Dunkin’ Donuts had quite the eventful few days last week. On Wednesday, the company announced the launch of a new all-day menu featuring “oven-toasted” flatbread sandwiches, pizzas, and hash browns. On Thursday, the Globe reported that 95% of New England and New York Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees are unhappy about the chain’s decision to allow its coffee to be distributed in grocery stores and at Hess gas stations.
At heart, both of these pieces of news are about brand dilution. If Dunkie’s flatbreads and pizzas turn out to be good, that’s great, but, as we’ve mentioned, that seems unlikely. If a customer goes to Dunkin’ Donuts and has a crap pizza, that’s likely to diminish their approval of the brand in general, no matter how rocking the doughnuts and coffee may be. Furthermore, the effort expended on making the meal items may well take away from the time spent on the core items, such as the doughnuts, which could result in diminished quality for the entire menu. While we don’t object to the selling of Dunkie’s coffee at grocery stores, it does send a message that Dunkin’ Donuts a brand that extends well beyond its own locations, which is likely bad news for franchisees, who are, after all, the core of Dunkin’ Donuts’ operations, especially in New England. We worry, in short, that Dunkie’s is doing less with more.
What do you think? Are all these changes good or bad for the Dunkin’ Donuts brand? Your thoughts are, as always, welcome in the comments.
Dunkin’ Donuts Turns Up the Heat with New Oven-Roasted Menu [Dunkin’ Donuts]
Bad Feelings Brewing Among Shop Owners [Boston Globe]