With more than 12,000 locations around the world, Dunkin’ Donuts has become known as much for its coffee as its doughnuts.
During a recent earnings call, the company said U.S. comparable store sales in the first quarter were flat amid a challenging environment for retail and restaurant chains.
But Dunkin’ Donuts has a multi-point plan to increase traffic to its stores this year.
Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, menu and coupon changes
The chain is adding some menu items and dropping others in hopes of improving the guest experience to distinguish itself from competitors like Starbucks.
“Guests want to use Dunkin’ as a place to take five minutes, not 50,” said David Hoffmann, president of Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. and Canada. “And as we jokingly say around here, ‘There are other coffeehouses where you can go to write your screenplay.’”
If you’re a fan of Dunkin’ Donuts, read on for five big changes that are happening this year!
It’s all about the coffee…
The #1 focus for Dunkin’ Donuts isn’t the sweet snacks, it’s the coffee. The chain recently debuted a new ad to remind customers that its coffee is freshly ground and freshly brewed.
Now, Dunkin’ has a new frozen coffee creation that it hopes you’ll fall in love with.
Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee has the taste of the chain’s signature coffee, blended with ice and dairy, and can be customized with any flavors that you want.
Grab a free 3.5-ounce sample on Friday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at participating locations.
Your favorite menu items may be going away
As DD puts the focus on beverages, some menu items may be getting the boot!
In February, Dunkin’ Donuts began testing a streamlined menu at 300 locations. It has led to a better guest experience so far, so the test is expanding to 800 more stores later this year.
Some less popular items won’t make the cut, but the company hasn’t revealed which ones just yet.
Need a job? Dunkin’ really needs workers!
One of the goals of the streamlined menu test is to make Dunkin’ Donuts an easier place to work and reduce employee turnover, company executives said.
Recruiting and retaining good workers is a challenge for the food industry as a whole.
“With low unemployment, it’s harder to attract and retain quality labor, and the average labor turnover rate in our industry is greater than 150%,” said Dunkin’ Brands chairman and CEO Nigel Travis.
Dunkin’ is showing up in new places
One way to save on DD’s coffee is to buy it at the grocery store and brew it at home.
The company has been selling packaged coffee for years, but it just recently introduced bottled iced coffee in four flavors: Original, Mocha, Espresso and French Vanilla.
You can pick up these new ready-to-drink iced beverages at grocery and convenience stores.
Speaking of expansion efforts, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is now available on Amtrak Acela Express trains throughout the Northeast Corridor.
Meanwhile, DD continues to be served on all JetBlue Airways flights.
Custom money-saving offers on the app
Since Dunkin’ Donuts locations are franchised, you may not get the same coupons in the mail that your family and friends who live out of the area receive.
Going forward, Dunkin’ is planning to offer more individualized, exclusive offers through its mobile app.
If you sign up for DD Perks, you get a free beverage when you enroll, on your birthday and periodically throughout the year after earning points with every purchase.
The app also offers on-the-go ordering so you can skip the line when you pick up your coffee.