Dunkin’ Donuts – Innovative Changes Underway to Boost Sales

Dunkin’ Donuts, the iconic brand dominating over 50% of the American doughnuts market, is acknowledging it is high time to step up to the changing consumer needs. While third quarter earnings showed an increase of 2% in the Dunkin U.S. segment and 5.8% for sister brand Baskin-Robbins, the numbers failed to hit targets. Alongside the slow growth in the domestic front, comparable international sales also dropped.

One of the most globally iconic and biggest coffee and bakery goods chains, Dunkin’ Donuts maintains over 11,000 franchise restaurants in 33 countries around the globe. The company has revealed long-term expansion plans covering Taiwan, India, Costa Rica, Ukraine, Turkey, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Austria. Executives have also revealed efforts to re-introduce the brand to the England and Australian markets.

Over the years, the Dunkin’ menu has featured over a thousand products on top of the traditional doughnut-and-coffee pair. The Dunkin’ store sells sandwiches, bagels, as well as hot, iced and frozen beverages.

The sluggish 3Q results were seen as a result of the tightening competition in the breakfast and coffee market with stronger players like McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks. To keep up, Dunkin’ Brands and Baskin Robbins have established 120 more restaurants in the United States, which lauds the company’s newest initiatives featuring newer menu items, platforms and programs to draw and retain customers.

Focused on enhancing front line potential and increasing franchise profitability, Dunkin’ Donuts has rolled out a series of innovative ideas. Emphasizing the customer’s changing preference for food and greater convenience, the company has enriched its menu with the new steak platform, dark roast coffee and granola bars, among several others.

Online ordering is also available for customers who want their food and beverage available to them 24 hours. The Perks Program is seen as a quite successful customer loyalty initiative, with over 1.8 million members to date. Globally, product and store presentation has been a major focus for Dunkin’ Brands. Digital menu boards, considered part of its in-store marketing efforts, can be found in restaurants.

In a video interview with Bloomberg TV, Dunkin’ Donuts CEO Nigel Travis details how the company’s been kept busy by continuing efforts to give customers what they want:

“I think this is a challenge with the consumer. I think the consumer is concerned with everything that is going on with the world, everything from Ebola to ISIS to Ukraine . . . and we hear this morning about the triple-digit recession in Europe. I think the consumer is still concerned about jobs and the future of the economy . . . and that’s making them pull back on their expenditure.

We’re really innovating both in the technology and the product category. We’re really delivering what the consumer wants. But most of all in store levels, we look at our numbers and our franchises are delivering better and better service and we think we can take that service to new levels. “

Photo by Gabriel Guzman

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