High-quality espresso beverages sold at a fair price and served at the speed of Dunkin' is something only we can do,” Hoffmann said.
Heading into the summer, Dunkin’ is doubling down on training. It’s also promoting new espresso innovation, like the recently launched signature latte line, which includes a Blueberry Crisp flavor.
And expect Dunkin’ to keep driving afternoon business and trial with its PM Break platform that touts $2 offers across its beverage lineup. Hoffmann said the platform hasn’t just ignited p.m. business, which posted positive sales comps for the fourth consecutive quarter in Q1, but has also introduced many customers to espresso. Lapsed, new, and loyal. These value seekers have shown a tendency to return in the morning as well.
Espresso has also been key for Dunkin’ because it skews younger than typical hot-drip coffee and opens the brand to a new segment—one that perhaps was just interested in iced options before. Hoffmann said at the brand’s November media day in 2018 that his kids were “graduating from Coolattas to lattes.” It’s comparable to the transitional role drip coffee once played for soda-drinking consumers as they matured. Call espresso the gateway coffee choice for millennials and Gen Zers.
Another important element is the drive thru. Chief operating officer Scott Murphy said Dunkin’ was able to maintain its speeds there despite the added complexity. It’s balancing equipment and preparation changes with renewed training and other operational moves, like significant menu simplification taken last year, the installation of label printers, and better app features. “And we’ve got plans to see, hopefully, some even bigger improvements throughout the next year,” he said.
CMO Tony Weisman said espresso is also changing the narrative around Dunkin’.
“We pay very careful attention to social media,” he said, “where conversations are increasing substantially and considerably more positive, particularly around the espresso lineup. A lot of delight among consumers around what we’ve offered and the fact that we are in that game.”
Another interesting development in Q1 concerns Dunkin’s first national value platform in company history—the Go2s, which first launched in Q2 of 2018.
Dunkin’ brought it back in January with a revised menu that showcased three of its most-popular breakfast items, including two bagels for $4. While the platform delivered strong incremental sales and traffic, and helped with afternoon business, another figure stood out: About 75 percent of Go2 transactions contained a beverage and had an average ticket north of $8. That’s a pretty solid figure for a value platform focused on snacking.
Dunkin’ followed by supplementing national value with new premium breakfast sandwiches—the Power Breakfast Sandwich and Chipotle Bacon option. The first, designed to appeal to health-minded consumers with 350 calories and 24 grams of protein, had a higher-than-average trial and repurchase rate, Hoffmann said. Dunkin’ recently launched an Egg White Bowl to continue its better-for-you efforts.
Weisman added that Dunkin’ spiked interest awareness in the quarter with a retro-themed advertising campaign.