Dunkin’ Donuts announced yesterday the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement with Pinehurst Donuts, LLC, for four new restaurants in the Fayetteville, Pinehurst/Southern Pines, and Sanford regions of North Carolina. One restaurant will open in 2011 and the remainder by 2016.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ development is part of a steady and strategic growth strategy, which includes expanding in existing markets while entering new cities across the country to help drive the coffee and bakery chain’s growth.

Pinehurst Donuts, LLC, is led by two local entrepreneurs Ken Baer and Pat Corso. Together they represent more than 60 years of collective experience in the hospitality industry including resorts, restaurants, hotels, golf, skiing, and spas. They have managed and restored some of America’s most respected resorts including, Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, North Carolina; The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia; Barton Creek, Austin, Texas; Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio; PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; and Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.

Additionally, Baer is past chairman of the local Moore County School Board, and Corso is the past chair of the State of North Carolina Travel and Tourism Board and past member of the North Carolina Economic Development Board.

“We have deep roots in the local community and are excited to expand Dunkin’ Donuts’ presence in the area and play an important role in the daily lives of people who live, work, and visit here,” Corso says. “We have a strong passion and loyalty for the brand and look forward to the opening of these four restaurants.”

In addition to the development agreement mentioned above, Dunkin’ Donuts is seeking new and existing franchisees to develop restaurants in Orange County, North Carolina. Opportunities are also available in Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa, Washington, D.C., and Detroit.

To drive its expansion efforts, Dunkin’ Donuts has aligned its strategy to support the growth opportunities and consumer needs of individual markets. As a result, the company continues to expand with single and multi-unit opportunities with no minimum unit requirements.

Ideally, franchisees should possess a minimum net worth of $500,000 and liquid assets of at least $250,000, but financial qualifications will vary based on the opportunity available by market. This evolution of Dunkin’ Donuts’ franchise sales effort enables the brand to expand in markets more aggressively, while balancing its market penetration and maturity.

“Dunkin’ Donuts is excited to expand its footprint in Fayetteville, Pinehurst/Southern Pines, and Sanford with Pinehurst Donuts, LLC,” says Grant Benson, CFE, vice president of franchising and market planning for Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. “Our secret to success is our passionate franchisees who provide a high-level of customer service to our guests every day, and we’re confident Pat and his team will cultivate lasting relationships and become an integral part of the Fayetteville-Pinehurst community.”

Building a solid network of stores within a market enables Dunkin’ Donuts to invest in a distribution model that provides a consistent, high-quality product guests expect “in the way and on the way” of their daily routines. In an effort to keep the brand fresh and competitive, Dunkin’ Donuts offers flexible concepts for any real estate format including free-standing restaurants, end caps, in-line sites, gas and convenience, travel plazas, universities, as well as other retail environments.

According to Benson, “Dunkin’ Donuts is proud to energize Americans and keep the honest, hard-working, value-driven people of this country running every day. Our recent and ongoing menu enhancements meet the needs of today’s on-the-go consumers, moving Dunkin’ Donuts beyond breakfast with high-quality food and beverage items available all day.”

Historically a doughnut and hot coffee chain, Dunkin’ Donuts has expanded its offering to include frozen and iced beverages, a full bakery assortment including bagels and muffins, breakfast sandwiches, and an all-day Oven-Toasted menu which includes flatbread sandwiches, hash browns, and buttermilk biscuits. The new platform marks the most significant change to Dunkin’ Donuts’ product lineup since the company launched espresso-based beverages in 2003.

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