A TikTok Reveals the Real Reason Dunkin' Has Height Charts in Stores

And it's not to see how tall you are.

Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images
Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images

A post on TikTok with almost 500,000 views is definitely the source of at least several people's "Today I Learned" moment. The video showed a height chart on the door frame of a Dunkin' shop, similar to one you might find at a doctor's office or the DMV. But, as the caption quickly reveals, it's not a wholesome height chart.

"Tell me your Dunkin' has been robbed without telling me your Dunkin' has been robbed," TikTok user @officaljuice93 wrote across the video, which panned the doorframe.

In the comment section, one person wrote "I was today years old when I learned that's not to see how tall you are for fun."

Another said: "I had no idea that's what it was for."

Others were more jaded, sharing that every establishment in their town had such a marker on the door.

"I'm from the suburbs in the Midwest and this is pretty common in fast food places. Always thought it was just standard practice," one person wrote.

For those of you not familiar with the reason, here's a little history. The Chicago Tribune covered the story back in 1985, titled "Tape Measure Up As Crime Deterrent." An employee at one store back then explained how it works pretty succinctly: "It gives the police a better chance to catch the robber. In all the excitement of a robbery, you might forget to notice all of the details. But if you remember to look at the tape measure as the robber walks past it, you can be exact about the robber's height.''

In 2012, Slate did their own deep dive on why the height charts exist. While the height charts were initially put up to actually help witnesses give police descriptions of thieves, now it's more of a deterrent. The thinking is, you are less likely to rob a convenience store or fast-food restaurant if everyone in the store could tell the police something major about your appearance.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.