Dunkin’ Donuts Launches Their First Utah Outpost, More Western Units to Come
The national chain opens in Utah, and plans to open more stores in the West
With Dunkin' Donuts' first opening in Utah and many more West Coast venues to open in the near future, West Coasters can now run on Dunkin' like the rest of America!
The West has finally been won over with donuts. The first ever Dunkin’ Donuts opened in Salt Lake City on June 25, marking a huge milestone in the chain’s long-awaited journey towards westward expansion.
“What’s driving our expansion is the popularity of the brand in general, and our long-standing reputation on the East Coast,” a Dunkin' field marketing manager told Consumerist, “The population is migrating West, so there’s a big demand for the brand.”
This new unit is the first of 23 planned Utah Dunkin’ Donuts that will open by the end of 2013 by their franchise operator Sizzling Platter LLC. Sizzling Platter, also the operator of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Sizzler, and Little Caesar’s, has agreed to open the first out of 11 scheduled Dunkin’ Donuts openings in Denver later this year, as well as the first 2 out of 6 new ones in El Paso, Texas.
The Massachusetts-based bran has been encouraging the western movement for a while now, with plans to open about 5,000 new units in the next few years. Additionally, Nigel Travis announced in January that they hope to return the brand to California by 2015 since the last unit closed there in 2002, with as many as 1,000 units planned for Southern California alone.
Sizzling Platter’s chief executive Ted Morton is excited about the brand’s migration. “We feel it’s a good fit,” he said.
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Dunkin’ had one huge advantage over Starbucks during the pandemic
Dunkin’ has recovered more quickly from the pandemic than its cross-country rival Starbucks, even though consumers dramatically cut their commuting over the past several months.
There’s a key reason why: Dunkin’ has a lot more drive-thru sites, both on an absolute and on a percentage basis.
According to a recent report from the researcher Allegra World Coffee Portal, Dunkin’ has just under 6,400 drive-thru sites—or about two-thirds of its U.S. locations.
By contrast, Starbucks has 3,900 drive-thru locations, less than half of its company locations and a quarter of its total number of U.S. units.
That is a substantial difference. Coffee consumers clearly preferred the drive-thru during the pandemic—63% said in an Allegra survey that they preferred going through the drive-thru for their lattes rather than going inside. That was up substantially from the year before, when 48% said they preferred the drive-thru.
Historically, the Seattle-based Starbucks has outperformed the Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin just about every quarter since the latter chain went public in 2010—with an average gap of 270 basis points.
That changed significantly over the past two quarters. And in the third quarter, Dunkin’ outperformed Starbucks by 990 basis points. We’re unlikely to get Dunkin’s fourth-quarter numbers because it has since been sold to Inspire but that gap likely continued in the last three months of 2020.
Source: SEC filings, Technomic
Much of the explanation given by Dunkin’ executives was this: Starbucks closed many of its stores in the aftermath of the pandemic. Consumers, especially in western markets where Dunkin’ locations are newer, shifted sales to Dunkin’.
The data above, however, provides a simpler explanation. Dunkin’ has more drive-thru lanes than Starbucks. Consumers used a lot more drive-thrus. That gave Dunkin’ a significant advantage during the pandemic.
The overall market for coffee shops plunged by 24% last year to $36 billion, according to the Allegra report. But much of that came in the form of sales declines and not unit closures—the total number of coffee shops declined by just 0.6% in 2020, according to Allegra. That is considerably lower than the overall industry, which likely lost about 10% of its units, depending on whom you ask.
Commuting patterns plunged last year. Almost a quarter of employees worked from home in December, according to the U.S. Labor Dept. That generally hurts coffee chains, which largely target commuters going to and from work.
But consumers shifted more of their business toward the mid-afternoon and later as they sought to take a break. They tended to prefer the drive-thru for its simplicity. That gave Dunkin’ an advantage over Starbucks.
Indeed, suburban and rural coffee shops “experienced significant upswings in sales during the pandemic as customers stayed home and shopped locally,” the report said.
Not surprisingly, Starbucks is dramatically shifting its own strategy—it is developing a lot more suburban locations with drive-thrus and is de-emphasizing urban markets, though it is building more takeout-only walk-in locations for such markets.
Dunkin’ Brands To Accelerate Expansion In Western & Emerging Markets
Dunkin’ Brands (NASDAQ: DNKN), the parent company of the two most recognized brands in the world: Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin- Robbins, recently hosted its 2014 Investor and Analyst day on September 17. ((Dunkin’ Brands: Events and Presentations)) The company’s chief executives discussed about its financial growth plans, expansion plans, new restaurant growth plans and developments in its business strategies. This is an annual event, where the company’s investors and stakeholders get an in-depth idea about the current financial performance and future financial plans of the company.
Dunkin’ Brands delivered below average results in the last two quarters. In the latest Q2 earnings report, Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. segment reported a mere 1.8% increase in the comparable store sales, which was expected to be in the range 3% to 4%. Moreover, the net revenues rose just 4.6% to $191 million, driven by increased royalty income due to system wide sales growth. 
We have a $48 estimate for Dunkin’ Brands, which is approximately 9% above the current market price.
Financial and Operational Growth Plans
Dunkin’ Brands has a nearly 100% franchised model, with approximately 18,000 points of distribution in nearly 60 countries. The company believes that its model offers strategic and financial benefits, as the company does not own and operate many of its stores, and therefore, can focus on menu innovation, marketing and other initiatives to drive future growth. The company also mentioned that the current model enables leveraged capital structure, thereby providing financial flexibility.
The company’s quarterly cash dividends rose from .15 in 2012 to .23 in Q2 2014. In its latest ‘Investor and Analyst’ day event, the company reaffirmed its guidance for the year 2014. The company expects a 5-7% system-wide growth in net revenues and 7-9% growth in the net operating income in the fiscal 2014. This might translate to operating margin expansion of about 50 to 100 bps. Moreover, EPS is expected to be in the range $1.73 to $1.77.  In terms of segment updates, Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. is expected to open 380-410 net new units and to remodel 500 units same store sale is expected to grow 2-3% in 2014. Baskin-Robbins U.S. has given a guidance of 1-3% same store sales growth and a total of 5-10 net new stores by the end of 2014. The international segments of both Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins are expected to open net 300-400 units.
The company also gave a brief overview of its 2015 guidance, in which Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. net restaurant growth is expected to be more than 5%, and same store sales growth is expected to be in the range 2-4%. Dunkin’ Brands has long term targets of 6-8% revenue growth and above 15% growth in adjusted EPS. For strong development outlook, the company has to strengthen its free cash flow to facilitate earnings growth through either deleveraging or shareholder payout.
Expansion Plans: Western Markets In Focus
Most of the Dunkin’ Donuts U.S stores are concentrated in the eastern part of the U.S and don’t have a big presence in western U.S. The company has explained its presence in the U.S. through four different categories: core market, established market, emerging market and western market. The chart below explains the geographical presence of the company’s stores in the country with the number of restaurants in each market.
The company’s plans to expand in the western markets are on the charts. Adding new assets to the company will help them generate more revenues for the upcoming quarters. In the long term plan, the company plans to add around 5, 000 Dunkin’ Donuts units in the western market, around 3,000 in the emerging markets and only 400 in its core eastern market, to take the total Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. units to 17,000.
However, due to strong franchisee demand in the core and established markets, the company has changed its net new openings guidance. The net openings growth in the core market is expected to be in the range 15-20%, revised from the previous guidance of 10-15%. The guidance remains unchanged for net new store development in western market a growth of 15-20% in fiscal 2014.
The company has doubled its footprint from 32 restaurants in 2010 to 64 in 2013 in Texas, a lucrative western market. In the state, the average weekly sales of the restaurants grew by 57% in the last 3 years. On the other hand, the comparable same store sales rose from 1% in 2010 to 9% in 2013. Looking at the potential growth opportunity, Dunkin’ Donuts plans to open 800 to 1,000 net new restaurants in the region in the long term.
This is just one of the regions where the company is focusing its expansion. Other major focus area for the company is California. According to Nigel Travis, company’s Chairman and CEO, Dunkin’ Donuts is slated to open 4-5 restaurants in California by the end of fourth fiscal quarter, much earlier than its original expected date. The company announced the locations of its stores in California on June 10 and also mentioned its plans to open 54 more stores in Southern California in the coming years. 
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Dunkin' to Fuel Coffee Wars
Dunkin' runs on coffee more than doughnuts, which means its IPO-fueled expansion plans are likely to heat up the fast-food java battle, particularly with McDonald's Corp.
On Tuesday evening, the initial public offering of Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. was priced at $19 a share, raising $427.5 million. The franchise-centric company, which houses both the Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins chains, plans to use the funds to pay down debt and move beyond its Northeastern roots. Though Dunkin' doesn't have the same level of brand recognition as McDonald's or Starbucks Corp. , the company also hasn't penetrated the western U.S. or other parts of the country as deeply, giving it more opportunity to expand. And it's there that it hopes to give both rivals a run for their money among caffeine cravers.
Dunkin' Brands is owned by private-equity firms Bain Capital Partners LLC, Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners, which bought it in 2006 for $2.4 billion. They will maintain a controlling interest about 20% of the shares outstanding are being floated.
Dunkin’ Brands: Trefis Estimate Revised To $48, Still Bullish On The Stock
Where is the DNKN stock heading to? Is it an attractive buying opportunity or will the stock witness further lower levels?
Dunkin’ Brands’ (DNKN) stock suffered another major blow as the investors panicked following a moderate full-year guidance presented by the company at its annual 2015 Investor & Analyst Day. The company hosted its annual Investor & Analyst Day on October 1 and presented its future plans, strategies, and guidance for the next few years.  Concerned about the possible threats from the hurricane Joaquin and the company’s unchanged guidance for fiscal 2015, the investors became wary of the company’s near-term prospects. As a result, the company’s stock went tumbling down from $49 to $43 within a day, and is currently trading close to roughly $42.
Trefis has updated its price estimate for DNKN stock from $56 to $48, which is still roughly 13% above the current price estimate. Here are the reasons why Trefis is still bullish on the stock, even after the estimate revision.
Guidance Isn’t That Bad
After a robust performance in Q1 2015, the company raised its guidance for the fiscal year 2015.
|Before Q1 results||After updating the guidance|
|Adjusted Operating Income Growth||6-8%||7-8%|
However, much of the revision of this guidance was due to the company’s agreement with J.M. Smucker Company and Keurig Green Mountain to make Dunkin’ K-Cup Packs available at retail outlets nationwide.  Furthermore, despite the decline in comparable sales for Baskin-Robbins International, the second biggest segment, the company kept its guidance unchanged, as it believed that the temporary headwinds, which hampered the segment’s growth in Q2, would fade away in Q3. (Read: U.S. segments help drive Dunkin’ Brands top-line growth in Q2 2015)
That brings us to the Investors & Analyst Day event, prior to which the market was hoping the company would raise its EPS guidance to $1.92 for the fiscal 2015. However, keeping in mind the other probable future headwinds and the potential overlapping impact of previous headwinds of Q2 into Q3, the company again kept its full-year targets unchanged. Apparently, this did not go down well with the investors, who were critical about this move.
Source: Dunkin’ Brands IR (Investors & Analysts Day)
However, this might be a panic move by the investors, as keeping the guidance unchanged despite all possible headwinds is a bold move by the company, if not a positive one.
Hurricane Joaquin is one of the threats lurking near the east coast area of the U.S. Some of the states, including South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, are under huge threats from the storm.  This has raised concerns among Dunkin’ Donuts’ restaurant operators in the area. Most of the Dunkin’ Donuts stores are concentrated in the Northeast region of the country and the company is worried that this hurricane might disrupt all the operations in that region, leading to a potential decline in comparable sales and thereby revenue growth.
As a result of this threat by the Hurricane Joaquin, Dunkin’ Brands expects its Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. segment to deliver only a 1.1% growth in comparable sales with a significant decline in customer traffic.
Dunkin’ Brands also mentioned that it will be closing 100 of its Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. stores in the next 15 months. The decision is made on account of poor performance of those stores the stores being closed represent merely 0.1% of Dunkin’ Donuts sales. Despite the huge cut down, the company promises to keep the net new openings unchanged.
Despite these factors, the company is firmly holding on its 2015 targets, which indicates a positive approach.
Restaurant Development Is Picking Up Pace
As of June 2015, there are currently 19,095 total restaurants, with 8,240 Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. restaurants, 2,490 Baskin-Robbins U.S. restaurants, and the remaining international stores. Dunkin’ Brands is one of the fastest growing companies by unit count among quick service restaurants. Moreover, Dunkin’ Brands plans on focusing more on emerging and western markets, where the company has higher growth potential.
In the long-term plan, the company plans to add around 5,000 Dunkin’ Donuts units in the western market, around 3,000 in the emerging markets, and only 400 in its core eastern market, to take the total Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. units to 17,000. (See: Expansion in the Western U.S. to remain key factor for Dunkin’ Brands’ top-line growth)
On a broader perspective, the company aims on taking its total count above 30,000 in the future, with a majority of operations in the U.S. With a target of 6% growth rate for Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. stores development, the company has already picked up pace by opening its Dunkin’ Donuts stores in California. More importantly, the 6% growth rate is higher than what the company has achieved in the last 5 years.
Trefis has revised its estimates for number of restaurants for each segment.
|Number of restaurants by 2022||Previous Estimate||New Estimate|
|Dunkin’ Donuts US||11,222||11,122|
|Dunkin’ Donuts International||4,293||4,293|
However, the pace of expansion for both brands has picked up lately and incremental revenues from the new stores might contribute to revenue growth in the coming years.
Dunkin’ K-Cups: Going Strong
As already discussed in our prior article, Dunkin’ Brands’ market share in the single serve K-Cups segment grew 80 basis points over the 4 week period ended September 5, 2015, and it now has a 5.4% market share in this category owing to the solid momentum of its K-Cups. The market expects the company to further improve this number in the coming few months. (Read: Why DNKN stock has the potential to go 20% higher in the coming quarters)
With the winter season coming, the sales of K-Cups might further accelerate, providing a further boost to average revenue per outlet for the Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. segment.
The above mentioned factors might just overshadow the impacts of Hurricane Joaquin and other small headwinds. This compels us to believe that the recent drop in the company’s stock price might just be a temporary panic. As a matter of fact, this might be a better entry point for long-term investors.
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In the coffee battle, Starbucks has been the clear winner over Dunkin'
As my colleague Peter Romeo reported last month, the concept formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts is revamping its espresso business, ostensibly to be more competitive with giant rival Starbucks.
It is only the latest in a series of efforts by Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ to step up its game, following a menu simplification effort and a new CEO in Dave Hoffmann and, of course, its decision to drop the “Donuts” from its name.
But the following graphic probably does more to explain why Dunkin’ has taken so many of these steps.
Starbucks-Dunkin’ Same-Store Sales Since 2010
Since it became a public company in 2010, Dunkin’ same-store sales have outperformed Starbucks only once: the second quarter of this year. But that quarter was more about the dramatic slowdown at Starbucks than it was a surge at Dunkin’.
From 2010 to 2015, Starbucks’ quarterly same-store sales averaged an incredible 7.5%. Since then, they’ve averaged a more pedestrian 3.4%.
Dunkin’s same-store sales slowed from 3.1% from 2010 to 2015 to 1% since the first quarter of 2016.
Even in the second quarter of this year, Starbucks still outperformed Dunkin’ on a two-year, stacked basis—6% for Starbucks versus 2.2% for Dunkin’.
Both brands, in fact, have clearly slowed in recent years. Dunkin’s slowdown simply preceded the one at Starbucks.
And Starbucks’ same-store sales are coming from stronger unit volumes.
Average Unit Volume
But same-store sales aren’t everything. Both chains have pushed unit growth in recent years. And many believe that the slowdown at Starbucks in recent years is due largely to its aggressive expansion.
That might be true. But it has actually been the more disciplined of the two chains. Look at this graphic:
U.S. Unit Count
Since 2010, Starbucks has grown its unit count by an astounding 31%, enabling it to surpass McDonald’s this year as the country’s second-most prolific restaurant chain with more than 14,000 locations.
But it also cut unit count that year as it came out of the recession, then stepped on the gas as its sales surged. Its recent same-store sales slowdown suggests that perhaps it should slow down again.
Dunkin’, on the other hand, has grown consistently in the years since and has grown units by more than 36% since 2010.
A lot of Dunkin’s recent growth has come in Western markets where its brand is less well-known and is not part of the morning ritual for many consumers—part of the reason the brand is dropping "Donuts" from its moniker.
But the company is entirely franchised and has less control over whether its operators add units.
One brand we don’t show is McDonald’s, the country’s largest chain by sales and every bit the rival to Dunkin’ that Starbucks is. But McDonald’s has actually lost breakfast share this year. So you can probably dismiss the idea that it is taking share away from the two coffee giants. Another Dunkin’ competitor, Tim Hortons, is also struggling in the U.S.
All of which suggests that perhaps the affliction bugging Starbucks is also bugging Dunkin’, McDonald’s and maybe even Tim Hortons.
Perhaps this means the coffee business is oversaturated. Or maybe consumers just aren’t out as much as they once were, making them less likely to grab a coffee or a Frappuccino or an espresso drink. Maybe prices are too high and those less loyal consumers are shifting spending to c-stores—something Dunkin’ in particular has dealt with in recent years.
Dunkin’ Donuts Launches Their First Utah Outpost, More Western Units to Come - Recipes
Travis says. “Our relationship with our franchisees is spectacularly good. If you focus on a collaborative relationship, everything else will follow.”
In QSR Magazine’s September issue cover story, Carolyn Walkup writes: the midst of the worst recession in decades may seem like a tough time to take the reins of a restaurant company that sells discretionary treats not needed in the everyday diet. However, Nigel Travis, whom Dunkin’ Brands hired to head its Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands in January 2009, quickly showed he was up to the task.
Fresh from a four-year record of achieving excellent results at Papa John’s, Travis set out to do the same at the privately held, 60-year-old treats company. Dunkin’ Brands’ board of directors chose Travis to succeed CEO and industry veteran Jon Luther. Luther, who joined Dunkin’ Brands in 2003, remains as executive chairman of the board and worked with the board to develop an orderly succession plan.
In announcing Travis’ appointment, Luther singled out his accomplishments in several companies he headed of building strong franchisee networks, improving sales, and furthering global growth.
In spite of the economic downturn, Dunkin’ Donuts opened 350 new stores worldwide in 2009, with 250 of those in the U.S. When counting sister Dunkin’ Brands treats concept Baskin-Robbins, franchisees opened 550 stores last year. Dunkin’ Donuts units alone number nearly 6,400 in the U.S. and 2,700 overseas.
“We think this trend will continue and get better,” says Travis, who predicts that Dunkin’ Donuts brand openings this year will exceed last year’s to total 500 newcomers worldwide.
“The recession caused some difficulties,” he says. “High unemployment had a negative impact. The biggest impact has been the lending environment and getting new people to come in.”
He’s optimistic, though, about recent talks with banks, and has found some that “seem very positive about our brand.”
“The recession is just a problem you have to attack with vigor,” he says. “We are focused on the top line and are reducing costs of operating and construction. Our franchisees worked with their store economics.”
The brand does seem to be faring well, according to restaurant consultant Aaron Allen, founder and chief executive of Aaron Allen Restaurant Consultants, who credits Dunkin’ with doing a good job of keeping costs in line.
Dunkin’s policy of allowing franchise agreements with no minimum number of store openings required, along with its flexible unit designs utilizing smaller footprints, encouraged franchise development in these challenging times. Design choices include kiosks, gas stations, in-line units, and end caps, as well as free-standing stores.
Dunkin' Donuts opening is just the beginning of new business coming to Hanford
HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- New business is brewing in the South Valley Hanford residents woke up to the sweet smell of coffee and donuts at the grand opening of the Central Valley's first Dunkin' Donuts.
Owner and franchisee Aharon Aminpour said his plan is to open 17 stores from Modesto to Bakersfield. He said, while the economy is appealing, it's the community that drew him to the Valley.
"It's the people you notice here more than in northern and southern California, that in the Valley people really treat you like family."
The Hanford location has already created more than 75 jobs.
"There are a lot of hard working people here-- its coffee and food for the hard working men and women," said Aminpour.
Hanford City Manager Darrel Pyle said this opening filled the last vacancy on the outside of the Hanford Mall. He adds Dunkin' Donuts, Buffalo Wild Wings, Five Guys, and Pieology are just the beginning.
According to Pyle, the next wave of restaurants will be in the Costco Shopping Center.
"That is a 50 acre shopping center with 500,000 square feet in the works."
While he can't disclose names, Pyle said plans are in the works for four national chains to come within the next 12 to 18 months.
"We're easy to get to right on 198-- we just hit a population at about 57,000."
The city has been working closely with the Kings County EDC and the development community to attract retailers.
"We've got great opportunities on the retail and commercial side, and were building houses like they're going out of style," said Pyle.
As for vacancies within the mall, 80,000 square feet will be renovated and split into several smaller entities for national retailers. Construction is expected to start this summer.
Dunkin' Donuts Announces Plans for Seven New Restaurants in La Crosse and Eau Claire, Wisconsin
CANTON, Mass. - Aug. 14, 2013 // PRNewswire // - Dunkin' Donuts, America's all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods, announced today the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement with existing franchise group, Travel Mart, Inc., for seven new restaurants in La Crosse and Eau Claire, WI. The first restaurant is planned to open in 2014 and the remainder by 2020.
Travel Mart, Inc., a retailer of fuel and food products in convenience stores, is headquartered in Dells, Wis. The company has ten Travel Mart locations throughout the area that are managed by The Gussel family and members of Travel Mart Operations, Inc. This group currently operates six Dunkin' Donuts in Wisconsin and, in addition to today's announcement, has previously committed to develop another seven restaurants throughout the state for a total of 20 locations. Travel Mart shares an ownership structure with Holiday Wholesale, Inc., a distributor of food and sundry products, and Vacationland Vendors, Inc., a vending and amusement service company.
"We are excited to continue to expand Dunkin' Donuts' presence throughout western Wisconsin and play an important role in the daily lives of people who live, work and visit here," said Gary Gussel, Dunkin' Donuts franchisee. "We have a passion and loyalty for the brand and look forward to the opening of our Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in the years to come."
With these agreements, the Wisconsin market is officially sold out. Opportunities with Dunkin' Donuts remain available across the country. To drive its expansion efforts, Dunkin' Donuts has aligned its strategy to support the growth opportunities and consumer needs of individual markets.
Dunkin' Donuts' new look includes four distinct restaurant design options for franchisees, each featuring variations in layout, color schemes, graphics, textures, furniture and/or lighting. The designs 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.
Building a solid network of stores within a market enables Dunkin' Donuts to invest in a distribution model that provides consistent, high-quality products that guests expect. 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 and universities, as well as other retail environments.
"Our secret to success is our passionate franchisees who provide a high-level of customer service to our guests every day," said Grant Benson, CFE, vice president of franchising and business development, Dunkin' Brands. "We believe these existing franchise partners will cultivate lasting customer relationships and become integral parts of their local communities."
Since the 1950s, Dunkin' Donuts has been a daily ritual for millions of people. For more than 60 years, Dunkin' Donuts has offered delicious food, beverages, and friendly service at a great value. To best serve its guests, Dunkin' Donuts offers an all-day menu including iced coffee, flavored coffees, lattes, Dunkin' Donuts K-Cup® Packs, Coolatta® frozen drinks, muffins, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and a DDSMART® menu featuring better-for-you items.