Dunkin' Donuts

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Dunkin' Donuts
TypeWholly owned subsidiary
IndustryFood and Beverage
Founder(s)William Rosenberg
Headquarters130 Royall Street
Canton, Massachusetts, United States
Area servedWorldwide
Key peopleNigel Travis, Chairman and CEO
Paul Carbone, CFO
ProductsHot beverages
Iced beverages
Frozen beverages
Bakery goods
RevenueIncrease$6.9 billion USD (2012)[2]
ParentDunkin' Brands
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Dunkin' Donuts
TypeWholly owned subsidiary
IndustryFood and Beverage
Founder(s)William Rosenberg
Headquarters130 Royall Street
Canton, Massachusetts, United States
Area servedWorldwide
Key peopleNigel Travis, Chairman and CEO
Paul Carbone, CFO
ProductsHot beverages
Iced beverages
Frozen beverages
Bakery goods
RevenueIncrease$6.9 billion USD (2012)[2]
ParentDunkin' Brands
The original Dunkin' Donuts in Quincy, Massachusetts, after its renovation in the 2000s

Dunkin' Donuts is an American global doughnut company and coffeehouse chain based in Canton, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1950 by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts.[1] Since its founding, the company has grown to become one of the largest coffee and baked goods chain in the world, with 15,000 restaurants in 37 different countries.[3] The chain has grown to include over 1,000 items on their menu, including doughnuts, bagels, other baked goods, and a wide variety of hot and iced beverages.[4][5]

The company primarily competes with Starbucks, as over half the company's business is in coffee sales. Dunkin' Donuts also competes with Krispy Kreme, as both companies sell doughnuts. The company also competes locally with Honey Dew Donuts, another popular Massachusetts based coffee and doughnut chain.[6]


A Dunkin' Donuts shop in Islamabad, Pakistan

The name has evolved since William Rosenberg opened his first restaurant in 1948 as Open Kettle, in Quincy, Massachusetts The name changed to Kettle Donuts in 1949 and the now corporate name Dunkin' Donuts adopted in 1950.[7] Rosenberg conceived of the idea for the chain after his experiences selling food in factories and at construction sites, where doughnuts and coffee were the two most popular items.[3] Rosenberg sold franchise of Dunkin' Donuts to others as early as 1955. In 1959, the company began growing, which led Rosenberg to lobby for Dunkin' Donuts at the International Franchise Association. In 2002, Rosenberg passed away from bladder cancer at the age of 86 in his Mashpee, Cape Cod home.[3]

The chain's 100th restaurant opened in 1963. "Munchkins", pastries that resemble the center of a doughnut when cut, debuted in 1972. Growth was exponential starting in 1979 when the chain had 1,000 restaurants in 1979, 2,000 in 1990, and 3,000 in 1992. In 1996, bagels were introduced to the Dunkin' Donuts menu and breakfast sandwiches the following year.[8]

In 2004, the company's headquarters were relocated to Canton.[9] The following year, four-time James Beard Foundation Award nominee Stan Frankenthaler was appointed the company's debut Executive Chef/Director of Culinary Development.[10] In 2006, Dunkin' Donuts began using the slogan "America Runs on Dunkin" which continues to be used in many advertisement campaigns.[8]

In 2008, Dunkin' Donuts opened its first "green" restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida that is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified. The location program includes: worm composting to repurpose such wastes as coffee grounds and paper products into fertilizer for local farms and gardens, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, and the use of well water rather than potable water for all landscape irrigation.[11] On December 10, 2008, Nigel Travis was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Dunkin’ Brands. He also assumed the role of Dunkin’ Donuts President at the end of 2009.

In 2010, Dunkin' Donuts' global system-wide sales were $6 billion.[12] In 2011, Dunkin' Donuts ranked first for customer loyalty in the coffee category by Brand Keys for five continuous years.[13]

In April 2012, Dunkin' Donuts switched its beverage provider from previously served PepsiCo products to The Coca-Cola Company since rivals increasingly served PepsiCo products the United States; PepsiCo's Gatorade remained on the menu. Canadian restaurants did not switch.

In 2012, Dunkin' Donuts launched its first-ever mobile application for payment and gifting for iPhone, iPod touch and Android smartphones.[14] In May 2013, Dunkin’ Donuts Mobile® App launched a new language setting that enables users to view content in English or Spanish.[15] In May 2013, Nigel Travis assumed the role of Chairman of the Board and Paul Twohig was appointed to President, Dunkin' Donuts U.S. & Canada.[16]

Dunkin' Brands was bought by French beverage company Pernod Ricard S.A. from Allied Domecq under the corporate name of Allied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants. In 2014, Dunkin' Donuts is owned by Dunkin' Brands Inc. that also owns Baskin-Robbins and previously owned the Togo's chain, the latter sold it in late 2007 to a private equity firm. Pernod Ricard agreed in December 2005 to sell the Dunkin' Brands a consortium of three private-equity firms: Bain Capital Partners, the Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners. Mister Donut had represented a major competitor in the United States before the company was bought by Dunkin' Donuts' parent company and all the acquired stores were rebranded as Dunkin' Donuts; Dunkin' controls the rights to the Mister Donut trademark.[citation needed].

In the United States, the company's major competitors include Krispy Kreme donuts, Starbucks, Honey Dew Donuts, Winchell's Donuts, and small locally owned doughnut shops; Tim Hortons is the major competitor in Canada.


A display of donuts at a Dunkin' Donuts franchise.

Dunkin' Donuts has several varieties.[4][5]

  • Iced beverages
    • Iced coffee
    • Iced latte
    • Iced teas
  • Sandwiches
    • Oven-toasted sandwiches
    • Big N' Toasted
    • Wraps
    • Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich

Since October 18, 2007, Dunkin' Donuts locations in the United States have reduced trans fats from their menu items by switching to a blend of oils: palm, soybean and cottonseed.[17] International locations are expected to adopt the change over time.[18] The DDSmart menu features items that are reduced no less than 25 percent of any one of the following: calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, or sodium.

Nutritional value[edit]

Generally, food items from Dunkin' Donuts do not have over 600 calories. The sodium content can be quite high (ranging from 260 mg to 1,310 mg).[19]

Dunkin' Donuts' DDsmart Menu features "better-for-you" food options. This menu can help customers avoid high-caloric, high-sodium foods and choose somewhat healthier food options.[20]



One early logo that Dunkin' Donuts registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office was for a drawing and word logo depicting what can be described as a "doughnut man", a figure with a doughnut for a head holding a coffee cup and wearing an apron with the company name emblazoned on it. According to the Trademark Office TESS data base, the logo was first applied for on June 23, 1958 and was registered on May 23, 1961 and put into use on July 1, 1964.[21]

Before that a script version of its name, Dunkin' Donuts, was filed on March 31, 1955 and registered on February 2, 1960. It was subsequently cancelled because of Section 8.[clarification needed] It was later reinstated, as a trademark upon Section 8 was accepted on July 3, 2001. The stylized word mark is owned by DD IP Holder LLC.[22]

The logo is a rectangle of all letters in orange and hot pink with, on the left outlined in brown, a coffee cup logoed with "DD" and, on the right, the words "Dunkin' Donuts".




Dunkin' Donuts truck

In early 2007, Dunkin' Donuts b Score! that featured tear-off game pieces on its coffee cups.

Easy Bake Oven, a product of Hasbro, created product recipes based on Dunkin' Donuts products.[31]

In 2007, Dunkin' created a promotional campaign centered on a coffee cup named Joe Dunkin. Videos were created for the Yankees and Mets in which he tried out for the team, the New York football Giants in which he was the kicker, the Jets in which he played a Joe Namath parody named Off Broadway Joe Dunkin, and the Nets in which he played a potential draft pick who performed rap solos about Dunkin' products.

In 2008, as a response to Starbucks closing its stores for three hours on February 26, Dunkin' Donuts locations offered a 99 cent latte, cappuccino, and espresso promotion from 1–10 pm.[32]

In 2009 and 2010, there was a campaign for people to "Create Dunkin's Next Donut". In 2009, Jeff Hager of Hoover, Alabama was selected for his glazed sour cream cake doughnut, topped with chopped Heath Bar, titled "Toffee For Your Coffee". The 2010 winner was Rachel Davis of Sharon, Massachusetts, selected for “Monkey See Monkey Donut”, a banana-filled doughnut with chocolate icing, topped with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups shavings. Each won $12,000 and their doughnuts had a limited time offering at selected Dunkin’ Donuts locations.[33]

In 2010, Dunkin' Donuts launched a campaign called "Caught Cold" starring NBA All-Star spokesman Ray Allen, which awarded game tickets to Boston Celtics fans "caught" in public drinking Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee.[34]

In April 2011, Dunkin' Donuts launched a new doughnut and special cake in honor of the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in England on April 29, 2011.[35]

In July 2012, Dunkin' Donuts produced a new doughnut and a new Coolatta to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the Oreo cookie. It has added an Oreo cream filled doughnut and a vanilla and coffee coolatta with Oreo in it as part of the promotion.[36]

In August 2013, Long Island Dunkin' Donuts restaurants launched t-shirts to help rebuild the community from Hurricane Sandy that occurred in October 2012. The shirts contain the phrase "REBUILDD Long Island," and portions of the proceeds are donated to Long Island Cares Inc. The campaign was important to Long Island locations and regional food banks. These locations have shown their support by helping the Long Island community days after the storm and has continued their efforts through the "REBUILDD Long Island" t-shirts.[37]


Dunkin' Donuts has been featured in many films and has a close relationship with major sports teams, most notably the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots, making commercials at the start of each team's season for promotions. Dunkin’ Donuts also sponsors many other professional sports teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Tampa Bay Rays and others. In January 2014, English football club Liverpool announced a multi-million-pound global partnership with the company.[38]

Dunkin' Donuts's current slogan is "America Runs On Dunkin'". In March 2009, the company unveiled an alternate slogan, "You 'Kin Do It!", and launched a more than $100 million ad campaign promotion.[39] The campaign, which was to run through 2009, included radio, print and outdoor advertising, in addition to in-store point-of-purchase, special events, and sports marketing.[40]

The original Dunkin' Donuts slogan was Sounds Good, Tastes Even Better.

Controversy and criticism[edit]

In 1997, Dunkindonuts.org was founded by a customer, for disgruntled consumers and employees to lodge complaints about the company. The site appeared before the company's own website in many search engines, and received national media coverage before being purchased by Dunkin' Donuts in 1999.[41]

Dunkin' Donuts has been criticized by some of its franchisees for allegedly coercing them out of business at large financial losses. Dunkin' Donuts has sued franchise owners 154 times since 2006. Over the same stretch of time, McDonald's was involved in five lawsuits. Subway, a company that has four times the number of locations as Dunkin' Donuts, sued its franchisees 12 times. However, these figures do not include arbitrations, which Subway, McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts use in bringing legal claims against their franchisees. Franchisees allege that the company's larger business strategy requires multi-unit franchisees who have ample capital and can open numerous stores rapidly to compete with Starbucks.[42]

In 2009, the company temporarily stopped the sale of two of its products, the Dunkaccino and hot chocolate, after concern of a possible salmonella poisoning at a supplier's facilities. Dunkin' Donuts claims that none of the beverages were contaminated, but the recall was made out of safety for its consumers.[43]

In 2009, the Kainos Partners Holding Co., which owned and operated 56 Dunkin' Donuts, filed for bankruptcy. The company claimed to owe an amount between $10 and $50 million. Bart Thorne said that one of the primary causes for bankruptcy was the economic recession that was occurring at the time.[44]

In May 2010, Dunkin' Donuts was criticized for advertising "Free Iced Coffee Day" on its national Facebook page, which only took place in 13 cities.[45] Because of the limited scope of the promotion, many customers became dissatisfied with the lack of free iced coffee and vented their anger on the Dunkin' Donuts Facebook page.[46]

In 2013, the Dunkin' Donuts chain in Thailand used an advertisement that contained a photograph of a woman in black face-paint, in order to promote its new chocolate flavored donuts. The company was criticized for the advertisement, with the Human Rights Watch calling the advertisement “bizarre and racist”. The headquarters in the United States apologized for the advertisement.[47]


  Current locations
  Military bases only
  Planned future locations
  Former locations

Dunkin' Donuts is a subsidiary of Dunkin' Brands, a franchiser of quick service restaurants serving hot and cold coffee and baked goods. Dunkin' Donuts headquarters is located at 130 Royall St, Canton, Massachusetts, which also houses the headquarters for sister brand Baskin-Robbins.

On December 29, 2012, there were 10,479 Dunkin' Donuts locations where products were distributed: 7,306 were in the United States and 3,173 were in other countries.[48] This figure compares with the 17,009 stores of coffee chain Starbucks. Nearly all of Dunkin' Donuts locations are franchisee owned and operated.[49] Within its Northeast home base, Dunkin' Donuts is very popular, and particularly dominant within the six New England states. In addition to its stand-alone shops, Dunkin' Donuts shops can be found within many gas stations, supermarkets, mall and airport food courts, and Walmart stores. Dunkin' Donuts is continuing to grow by adding more locations around the U.S., including the regions where it has been long established. In July 2013, Dunkin' Donuts opened its 500th restaurant in New York City. This location is combined with a Baskin-Robbins restaurant.[48] While the greatest number of shops are located in the Northeastern United States, Dunkin' Donuts has since slowly expanded across to the west coast, with more shops planned for the next few years. In the U.S., there are at least 82 franchisees west of the Mississippi River, mostly in central Iowa, which is expected to have approximately 20 new locations over the next 6 years.[50][51][52][53][54] Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas are all expected to see new locations over the next several years as well.

Many Dunkin' Donuts locations are expected to appear in California. The company has agreed to open 18 restaurants in Orange County, California in 2015. There will also be eight restaurants developed in North Inland Empire, California, with the first location opening 2015.[55] As of March 2014, there are three California stores open - one on the Camp Pendleton military base, a second in Barstow at Barstow Station, and the third in downtown San Diego's Embassy Suites hotel. The company is expecting to open upwards of 1,000 stores starting in 2015.[56][57]

In the past decade, Dunkin' Donuts has opened many locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix, and Las Vegas metropolitan areas. In 2013, Dunkin' Donuts opened their first eight locations in the Salt Lake City Area, bringing the brand to Utah for the first time ever. Locations also opened in the Denver and Omaha regions.

In the United States, Dunkin' Donuts is sometimes paired with Baskin-Robbins ice cream shops. While such locations usually have two counters set up for each chain (much like the Wendy's/Tim Hortons co-branded locations in Canada), depending on business that day, both products can be bought at the same counter (usually the Dunkin' counter), much like the Yum! Brands stores.[citation needed]

In 2008, Dunkin' Donuts opened its first restaurant in Shanghai, representing the first step in its China expansion strategy.[58]

In Brazil, Dunkin' Donuts opened its first building in 1980.[59] Most ended up closing the network through the points for the company Café Donuts. In 2013, it plans to open 25 franchises in the country.[60]

One of the last remaining Dunkin' Donuts locations in Canada at Montreal's Place Ville-Marie

In January 2014, Dunkin' Donuts relaunched in the UK 20 years after it exited the country with its first store opening in Harrow, London.[61]

Canadian decline[edit]

In Canada Dunkin' Donuts has lost a substantial percent of its market share. In recent years[when?] the chain has disappeared from all regions of Canada, except the province of Quebec. Its decline is most apparent in Quebec, where the chain once had 210 stores but had only five stores left as of early 2013, the last franchisees in the country.[62] One of the main reasons for the decline was competition with Tim Hortons, similar to Tim Hortons' own decline in the northeastern United States due to heavy competition from Dunkin' Donuts. A group of franchisees won a C$16.4 million civil court judgement against the parent company for failing to adequately promote the brand in Canada.[63]

Japanese decline[edit]

Dunkin' Donuts began business in Japan in 1970 as the first Asian country to open its stores. The Japanese chain was owned by a joint venture between the Saison Group, Yoshinoya, and the Japanese subsidiary of the Compass Group named Seiyo Food Systems. After 28 years of operating in Japan, Dunkin' Donuts ceased business there in 1998 due to declining sales and poor performance. All of the non-military base locations were either closed or converted to Mister Donut locations. Dunkin' Donuts still has locations in United States military bases, which are open only to military personnel.

U.S. West Coast expansion[edit]

On January 16, 2013, Nigel Travis, Dunkin' Donuts' CEO, announced that the Dunkin' Donuts franchises will be available in California beginning in 2015.[64] In July 2013, Dunkin’ Donuts announced that it has signed its first Southern California multi-unit store development agreements with four franchise groups for a total commitment of 45 new restaurants. The first standalone restaurants are expected to open in 2015 in Orange and Los Angeles counties.[65] The chain also plans to expand into more stores in Texas by 2015.[66] On March 10, 2014, the first Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins combination store in Southern California opened in San Diego.[67] This is Dunkin's third California shop to open, following shops in Barstow and on Camp Pendleton.




Notable endorsers[edit]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]