New Dunkin' Donuts stores aim to make you linger
Wanting to be more like Starbucks, the chain is adding touches like jazz and soft seating to lure customers all day long.
Dunkin' Donuts has bigger aspirations than serving as a morning fuel station for coffee and doughnuts.
Noting that Starbucks (SBUX) lures customers all day long through its hip soundtracks and comfortable seating, Dunkin' is aiming to ape the coffee chain's success, Bloomberg reports. To that end, owner Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) is undertaking the chain's most radical overhaul since its early days.
"We haven't always been conducive to that relaxed environment," chief executive Nigel Travis told the publication. "So soft seating, the ability to watch TV, to listen to appropriate music and just do things slightly slower than you would in the morning is what we think we've been missing."
That means Dunkin' Donuts stores will ditch the bright color scheme and hard plastic chairs in favor of earth tones, booths and jazz. It has opened 90 new stores so far, and it's aiming for 600 more by year's end. Dunkin' offers franchisees options to either remodel or build new stores at costs ranging from $175,000 to up to $700,000. At least once a decade, franchisees are required to remodel their stores, Bloomberg noted.
What will customers see for that much money? Think faux-leather chairs, glass partitions with LED lights that change colors, and stained-poplar rails. The most expensive color scheme is called Jazz Brew and aims to impart a relaxing mood with dark orange and brown booth seating and hanging light fixtures.
For Dunkin' Brands, the changes come amid heightened competition, and not only from Starbucks. Fast-casual chains such as Panera Bread (PNRA) have won fans for comfortable seating and relaxing environments.
Dunkin' is betting its changes can help lure new customers who otherwise might have opted for a higher-end cafe.
"It can compete on the taste of its coffee and the taste of its pastries -- of which a lot of people really, really liked," Brian Wansink, a professor of marketing at Cornell University, told Bloomberg. "They just didn't like the atmosphere."
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
Dunkin Donuts used to be nicer when you would walk in and smell the donuts...they took that appealing flavor away...plus the coffee..in some areas are watering it down..more water less beans...want people to come back and sit....THINK FRESH FRESH FRESH....
they should go back to baking on sight instead of shipping in stale donuts
boycotting DD last two experiences were terrible. They need to retrain their employees not to yell at the customers.
Wrong business model - even Starbucks is putting in kiosks instead of large new stores. Go back to the basic demographics that you were built on - good coffee, friendly and fast drive thru service. Donuts should be warm and fresh. Spend some money on customer service training with a bonus or other incentive to be polite and do a good job. Been to three different shops this past month - first one got the coffee wrong (I wanted cream and no sugar); second got the donut wrong and the third one forgot to give me my senior discount after I had asked for it. Three different stores, three different problems but it tells me that no one is watching the shop.
OMG, does this mean they'll run outta donuts faster? The one in my neighborhood doesn't replace donuts so you often hear "no glazed," "no Boston creme," no-no-no so I just get coffee and wonder that a donut shop doesn't make or keep fresh donuts on hand. (The DD in the next town laughs at the one near me..the next town always has donuts & is more than willing to get our business!) // Talking about the employees...the kids at my DD make the whole place run better! When it's just the owners, it's slow and not as friendly. Bring on the teenagers who know what they're doing!!
I hadnt had a hot fresh donut in years sooooo....we stop at dunken donuts to splurge a little, we lost $10.00 on the deal, got cold dried up donuts for our money, I was so disapointed. I always ask for fresh food every place I go, like this day, was assured they were fresh baked......cold and dried up fresh baked? well I hadnt had a fresh donut in yrs. maybe I just imagined them being warm and soft...ya think? LOL
As I read this they want folks to hang out at Dunkin's, lmao.
Me and a fellow Rider had come back from the NH Mountains on a Hot Day last week, we decided to make a final stop at a local Dunkin's in town. Went in to order a ice coffee, within a few minutes one of the cashiers cam out and told us we had to leave the lot or she'd call the police.
In short the cops showed up, I had finished my coffee my buddy wound up tossing his Coolata after the officers made it clear we had to leave the property, wow, that was relaxing.....ROFLMA
I flew out of Providence RI airport May 25th. I stopped at DD in the airport after security for a breakfast sandwich and a medium coffee. When I sat at my gate waiting to board 3 minutes later , I pulled out a wrong sandwich I ordered sausage ,egg , cheese and got bacon. It was cold and uncooked , the coffee was ok but not great. I did not have time to go back and complain. Maybe that's what they know there!
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