Industry News | October 9, 2017 | QSR Exclusive Brief

Dunkin' Donuts to Test Smaller Doughnut Menu

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Dunkin’ Donuts outlined a multi-year plan designed around simplification and convenience in July. The first items on the chopping block, the company announced, were afternoon sandwich selections and bakery items, including danishes and cookies. Now, the chain is slashing its doughnut lineup.

About 1,000 of Dunkin’s 8,500 or so U.S. locations will test the trimmed doughnut menu, which will feature between 18–24 flavors instead of the typical 40, and might be adjusted based on customer feedback. A GrubStreet report said up to half a dozen could be restored, based on response and regional preferences, before a national rollout is unveiled.

Dunkin’s plans to scale back its menu is aimed at boosting customer service and improving back-of-the-house operations, as well as encouraging consistency across units. Some locations have even removed the word “Donuts” from their store, a sign the chain is hoping to spotlight its beverage program moving forward.

“Simplification will continue to be a cultural mindset for our system,” David Hoffman, president of Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. and Canada said in a conference call following the company’s second-quarter financial review.

The brand saw same-store sales grow 0.8 percent in the U.S. in the quarter, driven by an average ticket increase offset by a decline in traffic.

Hoffman said at the time that the brand was beginning a multi-year process to “transform Dunkin’ into a beverage-led, on-the-go brand.”

This included a streamlined menu he said would reduce labor turnover and allow operators and employees to focus on the basics of customer service. Dunkin’ also said it plans to increase the prevalence of the drive-thru, with 85 percent of traditional store openings containing the service alongside new designs—up from 70 percent of store openings five years ago. About 55 percent of all units contain a drive-thru.