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<p>Customers wait in line for free coffee at the Dunkin’ Donuts at 1730 W. University Ave. around 4:45 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2015. About 35 were there, forming a line that stretched down the sidewalk outside.</p>

Customers wait in line for free coffee at the Dunkin’ Donuts at 1730 W. University Ave. around 4:45 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2015. About 35 were there, forming a line that stretched down the sidewalk outside.

Almost every day, Margaret Haney gets a cup of coffee.

But on Tuesday, the 66-year-old Gainesville resident got her medium-sized vanilla bean dark roast iced coffee for free.

"I just did it because I love Dunkin’ Donuts," she said. "It’s my favorite."

The free coffee was one of several promotions held by coffee shops around Gainesville in honor of National Coffee Day. At Dunkin’ Donuts on Archer Road, where Haney got her drink, the promotion was one medium-sized hot or iced dark roast coffee per customer.

Kelsey Stefan, 18, a health science and psychology double major, said she usually goes to Starbucks or the dining hall for coffee, but she made a special stop at Dunkin’ Donuts on Tuesday to save a few dollars.

"My best friend texted me and let me know," the freshman said. "So I had to go."

In preparation for the day, the Dunkin’ Donuts on Archer Road had to stock up on extra coffee, cups, napkins, straws, cream and sugar, bakery products and sandwiches, store manager Amber Souza said.

"The thing for us is to be prepared for it, execute well, and that way we retain those customers," the 36-year-old said.

The store also needed extra manpower. The number of employees increased to 10 from its usual seven or eight for the morning shift and from four employees to five for the the afternoon shift.

Though the promotion creates more stress for employees, it’s nothing they can’t handle, said Tommie Wiggins III, a shift manager at Dunkin’ Donuts.

"It’s manageable," Wiggins said. "Stressful, but manageable."

At Krispy Kreme on Northwest 13th Street, the promotion was one small coffee and one original glazed donut.

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"The response has been outstanding," said Gretchen Fullerton, a Krispy Kreme supervisor. She estimated the store had given away 1,500 coffees and donuts and said the store had to start giving out medium cups when it ran out of small cups after 4 p.m.

For Jeffrey Pierre and Islande Resignac, both UF seniors, the appeal was more about the lack of price than the actual food.

"We’re free partners," said Resignac, 22, a psychology major. "Every time there’s free food, we go together."

Customers wait in line for free coffee at the Dunkin’ Donuts at 1730 W. University Ave. around 4:45 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2015. About 35 were there, forming a line that stretched down the sidewalk outside.

Logistics manager Thomas Whitman prepares a batch of coffee beans for packaging at the Opus Coffee warehouse on Sept. 29, 2015. The company has four shops in Gainesville and supplies coffee beans to other local businesses. "I normally start off my day with a plain old cup of joe at any one of our locations," he said.

Rodrigo Guerrero brews a batch of Ethiopia blend using a pour over at Know Where Coffee on Sept. 29, 2015. The 22-year-old UF food and resource economics student has worked at the 1226 W. University Ave. shop since it opened in March. "All I drink are lattes and cappuccinos," he said.

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