Owner of Center City Dunkin’ Donuts Business Explains Alleged Pope ‘Price Gouging’ - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Owner of Center City Dunkin’ Donuts Business Explains Alleged Pope ‘Price Gouging’

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    NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Pope Francis celebrates Mass at Madison Square Garden on September 25, 2015 in New York City. The pope is visiting New York City during a six-day tour of the United States, that included a stop in Washington D.C. and includes one in Philadelphia. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

    A Center City business owner says a temporary price increase in advance of Pope Francis’ arrival that was criticized was a case of bad timing.

    Rikki Vaughn owns and operates nine Dunkin’ Donuts in downtown Philadelphia. Vaughn cited a lack of communication and said he was told by a Secret Service agent that he had to close five of his stores beginning at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

    Vaughn said he was “frustrated” by the situation and had to tell approximately 120 employees to stay home without pay beginning Thursday afternoon and lasting until sometime Monday when the stores are allowed to reopen.

    Vaughn told NBC10 his stores typically raise prices twice a year – in February and September – to cover cost increases.

    Vaughn told NBC10 he raised prices to “try to justify closing stores down” and leaving employees without a paycheck.

    However, he said he lowered the prices after only two hours.

    Vaughn said his business, as well as other business owners in the area, won’t benefit from the event and he wished it was “better planned."