Dunkin’ Donuts Tests Name Change & Streamlined Menu

The chain synonymous with donuts in America for the past 67 years is considering a name change. First and foremost, the Canton, Massachusetts-based retailer wants to be known for coffee. Hence, it is dropping “Donuts” from its moniker in several test locations. The first re-named store, will open in Pasadena, California, this month.

According to Justin Drake, senior public relations manager for parent company, Dunkin Brands, “Dunkin’ Donuts remains the number one retailer of donuts in the country and donuts will continue to play an important role in our business. However, as part of our efforts to reinforce that Dunkin’ Donuts is a beverage-led brand and coffee leader, we will be testing signage in a few locations, including in Pasadena, Calif., and Quincy, Massachusetts, which refers to the brand simply as “Dunkin’.”

The new signage will appear on a handful of restaurants, including a few new store image iterations, opening this year and in early 2018. “We have been referring to ourselves simply as Dunkin’ in our advertising for more than a decade, ever since we introduced our “America Runs on Dunkin’” campaign,” notes Drake, adding that the company does not anticipate making decisions regarding their branding or the new store image until the latter half of 2018.

This test will apply to only a few locations in the United States, and does not apply to the international Dunkin’ Donuts locations at this time.

As part of an effort to redesign the chain, Dunkin’ Donuts is also testing a streamlined menu emphasising its signature beverages and food in a limited number of markets, including Providence, Rhode Island. The company would not disclose specifics on the streamlined menu test or if beverages would be affected. 

Drake says that Dunkin’s intent is to simplify the current menu to reduce complexity and enhance speed of service and in-store operations, while keeping their on-the-go customers energised with a wide-variety of beverages, donuts, baked goods and breakfast sandwiches, among other offerings. “We have conducted extensive consumer research and our customers have told us that our menu was too complex and confusing. The customer is at the center of everything we do, and we will use their valuable feedback to help inform future menu decisions.”

The test with the simpler menu began with 300 stores in the first quarter and will be expanded to 700 by October bringing the total to 1,000.

Of the more than 12,300-plus Dunkin’ Donuts stores worldwide, 3,400 are international, located in 46 countries.

Dunkin is also expanding its Curbside Pickup that was initially tested last year in Natick, Mass., to additional Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants as an opt-in programme for franchisees across the country. “The expansion is part of our continued commitment to leveraging technology to make Dunkin’ runs as fast and convenient for guests as possible while also further incentivising enrolling in DD Perks and ordering via on-the-go mobile ordering,” says Drake.

The test with the simpler menu began with 300 stores in the first quarter and will be expanded to 700 by October bringing the total to 1,000.

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