Dunkin' Donuts Growing Brand in Southern California

Published in CSP Daily News

Also actively seeking travel center, other nontraditional sites

CANTON, Mass. -- Coffee, bakery and quick-service restaurant chain Dunkin' Donuts said 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.

In addition to traditional restaurants, the company is actively identifying franchisees to open a wide range of nontraditional venues including colleges, universities, casinos, military bases, supermarkets, airports and travel centers. Some nontraditional Dunkin' Donuts locations may open over the next several months, the company said.

In January, Dunkin' Donuts began recruiting multi-unit operators for Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, Ventura and Orange counties, with a long-term goal of having more than 15,000 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in the United States.

Frontier Group, led by local businessmen Dan Almquist and Robert Jonas, signed the company's first California development agreement to develop 18 restaurants in Central Orange County and the South Bay Coastal region of Los Angeles County. Gary Haar, an existing Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins franchisee with six locations in New Jersey, and his partner, Steve Silverstein, will develop 10 restaurants throughout the Westside, Santa Monica, Hollywood and Malibu in Los Angeles County. Danny and Coby Sonenshine, founders of Prell Restaurant Group, plan to develop 16 restaurants in central Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. Existing franchisees Jason Duffy and Bert Hayenga will develop a location in the Barstow Station building in Barstow.

"We have had an overwhelming response by prospective franchisees interested in opening Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in Southern California, and we are delighted to see both existing and new franchisee groups, each of whom has tremendous business experience, bring Dunkin' Donuts to The Golden State," said Paul Twohig, president of Dunkin' Donuts U.S. and Canada. "Our continued focus on franchisee profitability and restaurant economics has made our long-awaited expansion into California possible, and we continue to believe that Dunkin' Donuts has tremendous domestic growth opportunities both east and west of the Mississippi."

Grant Benson, vice president of franchising and business development for Dunkin' Brands, said, "As we develop Southern California, we continue to look for qualified, multi-unit franchise candidates with foodservice, operations and real estate experience who want to become part of a nationally established restaurant concept with more than 60 years of franchising experience and 95% brand recognition. For a limited time, special development incentives are available, including reduced royalty fees in the early years and a $10,000 local store marketing contribution by the company for qualifying franchisees."

In an effort to keep the brand fresh and competitive, Dunkin' Donuts offers franchisees flexible design concepts including freestanding stores, end caps, in-line sites, kiosks and gas stations, as well as other retail environments.

Last month, the company unveiled a new restaurant design, the brand's first in nearly seven years. The new look includes four distinct restaurant design options for franchisees, each featuring variations in layout, color schemes, graphics, textures, furniture and lighting. The concepts--called Original Blend, Cappuccino Blend, Dark Roast and Jazz Brew--are designed to enhance the current restaurant appearance, environment and layout to serve people all day long. Unlike other quick-service restaurants, Dunkin' Donuts allows franchisees to select individual elements from any of the four options, creating a restaurant design that reflects their personal tastes and preferences, and best serves their specific restaurant size and location.

For the full-year 2012, Dunkin' Donuts' restaurants had global franchisee-reported sales of approximately $6.9 billion. Based in Canton, Mass., Dunkin' Donuts is part of the Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. family of companies.