TikTok Reveals Why Dunkin' Supposedly Measures Customers' Heights

One of the biggest mysteries of the food world could be how McDonald's managed to thrive despite filling its restaurants with the figure of Ronald McDonald. Despite the imposing clown accompanying its restaurants since 1963 (via Insider) — and that some experts believe as many as one in 10 adults have a fear of clowns (via Cleveland Clinic) — McDonald's is among the most popular dining brands in America, according to YouGovAmerica.

In fact, quirky additions to food outlets could help achieve brand success. Dunkin' also scores highly on the YouGovAmerica poll — and some of its stores also contain an unnerving aspect.

A viral TikTok video — uploaded by user @officialjuice93 and viewed more than 500,000 times — shows a red height chart with measurements in feet lining a door inside a Dunkin' shop. "Tell me your Dunkin' has been robbed without telling me they've been robbed," the video's caption reads. Why would a Dunkin' have a height chart inside, and what would it have to do with robberies?

Dunkin's height charts can be used to detect criminals

Viewers claim in the video's comments that the height charts are used to deter would-be criminal offenders and help identify suspects. One TikTok commenter reports that the height charts are commonly found in locations with cash registers, while another adds that banks are also known to use them so clerks can provide height descriptions of criminals for use on wanted person appeals. Users have noticed them in gas stations and on buses, but another user reports that Dunkin' is the only business to use the charts in their area.

According to Slate, many of those comments are true: "Height strips, as they're known, appear in many retail, banking and fast-food environments, in addition to convenience stores." The magazine theorizes that they can be used to show clearance height of the doorway, help eyewitnesses, assist evidence gathering, and deter crime.

The true purpose of Dunkin's height charts came as a revelation to some, with one commentator believing the charts simply existed as a fun way to measure people. Other viewers believed the measurements were used to check the height of water during floods, and one comment questioned why they started at 4.5 feet.

Yet businesses initially added visible charts to help identify the height of criminals, Slate reports. Following improvements in security technology, however, the main purpose of height charts now is to deter would-be offenders.