are also switching up their menu to honor the upcoming season change, including Dunkin'.

Per Chew Boom, the coffee shop's spring lineup includes a number of new beverages and food items, like chocolate croissants and a St. Patrick's Day-themed Shamrock Macchiato, as well as an entire line of salted caramel-flavored drinks. However, instead of waiting until the first day of spring on March 20, Dunkin' opted to get the party started early by offering its new goodies today, and took to Instagram this morning to announce these new arrivals in a post that featured a familiar internet star.

"Guys, SALTED Caramel is here and it's kinda a big deal. So, we got Saltbae to do the ceremonial first pinch. AS. ONE. DOES," the chain captioned a photo of Turkish chef-turned-meme Nusret Gökçe, otherwise known as Salt Bae, doing his iconic salting technique to one of Dunkin's new salted caramel-flavored products.

The restaurateur's feature may seem appropriate, considering Dunkin's newest sweet-and-salty flavor offering. However, not everybody is on board with Salt Bae's cameo.

Dunkin's announcement is facing backlash for several reasons

Dunkin' fans were already weary of its spring 2022 menu changes, which were leaked on Reddit earlier this year, and it doesn't quite seem like the chain's use of Salt Bae — born Nusret Gökçe — to promote their new salted caramel products has helped. Though some found the meme-ified chef's Instagram appearance funny, a few people took issue with his feature.

"Saltbae is a douche," one person wrote, while others were a bit more specific. "Bro wasn't it on the news like last year or the year before that he treats his employees bad?" user @danadull asked. According to CNBC, Gökçe and his Nusr-Et steakhouse chain were sued by five employees in August last year on claims that they were not given overtime pay despite working several 72-plus hour weeks.

In addition to the Salt Bae backlash, Dunkin' fans also reacted poorly to the salted caramel flavor itself, with many lamenting that it took the place of the chain's hazelnut flavor syrup. "You had no right taking it away!! It's been around for years!! Everyone loves it!!" Instagram user @suzowen101 commented.

Still, not all the comments were bad. "THIS is the Wednesday news I needed to hear," user @chelsie.tatro wrote, and if you feel the same, there's even more good news. Per Chew Boom, Dunkin' lovers can now score a medium-sized version of the chain's new Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew or Signature Latte for just $3, and can continue doing so until March 22.