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Tom Dunkin was born in Los Angeles on 8th January, 1925. Dunkin joined the US Marines in 1942 and took part in the invasion of Okinawa. After the Second World War he was sent to China (1945-46). He also served at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station (1946-47) before becoming squad leader with the Second Marine Division (1947-48).
In 1952 Dunkin graduated with a degree in journalism, from the University of Georgia. He worked as a reporter for the Tampa Tribune (1952-54), Orlando Sentinel (1952-55) and the St Petersburg Times (1955-61). Dunkin covered the Fidel Castro led revolution in Cuba as a photo-journalist. He also did freelance radio and television work while in Cuba (WSUN-TV and WDAE). He also wrote for the Soldier of Fortune magazine and La Gaceta, a Cuban newspaper printed in Tampa.
Dunkin was a close friend of Tony Cuesta and other important figures in the anti-Castro community based in Florida. He was also associated with several members of the Intercontinental Penetration Force. This included Gerry P. Hemming, Roy Hargraves, William Seymour, Steve Wilson, Howard K. Davis, Edwin Collins and Dennis Harber.
Dunkin became editor of the Glades County Democrat in 1961. He took leave of absence in early 1963 so that he could cover the activities of Commandos Liberty, an organization run by Tony Cuesta. Commandos Liberty was involved in the sinking of the Russian merchantman Baku. His articles and photos of these missions appeared in Life Magazine in April, 1963.
After leaving the Glades County Democrat in 1964, Dunkin worked as an undercover agent for for Florida Legislative Investigations Committee. Later that year he joined the Atlanta Journal. His work included the coverage of the Summerhill and North Avenue riots in 1966 and the effort to depose the Francois Duvalier regime in Haiti. He also joined the team that established a base in Haiti with the long-term objective of overthrowing the Fidel Castro government in Cuba.
In 1967 Dunkin joined the Columbus Ledger. It was while working for this newspaper he covered the court-martial at Fort Benning of William Calley. This was followed by work as a photojournalist for Florida Today (1972-74). Dunkin then served a research assistant, secretary and writing collaborator with the Florida Supreme Court Justice, Alto Adams. Together they produced two books, The Fourth Quarter and The Law of the Land. As well as working as a freelance journalist and photographer, Dunkin worked as a part-time division judge and as a volunteer at the Fort Pierce Police Department.
Tom Dunkin died in 1994. Gordon Winslow later recalled: "A month after his (Tom Dunkin) death in 1994, we were given access to his home where he worked. His files had been ransacked and most covered two to three inches on the living room floor. Luckily there were about ten boxes of salvageable records which included about 5,000 sleeves of negatives, around 300 cassettes, a few reels of movie film, numerous slides and a few photographs. Most of the negatives were made for local news stories but many also had been taken in the Cuban rebel area and later in the anti-Castro camps in South Florida."
First contact with No Name Key group was in July or August, 1962, when small group was camping on south shorts of Lake Okeechobee, near Pahokee-Belle Glade.
Among those present were Howard K. Davis, identified as "car leader", Gerald Patrick Hemming, aka "Jerry Patrick", Joe Garman, and Steve Wilson.
Group a bit publicity shy, but in September, at request of WFLA-TV Tampa friend, Don Starr, tried for footage on their activities. Met with Davis and Patrick in Miami on Sat. Sept. 15, finally, around 2 a.m. Sunday Sept. 16, got approval.
Two carloads departed Miami for No Name Key, including Davis, Patrick, Cuban known only as Pino, among others. At the camp on No Name Key, Steve Wilson was in charge. Other Americans there included Ed Collins, Bill Seymour, Canadian Bill Dempsey, one individual identified as Finnish and in doubtful status with Immigration, named Edmund Kolbe, also Roy Hargraves.
Number of men transported by boat from No Name Sunday, Sept 16, for a demonstration which was filmed on Big Pine Key, near No Name, by WFLA-TV sound crew, by myself with film going to WTVT Tampa, plus stills which were used in Miami Herald story on 20 September and in Glades County Democrat 21 September 1962.
Democrat article read by a friend Larry Newman Jr., managing editor of Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, resulting in request for a feature with fresh art, dated 15 October.
Returned to Miami on Saturday 20 October, or possibly Friday. At any rate, after beer-drinking session in bar of Hotel Flagler, at which time Dennis Harber first encountered, accompanied Roy Hargraves to tourist court on Flagler where he was living with female know only as "Betty" whom he later reportedly married.
Arrival at 2 a.m. brought protest from Betty, who rather profanely instructed Hargraves to "get the hell out of here and take your queer friend with you." Later gratifyingly learned she had thought Harber was outside instead of me.
She protested to Hargraves that he was wasting his time with a revolution. He advised her he had too much time invested to quit. We slept in my car outside Patrick's headquarters, Federico's Guest House, 220 NW 8th Ave.
Howard K. Davis at that time lived at 3350 NW 18th Terrace. He accompanied both trips to No Name Key, and was reported leader of group. (Davis, interestingly, was listed in Associated Press Florida wire story F56MH ( believed to be March 24, 1960, but could have been 1959) as among 29 persons whom the Miami News listed as banned from aircraft rental on Border Patrol orders. Davis, and another American known only as "Art", later identified as Arthur Gerteit, were check pilots for CBS-Rolando Masferrer Haitian invasion "air Force" in November, 1966. Gerteit was later identified in United Press International dispatch from Tifton, Cal, early 1967 (Apr. 11) where Cuban arrested with bombs as he rented an airplane, as "an FBI Decoy")
On second trip to No Name on behalf of Dayton Daily News, Harber accompanied group, which included Cuban known to me only by last name of Pino, who also had been present at first filming session. Pino reportedly head of an exile group called Christian Army of Anti-Communist Liberation (ECLA), and not quotable by name at that time.
Harber was drunk on departure from Miami, and took one pint of whisky with him, which he asked be rationed to him slowly. I performed this task. Pino much amused at Harber, whom he called "el profesor."
Harber at that time was night clerk for the Flagler Hotel, 637 West Flagler, and also taught English (to Cuban exile students) at a language school next door to the hotel.
Harber was described by Patrick at that time as having terminal cancer. At present, according to last report from Patrick, Harber was serving sentenced in Mexico for murder, undocumented to me.
Harber lived in a small apartment behind Flagler Hotel, and shared it with various of the Americans occasionally, including Seymour, Collins, and a Czeck lad known as Karl Novak, who I don't recall seeing on No Name.
I first became aware that the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) was going to film a documentary of a planned invasion of the Republic of Haiti by Cuban and Haitian exiles some time around April or May, 1966. Mr. Andrew St. George, a freelance writer with whom I had been acquainted since we were reporting on the activities of Fidel Castro from the hills of Oriente Province, Cuba, in July 1958, first called this operation to my attention. At this time I was employed as a newspaper reporter for the Atlanta Journal.
During the same period (April-May, 1966), I attended a meeting at the home of one Mitchell Wer Bell in Powder Springs, Georgia, along with Andrew St. George and a Mr. Jay McMullen, who St. George introduced to me as a producer from CBS. At this meeting the discussion was very general in nature and principally concerned with the feasibility of undertaking a filmed documentary of an attempted invasion of Haiti. It was also at this time that Jay McMullen approached me with regard to my future availability for employment on this project as a cameraman and writer in the event that the operation took place. At this stage, there were no concrete plans discussed in my presence. The project seemed to be in the offing. Wer Bell was obviously being contacted because of his knowledge of and contacts in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Latin America in general.
My next direct involvement in the project took place on September the 11th, 1966. About 7:00 a.m. I received a telephone call from St. George. He asked me to meet him at the Atlanta airport. On this occasion, St. George was accompanied by Jay McMullen, a cameraman named James Wilson, and a sound technician named Robert Funk. I gathered from their conversation that they had been filming something to do with the invasion operation up in the New Jersey area. The entire crew stayed in Atlanta about two or three days.
It was on Sunday, September the 11th, 1966, that Jay McMullen offered me a job on his CBS production crew as general assistant. My duties were to do camera and sound work and anything else that came up. I was hired on a freelance basis by McMullen and he told me my salary would be $150.00 per week plus expenses for food, lodging and transportation. McMullen did not have to do a selling job on me, I was eager to become a part of what then had all the earmarks of being a top news project.
On September 12, 1966, I took a two-months' leave of absence from the Atlanta Journal. My agreements with Jay McMullen were all oral, there was no written contract of employment made.
On Monday and Tuesday, September 12-13, 1966, accompanied by the above named CBS crew members, we shot a filmed sequence of weapons being loaded in a car and on a boat. This sequence was filmed at Mitchell Wer Bell's home in Powder Springs, Georgia, and both the car, a Volvo, and the boat belonged to Wer Bell. The weapons consisted of about a dozen or so Enfield 30 caliber rifles and about a half-dozen 38 Special two barrel over-and-under Roehm Derringers.
This film sequence was shot by Wilson. There was some sound also as I recall, but Wer Bell's face was never photographed. Mostly the shots consisted of Wer Bell's hands loading rifles into the trunk of the car and into a box on the boat. We also filmed some scenes of Wer Bell's car towing the boat on a highway in the vicinity of Powder Springs. Georgia.
Immediately upon completing the filming of the loading sequence, Jay McMullen and his crew departed for Miami leaving me with the car, boat and Wer Bell. I was to accompany a Haitian driver on the trip south to Miami supposedly towing the boat containing the weapons. My job was to film the travel sequence, tape record an interview with the Haitian driver during the trip and also to record news and weather from the radio in the car during the course of the trip for purposes of time and location identification on sound. The only problem was that St. George did not provide a Haitian driver for the trip. The interview of the "Haitian driver" took place a few days later, in Miami and was simulated to make it sound like it took place during the actual transportation of the car and boat from Powder Springs, Georgia to Miami.
January to August, 1964, worked as undercover investigator with the Florida Legislative Investigations Committee. Duties included infiltration Committee for Nonviolent Action, which was approaching Florida on "Peace March" from Quebec via Washington and bound for Guantanamo, Cuba, to protest U.S. policy regarding Cuba.
Mission was to prevent Florida getting the notoriety Georgia had acquired for alleged law enforcement mistreatment of marchers. Contacted group at Americus, GA, and after initial encounter, recommended procedures that accomplished goal until the group tangled with Key West conchs and Cubans, but no serious situations.
Later investigated various university pacifist groups including students and faculty members. This involved University of Miami, University of Florida and Florida State University. A major point of interest was efforts by one faculty member at University of Florida, to abolish ROTC.
Later assigned to riots in St. Augustine during June-August, 1964, with objective of intelligence-gathering to aid in preventing violence. During this time, researched progress on National State's Rights Party's efforts to get enough signatures on petitions to enable inclusion on Florida ballot for candidates John Kasper and J.B. Stoner. Reported to Tallahassee headquarters that possibility practically non-existent. Committee Staff Director John Evans promulgated this information to the public via United Press and party's political progress aborted in Florida. Also attended and photographed a number of Ku Klux Klan rallies in St. Augustine-Ocala area and reported to committee on them.
It is my understanding that the Clay Shaw trial may be scheduled during early May.
I hope to be assigned to cover the trial for the Ledger, as I did the preliminary hearing a year ago last month.
I'm certain the trial date will be well noted by the wire service and will trust in such for notification of the date.
Having had the opportunity to encounter some of the people in whom your investigation has shown an interest, I should be willing to offer any assistance to you that this past experience might possibly provide.
Should you have any questions with which you might feel I could be of help, I will be available to you, your staff or representatives at any time.
Oliver Stone's JFK seems to have achieved a double objective of being a moneymaker and a political activity stimulus, one of the movie's directors avers.
Although he denies any spooky associations, it's going to be interesting to see if future release of classified files on the Kennedy assassination pinpoints new intelligence community involvement, Roy Hargraves, a man with some shadowy past connections, acknowledges.
Hargraves denies any "contract CIA agent" links, although he was involved in military training of Cuban exiles in Florida and Louisiana. British author Anthony Summers hung the contract agent tag on members of the International Penetration Force in his book, Conspiracy.
Summer's book on the JFK assassination cites an FBI raid and the closing of a training site near Lake Ponchatrain several months before Kennedy's death as a possible contributing factor in the assassination.
Hargraves recalls there are many unanswered questions in the Cuban exile aspect of the Kennedy case. Early in New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's probe, "Garrison accused us of training the ‘triangulation team' of three alleged snipers at No Name Key."
No Name Key was the principal Florida training site for the IPF freelance volunteer instructors. "We testified before Garrison and convinced him he was wrong," Hargraves recalls, "and we went to work for him for about a month" early in Garrison's late 1966 and early 1967 investigation.
Garrison's, whose two non-fiction books, A Heritage of Stone, and On the Trail of The Assassins, were the basis of Stone's JFK said in them that Kennedy's "ordering an end to the CIA's continued training of anti-Castro guerrillas at the small, scattered camps in Florida and north of Lake Ponchatrain "added to the disenchantment which contributed to the President's murder.
Another interesting aspect of the Garrison investigation, is that, according to Hargraves, a Cuban exile investigator hired by Garrison" ripped off half the budget" to handicap the probe. Bernardo de Torres, a Bay of Pigs veteran, "was working for the CIA", Hargraves said, during the Garrison investigation.
De Torres, who has since disappeared from his former Miami haunts, also served as a security consultant to local and federal law enforcement units during President Kennedy's visit to Miami after Fidel Castro's release of the prisoners from the Bay of Pigs invasion.
A month after his (Tom Dunkin) death in 1994, we were given access to his home where he worked. Most of the negatives were made for local news stories but many also had been taken in the Cuban rebel area and later in the anti-Castro camps in South Florida.
Timothy Theodore Duncan (born April 25, 1976)  is an American former professional basketball player and coach. Nicknamed "the Big Fundamental", he is widely regarded as the greatest power forward of all time and one of the greatest players in NBA history.    He spent his entire 19-year playing career with the San Antonio Spurs.
- 5× NBA champion (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014)
- 3× NBA Finals MVP (1999, 2003, 2005)
- 2× NBA Most Valuable Player (2002, 2003)
- 15× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2011, 2013, 2015) (2000)
- 10× All-NBA First Team (1998–2005, 2007, 2013)
- 3× All-NBA Second Team (2006, 2008, 2009)
- 2× All-NBA Third Team (2010, 2015)
- 8× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1999–2003, 2005, 2007, 2008)
- 7× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1998, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015) (1998) (1998) (2015)
- No. 21 retired by San Antonio Spurs (2003) (2003)
- Consensus National College Player of the Year (1997)
- 2× Consensus first-team All-American (1996, 1997) (1997) (1997)
- 3× NABC Defensive Player of the Year (1995–1997)
- 2× ACC Player of the Year (1996, 1997)
- 3× First-team All-ACC (1995–1997)
- No. 21 retired by Wake Forest Demon Deacons
|Representing United States|
|FIBA Americas Championship|
|1999 San Juan||Team|
|2003 San Juan||Team|
|1994 St. Petersburg||Team|
Duncan started out as an aspiring swimmer and only began playing basketball in ninth grade, when Hurricane Hugo destroyed the only available Olympic-sized pool in his homeland of Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. In high school, he played basketball for St. Dunstan's Episcopal. In college, Duncan played for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, and in his senior year, he received the John Wooden Award and was named the Naismith College Player of the Year and the USBWA College Player of the Year.
After graduating from college, Duncan was the NBA Rookie of the Year after being selected by San Antonio with the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft. He primarily played the power forward position and also played center throughout his career. He is a five-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA MVP, a three-time NBA Finals MVP, a 15-time NBA All-Star,  and the only player to be selected to both the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams for 13 consecutive seasons. 
Off the court, Duncan created the Tim Duncan Foundation to raise health awareness and fund education and youth sports programs.
In 1916, William Rosenberg was born in Massachusetts to immigrant parents. Amid the Great Depression, William dropped out of school in the 8 th grade to start working. He was employed at an ice-cream company, initially as an ice-cream truck driver. On his own accord, William rose the ranks and ultimately became a supervisor at the topmost position.
During World War II, he left his job to work for a steel company. While working, William noticed that the workers would flock to food trucks to get food, which mostly consisted of hamburgers and sandwiches. Realizing that it is a lucrative business, William opened his very own food truck company called “Industry Luncheon Services Company.” He bought some vehicles and converted them into food trucks using what little savings he had and a loan. They delivered snacks and coffee to factory workers, and their business venture grew.
Soon, the company had over 200 vehicles. William noted that donuts and coffees were their best sellers. He closed down the company and opened a restaurant called “Open Kettle” in 1948, which focused more on coffee (based on their name) but also sold sandwiches and other snacks. Within two years, the restaurant became successful and turned into “Dunkin’ Donuts.” They sold 52 varieties of donuts, a concept new and bizarre to people back then, resulting in increased sales and success.
Image Source: mass moments
Dunkin’s Run: A Love Story
Over the course of six decades, Dunkin’ Donuts has grown from a single shop in Quincy to a multibillion-dollar behemoth. It’s expanded into 35 states and 31 countries, dramatically changed its menu, and even been unceremoniously sold to foreign conglomerates and faceless private equity firms. Through it all, though, Dunkin’ has somehow managed to retain a distinctly local feel. America may now run on Dunkin’, but it’s New England that can’t seem to live without it. So how did this chain — which by all rights should be just another fast-food joint — implant itself so deeply in our regional identity? On the 60th anniversary of the company’s founding, we asked New Englanders of all varieties to explain the enduring hold Dunkin’ Donuts has on us.
Steve Siegel, former Dunkin’ franchisee: Look, there are more Dunkin’s per capita in Massachusetts than there are any other restaurant of its type anywhere. You see it everywhere, on television every day, on the radio every day. You’re born hearing it.
Amanda Carey, Dunkin’ customer, Theater District: It’s very New England to me. It’s my homegrown coffee. I can look outside my window and see seven Dunkin’ Donuts. I’m not even kidding. Two of them in the same building.
William Martin, novelist: Why do we love Dunkin’ Donuts? When my kids were little they knew that on Sunday afternoon my father would be coming to watch the Patriots, and Grandpa always brought their favorite doughnuts.
Robert Kraft, owner, New England Patriots: My morning coffee ritual tends to change during the football season. When we win I like to go inside my local Dunkin’ Donuts for my “large with milk, no sugar.” When we lose, I go through the drive-through.
Leonard Blanchette, Dunkin’ customer, Newton: I grew up Catholic, and my older sisters and I used to “go to Mass.” We’d go to Dunkin’ Donuts instead. I was nominated to run to the back of the church and grab the bulletin, to make it look like we went. My mother once asked who gave Mass, and my sister said, “Father Dunkin’.”
Ernie Boch Jr., owner, Boch Automotive Enterprises: When we were kids, my family used to go to church, and then we’d buy the newspaper in front of the shop in Norwood. I’d sneak in and watch them make the doughnuts.
Peggy Rose, owner, Peggy Rose Public Relations: I probably spend $1,000 a year there — coffee every day, the occasional bagel, doughnuts for the kids. Why am I doing this? I don’t care. I’m not giving it up. I’d rather give up cable.
Johnny Lu, Dunkin’ customer, Back Bay: I come here every day. I don’t feel good without it.
Eddie Napolillo, founder, “Let’s Bring Dunkin’ Donuts to Los Angeles” Facebook group: I grew up in Rhode Island. Working in construction, we would send a guy out for a Dunkin’ run. I don’t have that here in L.A.
Tom Schwarz, former president, Dunkin’: Dunkin’ Donuts is an icon today. But you don’t build customer loyalty overnight — it took 60 years to do it.
In 1964, 30-year-old Dorchester resident Bill Rosenberg borrowed $1,000 from his mother and started a company that ran cafeterias in factories and the Quincy shipyard. Rosenberg later experimented with new ways to deliver food to workers, including dreaming up a truck that has become a coffee-break fixture on job sites nationwide.
Bob Rosenberg, former CEO, Dunkin’ (and Bill Rosenberg’s son): My father had pancake houses and vending machines and a delicatessen. He made a small investment in the Leaning Tower of Pizza. A lot of ideas appealed to him, so he tried lots of different things.
Eddie Binder, former marketing VP, Dunkin’: He designed that canteen truck you see at construction sites, where the aluminum wings open up on each side. That way he could sell both hot and cold food. Ann
Rosenberg, widow of Bill Rosenberg: We call them roach coaches. They didn’t exist before he designed them.
Binder: The two bestselling products on the trucks were coffee and doughnuts. So in 1948 he opened up his first doughnut shop in Quincy. It was called Open Kettle.
Will Kussell, former president, Dunkin’: In a world of 5-cent coffee he sold 10-cent coffee. He felt his coffee was better than anyone else’s.
Jessica Keener, coauthor of Bill Rosenberg’s memoir, Time to Make the Donuts: The coffee wasn’t selling, so Bill said, “Offer it for free. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to pay for it.” They liked it. And they paid for it.
Binder: He grew tired of the name Open Kettle, so he called a meeting of his executives. One of them was an architect, Bernard Healy.
Lamont Healy, Bernard Healy’s son: They were having a brainstorming session, and my father said, “What do you do with a chicken? You pluck it. What do you do with a doughnut? You dunk it.” That’s where the name came from.
Binder: So the store opened in 1950 as Dunkin’ Donuts…. I never asked why it was spelled “donut.”
Healy: My father made the first sign in the cellar of our house — the “D” was about 10 feet high. If he’d spelled “doughnut” correctly, the writing would have been too small. “Dunkin’” isn’t spelled right, either.
Rosenberg: Uncle Harry Winokur was my father’s partner. He and my dad did not get along.
David Slater, Harry Winokur’s son-in-law: Winokur would say, “We’ve got six stores, we’ve got seven, that’s enough.” Bill would say, “I want 70.” After a while that became a problem with them.
Ann Rosenberg: In our barn in New Hampshire, we had a picture of a couple of buzzards. The caption said, “Patience? Hell, I’m going to go out and kill something.” That was kind of Bill, you know?
Bob Rosenberg: They finally broke up in 1955, and we bought Uncle Harry out for $350,000. He used that to start the Mister Donut chain.
Slater: I became CEO of Mister Donut. It was an absolute carbon copy of Dunkin’ Donuts the doughnut variety was 100 percent the same. But the Red Sox and Yankees don’t compete any harder than our two chains did. You couldn’t even dunk a doughnut at Mister Donut — you dipped them.
Schwarz: Mister Donut, we sort of put out of business. We ultimately acquired them.
Bill Rosenberg was eager to grow his young company. In 1955 he signed an agreement with a Worcester businessman to open the first Dunkin’ franchise. Dozens more would soon follow, but the relationship between franchisees and the corporate office would sometimes get tense in the decades to come. To guarantee consistent quality from franchisees, Rosenberg developed rigorous standards the specifications for coffee beans alone stretched to 94 pages.
Ann Rosenberg: Bill didn’t drive past a Dunkin’ Donuts. He had to stop and try the food, and then he would write a report to headquarters.
Kevin McCarthy, former Operations VP, Dunkin’: When he was around, he was in charge. Sometimes the franchisee would come out from the back room and there’d be this huge guy throwing all the doughnuts out.
Robert Demery, former Dunkin’ franchisee: Before I became a franchisee I was a night baker at the store in Natick. One morning this guy comes storming in the door — it was Bill Rosenberg. He didn’t like the doughnuts, and he dumped them out. Scared the hell out of everybody. “Don’t let the customers pay for our mistakes,” he said. That stayed with me a long time.
Ann Rosenberg: But Bill tore most of his hair out because of the coffee.
Corby Kummer, Boston food critic, author of The Joy of Coffee: When I was growing up in Connecticut in the late ’60s, Dunkin was an improvement over most home coffee. The fact that they threw it out after 18 minutes and didn’t let it sit on the burner was, in itself, a giant leap.
Jim Coen, president of a Dunkin’ franchisees’ association: People always ask, “How does Dunkin’ brew the same coffee everywhere?” It’s a science, and they’ve perfected it — to make sure it’s brewed at the right temperature and in the exact right method. No human hands touch the water it goes directly into the filtration system.
Schwarz: The beans are delivered to the stores dated. They can’t use them 10 days beyond that date.
George Zografos, franchisee: We’re made up of three different blends: Colombian, Brazilian, and a Guatemalan mix. It’s always been the same.
Bob Rosenberg: We had to convince dairies to make fresh cream just for us — very few, if any, restaurants or supermarket customers used cream with such a high butterfat content. That’s all I want to say. I’m not anxious to educate our competitors about this part of the “special sauce.”
Schwarz: It’s 18 percent butterfat content. The cream really does make a difference.
Nigel Travis, CEO, Dunkin’: We’ve had the same coffee recipe since 1950.
In 1963, after more than a decade running Dunkin’, Bill Rosenberg turned over day-to-day management of the chain — which now featured 100 or so stores across New England — to his son Bob, who had just graduated from Harvard Business School.
McCarthy: Bill had just an eighth-grade education. He knew he wasn’t the man to take the company to the next stage.
Bob Rosenberg: I graduated on May 23, and on July 15 I became the CEO and president of Dunkin’. I was 25 years old. It was kind of a frightening prospect.
Ann Rosenberg: When Bob first came in, Bill said something to him about the quality of the coffee in the office. Bobby said, “Well, I don’t drink coffee.” Bill said, “You damn well better drink it, or you’re gonna get it in an enema.”
Bob Rosenberg: The first five years, it was a pretty good run. We went public in 1968. We were the third food-service company to go public, after McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken. We were the darling of Wall Street. And then I made some bad mistakes.
Dunkin’ began losing money after aggressively expanding beyond its New England roots. The stock plummeted as the chain was forced to close roughly 100 stores. In 1972 a group of Philadelphia franchisees filed suit against the parent company, alleging that the financial terms of their contracts were unfair. There was talk of Dunkin’ being seized by its irate franchisees, or even going under. But the runaway success of a bite-size new product helped save the day.
Kam Kamerschen, former marketing VP, Dunkin’: The franchisees felt the company was more interested in selling new locations than in building up the ones they already had. That created great mistrust and anger and led to the suit.
McCarthy: If they prevailed, it would destroy the company.
Kamerschen: There was a lot of fear. Think about it: The class-action suit was seeking four times the net worth of the company.
Rosenberg: I was in a meeting in my office when we got word of the lawsuit. I excused myself and was sick.
Kamerschen: For Bob the first couple of years, everything was wonderful. Then one day he wakes up and the stock price is $2.50.
Rosenberg: You could buy a share of stock for the same price as a dozen doughnuts. I opened too many stores I grew too fast.
Schwarz, former president, Dunkin’: Rather than focusing in New England and the Mid-Atlantic, we went out West, we went into the Southeast. Texas was a disaster.
Rosenberg: The board decided I should resign. I said, “Give me one more quarter. I think we can right the ship.” Kamerschen: We had to do something fast.
Rosenberg: We had always sold doughnut holes, but only at Halloween. The franchisee in Hartford, Connecticut — Bob Demery — called me one day. He had been experimenting. Demery: It wasn’t me it was my wife, Edna.
Edna Demery: I was in the kitchen watching the baker, and I just thought of taking the center of the doughnut and throwing it in the fryolator. Then I would eat it — it wasn’t a whole doughnut, you know? We started making them for the employees, and then one day I put the plain ones in a little basket for samples. Finally we started selling them.
Demery: We didn’t sell too many, but then Edna put coconut on some of them, chocolate on some of them, some were cream-filled and jelly-filled — we had a whole showcase.
Rosenberg: We went down to visit Bob. He put mounds and mounds of these doughnut holes on gold trays. There was a tremendous demand. Eight, ten percent of his sales were now in these doughnut holes. The idea was terrific.
Kamerschen: It occurred to me that there was an opportunity to appeal to kids.
Rosenberg: We assigned Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, this startup advertising agency in Boston, to find a name. They came back and said, “Let’s call them Penny Poppers.” We didn’t want to get tied into a penny price, so they said, “With The Wizard of Oz on television every spring, we should call them Munchkins.” We found out that the name was already trademarked.
Larry Hantman, former general counsel, Dunkin’: We acquired the rights to the name on the cheap. I don’t remember exactly what we paid for it, but it was a good deal. Rosenberg: We licensed the name for one dollar a year.
Boch: When I was I kid, I never knew how the hell doughnuts got the holes in them. When they first came out with Munchkins, we saw the baker with the punch, and we went, Ah, that’s how they do it.
Kamerschen: I remember watching families come in the day Munchkins launched. Kids got their Munchkins, and then the parents bought doughnuts and coffee. Franchisees started to see their sales grow. That was key in beginning to restore their confidence in the management team.
Rosenberg: The first ruling on the lawsuit found against us, but that was unanimously overturned on appeal.
McCarthy: After the suit, the company and the franchisees worked very closely together. It was like night and day.
Rosenberg: It was nothing but an upward movement after that.
Dunkin’ had finally left years of acrimony behind and was eager to capitalize on its renewed success. The chain began airing national TV ads for the first time in the late 1970s. Sales increased by 15 percent in a single year. In 1982 viewers of Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson were introduced to Fred the Baker, a put-upon (yet outrageously dedicated) doughnut maker played by an actor named Michael Vale.
Ron Berger, executive chairman, Euro RSCG Advertising: We had another actor in mind for Fred the Baker. But when Michael Vale said “It’s time to make the doughnuts” in the casting session, we just couldn’t stop laughing. We went with him, which turned out to be a home run. He was just brilliant.
Nancy Vale, widow of Michael Vale: My husband gave him the name Fred because it just seemed to connote a nice, lovable guy. He was Fred, the guy next door.
Rosenberg: I was flying back to Boston just after the commercial started airing. People were kibitzing, and one person said, “I’ve got to go back. It’s time to make the doughnuts.”
Vale: It became like a mantra for people. I would tell my kids, “That’s why you’ve got to get up and go to school: Fred gets up and makes the doughnuts.”
Dan Andelman, host, The Phantom Gourmet: I have a picture of me on Halloween when I was 11 years old dressed up as Fred the Baker. I had a mustache and flour all over my apron.
Jack Shafer, former CEO, Dunkin’: I remember one time coming out of Rockefeller Plaza with Michael and there was Barbara Walters. People walked right past her to say hello to Fred.
Binder: We did commercials with Senator Bob Dole, Mary Lou Retton, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Larry Bird.
Vale: Michael played basketball with Larry Bird he adored that. He was like a frustrated athlete himself. He never let me forget that he was a high school basketball champ, and he was all of 5-foot-8.
Larry Bird, former Boston Celtic: Fred was short, but he knew how to dribble and shoot a basketball. It was an honor to shoot a commercial with a Boston icon.
Binder: There was an autograph signing at a Special Olympics event, and Drew Bledsoe was at one table and Fred the Baker was next to him. Bledsoe’s line went back 50 or 100 people. Fred’s line went back for half a mile.
In the late 1980s Dunkin’ invested in the Chili’s restaurant chain. The move proved disastrous for Dunkin’s bottom line, sending the stock price into a spiral and leaving the company weakened. In 1989 a corporate raider launched a hostile takeover bid. Rosenberg fought to maintain control, but ultimately agreed to a friendly sale to the English conglomerate Allied-Lyons. The company, which later became Allied Domecq, settled on a tricky strategy that involved dramatically changing Dunkin’ while at the same time hewing to its New England identity.
Tony Hales, former CEO, Allied Domecq: Dunkin’s heartland is in the Northeast, and we wanted the least amount of Britishness in it as possible. We also owned Baskin-Robbins, which was from California, but if you asked anyone in L.A. who owned the company, they’d have thought it was completely American. We were determined that Dunkin’ be the same. But the first objective we had when we bought it was to grow it.
Steve Siegel, former franchisee: In the old days you didn’t have Dunkin’s on every corner. They were suburban. You couldn’t have shops in the cities because you couldn’t get those size stores.
Leonard Blanchette, Dunkin’ customer, Newton: They actually used to have counter service. It was back in the day when guys could sit at the counter and smoke cigarettes and get away with it.
Schwarz: The hostesses would know most of the customers by name and what they wanted. They wouldn’t even have to say their order.
Zografos: We did only 20 percent of our business at the counter, yet the counter was 80 percent of the store’s space. So it was simple. We changed the layout and went to all paper products.
Schwarz: Coffee probably drinks a little better in a porcelain mug, but there was such theft and breakage.
Rosenberg: I was on radio talk shows getting calls from irate — I mean really irate — customers who didn’t want to give up their coffee cup.
Boch: There was a store in Norwood where we used to go and look in the window and watch them make the doughnuts. It was unbelievable. The smell! And then, I don’t know, they stopped making them in the store. It was totally sad.
Siegel: To open stores in much smaller spaces, we ended up building a plant in South Boston. It produces doughnuts for at least 40 stores. Dunkin’ now has a whole series of co-ops that produce doughnuts for a few hundred stores.
Schwarz: Because you didn’t need a doughnut man at the building, you could distribute to kiosks, to smaller stores, bus terminals, train stations, hospitals.
Siegel: We had one shop in Winthrop Square that was 64 square feet. We had one in the T tunnel in Filene’s Basement that was 120 square feet. I can still remember opening the store in Pi Alley on Washington Street around 1990 and just being overwhelmed — it became the first satellite store to do a million dollars in revenue. It was a revelation.
Shafer: Over a three- or four-year period we increased from 80 new store openings a year to more than 300.
Travis: There’s a rule of thumb for how many stores can be in an area, but in New England we’ve probably exceeded it.
Siegel: You know, we built four stores within 600 feet of one another in downtown Boston and it never affected sales.
Kussell, former president, Dunkin’: Another part of our road map for growth was to expand our beverage portfolio. When I started at the company all we offered was regular and decaf.
Binder: And decaf was a cup of boiling water and an orange packet of Sanka.
Rosenberg: Up until a few years ago, iced coffee was sold only in Rhode Island. Most people had never heard of iced coffee. It’s now an international beverage.
Binder: In Rhode Island, instead of putting chocolate syrup in your milk in the morning, you put in coffee syrup. I mean, you grow up on coffee.
Shafer: Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts were really the core areas of coffee strength for Dunkin’. That’s true of coffee ice cream. I think the region is the country’s largest buyer of Kahlúa as well.
Zografos: Unfortunately, along the way we lost the doughnut with the handle, the Dunkin’ Donut.
McCarthy: It was a move I did not endorse. It was a signature doughnut when the chain was developed. The shape was on purpose — people could hold it on that little handle and dunk it into their coffee. But they’ve never been able to develop a machine that could produce a good handle. It’s one of those sad things.
Allied’s growth strategy was working: Dunkin’ opened its 2,000th store in the U.S. in 1990, and its 3,000th just two years later. The chain’s overseas business was booming, too, as it opened its 1,000th international location, in Thailand, in 1995. But the doughnut itself was falling out of favor in an increasingly health-conscious society. Shaking things up, Dunkin’ launched two products within months of each other that ended up transforming the company: bagels, which were perceived as a form of health food (though even without cream cheese they have more calories than a Boston Kreme), and a new drink called the Coolatta.
Shafer: In the mid-1990s the demand for bagels was outstripping supply. Chains like Einstein and Bruegger’s were running to fill the void. I made a financial commitment to Heinz bakery for them to supply us with a billion bagels. A billion, yeah. Schwarz: The first week, we became the country’s largest retailer of bagels.
Phil Speiser, Dunkin’ customer, South End: Actually, those bagels are awesome. They’re coming fresh out of the oven how can you go wrong?
Kussell: At the same time, Starbucks had just made a small acquisition in Boston, the 24-store Coffee Connection chain. We just felt we needed to move fast. We went out to the West Coast and a lot of the small shops were serving these coffee slush drinks. They seemed to be very popular with women and kids.
Glenn Bacheller, former chief marketing officer, Dunkin’: I moved from Dunkin’ to become president of Baskin-Robbins [Dunkin’s sister brand]. We had this incredible cappuccino flavoring you put it together with ice cream and you had the Cappuccino Blast. Frappuccino was what Starbucks ended up calling it later, but we were out with it a year or two before them.
Rosenberg: The Cappuccino Blast at Baskin became the Coolatta at Dunkin’. Almost overnight, that became nearly a $300 million piece of business.
Shafer: One of my son’s friends came up to me and said, “Is there any way we can get our own Coolatta machine at school?” I thought, Jesus Christ, we have a winner here.
Kussell: There were stories of franchisees running out of Coolatta concentrate and getting into their cars and driving to the distribution center to pick up more.
Shafer: Instead of Social Security recipients sitting around a counter sipping coffee, which was my introduction to Dunkin’ Donuts, we now had 12-year-old kids clamoring for a new product.
Spurred by the success of the Coolatta — and coffee’s high profit margins — Dunkin’ set about completely reinventing itself: Instead of a doughnut shop, it would become a coffee shop that happened to sell doughnuts. That transformation forced a certain iconic baker into retirement in 1997.
Bacheller: Coffee as a percentage of the business kept growing, year after year after year.
Stan Frankenthaler, executive chef, Dunkin’: We launched espresso very quickly. Cappuccinos and lattes became really important at coffee shops, so we said, “Let’s get into it sooner rather than later.”
Shafer: Sixty to seventy-five percent of sales are coffee-driven. It’s an easier and more profitable business to manage.
Binder: For Dunkin’ Donuts, the money is in the coffee. It’s mostly water. The labor to make it is very small. The most expensive item is the cup.
Shafer: We got serious about moving from doughnuts to coffee — Fred the Baker had served us well in the past, but he was a baker.
Berger: We got the advertising assignment to figure out if Fred should be retired. You couldn’t have Fred say, “Time to make the coffee.” It just didn’t work.
Kussell: It’s really hard to overstate how important he was to building the brand as unpretentious, hard-working, and fun. Retiring him was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make.
Binder: Michael Vale and I finished a commercial shoot in New York City. We sat at a restaurant for dinner, and I talked to him about the whole thing. Obviously, he was very sad. He was Fred the Baker Fred the Baker was him.
Vale: It wasn’t a happy thing, I’ll tell you. We weren’t happy. But they gave him such a great sendoff.
Binder: We had a parade and a huge event in Copley Square. Fred announced that it was no longer time for him to make the doughnuts, but he would bake one last time, and it would be free coffee and doughnuts all day in all the shops.
In 2006 a group of equity companies — including two from Boston, Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners — bought Dunkin’ for $2.43 billion (a seven-fold return on Allied’s initial $325 million investment). The owners may have been local again, but they made a few initial missteps that alienated some franchisees, including selling coffee beans in supermarkets, a move store owners felt cut into their profits (a new chief executive was eventually brought in, and he helped smooth things over). In the meantime, the chain launched a new advertising campaign to once again take Dunkin’ national at the same time it was facing a threat on its home turf.
McCarthy: Franchisees were definitely concerned about Krispy Kreme coming to Massachusetts. A Krispy Kreme would open up and the place would be mobbed. Coen: One of the things that Dunkin’ Donuts used to have was these boxes that would stack the doughnuts up on their sides. Well, Krispy Kreme laid them flat in a box, which was much more aesthetically appealing. So what did Dunkin’ Donuts do? They went to a flat box.
McCarthy: It turned out that Krispy Kreme really couldn’t compete up here. After one or two doughnuts, you’d almost go into sugar shock. The product was not good for the Northeast palate. And they didn’t have a cup of coffee that people would go in for.
Kussell: We changed the store design to really declare our coffee credentials — it’s more brown, it’s got coffee merchandising inside, we brought the coffee cup back into the logo. We then needed to communicate through our advertising that we were America’s coffee brand.
John Gilbert, former marketing VP, Dunkin’: The first spot in the America Runs on Dunkin’ campaign was directed by Ridley Scott’s son, Jake Scott. It’s a town common and all these people are singing, “Doing things is what I like to do.”
Kussell: We had great original music.
Mike Sheehan, Hill Holliday CEO: I don’t know if we’re allowed to say who the band was. [To a colleague: Are we allowed to say who did the music?] We’re not.
Gilbert: I don’t think the band ever wanted to be cited for their work. I don’t care, they can’t do much to me — They Might Be Giants did the music. That’s who it was.
Sarah Avrin, They Might Be Giants publicist: I’m not sure they’re interested in being part of this piece.
Gilbert: Every ad had its own song. Like the one in the Starbucks setting, making fun of the venti and grande and all the things that they call it.
Sheehan: Rarely do you have a competitor as easy to poke fun at as Starbucks. It’s like poking fun at Thurston Howell. If I see an employee with a Starbucks cup in their hand at Hill Holliday they’ll be fired on the spot. I don’t know if that’s legal, but it’s true.
In 1950 the first Dunkin’ Donuts customer stepped into Bill Rosenberg’s Quincy shop and spent 10 cents on a cup of coffee. Sixty years later, a regular costs a bit more and Dunkin’ now sells $5.7 billion worth of food and drinks every year. And yet a couple of things have never changed: The coffee tastes the same, and Dunkin’ Donuts remains a beloved New England institution.
Travis: Our aim is to make New England proud of everything we do. Last year we opened more stores than just about any other fast-food company. Today we’ve got more than 9,000 Dunkin’ Donuts. Looking forward, we see a very steady growth from New England. But don’t expect us to make a dart into California anytime soon.
Kummer: There’s just something about the experience of being at a Dunkin’ Donuts that resonates with New Englanders.
Kussell: Doughnuts are fun food, right? You eat it with your hands, it’s messy, it tastes good. It’s kind of like going to a candy store — you walk the store, you see all the different colors, you pick out the ones you want.
Bryan Rafanelli, Rafanelli Events owner: I often stop on my way to the Cape at the now-defunct Sagamore Bridge rotary and get a red-, white-, and blue- sprinkled doughnut for the ride home.
Larry Bird: I definitely ate the doughnuts. Doesn’t everybody?
Boch: Dunkin’ Donuts is just one of those things that I don’t think you’d miss until it was gone. It’s so reliable it’s always there. I hope we don’t take it for granted, because it’s hard to imagine a world without it.
Dunkin-Lewis, Inc. was founded in 1956 by Ralph Parker of Memphis, Tennessee. Ralph added an associate, Joe Lewis, in 1957, and after Ralph Parker’s untimely death in 1959, Joe Lewis assumed leadership responsibility of the agency. Charlie Dunkin joined the agency in 1960 and covered the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and northern Florida.
In 1961, the name of the agency was changed from Ralph Parker to Joe Lewis and Associates. In 1967, Charlie became sales manager for Joe Lewis and Associates. In 1970, Joe Lewis and Associates became Dunkin-Lewis, Inc. A short time later, Joe Lewis began to phase out involvement in the company and reached official retirement in 1978.
In 2014, we acquired a sales agency from the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes and then most recently, we expanded to the West Coast. We have accepted opportunities to represent our vendors internationally. We have continued to hire additional sales associates to support our growth and elevate to one of the premier sales and marketing agencies in the United States.
Dunkin’ Brands: The On-the-Go Cup of Joe
Dunkin’ Brands, the franchisor of both Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, has developed a highly effective operating model, well aligned with the Company’s business model, which, upon successfully shifting from a donut-first to a coffee-first model, has increased the Company’s ability to execute its low-cost, consistent quality, service model within the quick service restaurant (QSR) market. I believe Dunkin’ Brands is highly effective in driving alignment of operating and business models given the Company’s consistent focus on low costs, high-quality site selection process, franchisee-owned location network, standardization of product offerings and quality and continued focus on marketing, brand management and menu innovation.
Dunkin’ Brands is a leading QSR franchisor that has built a large network of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins locations which serve coffee, baked goods and other food items, including ice cream. Dunkin’ Brands generates revenues primarily through royalties from franchisees (owners of individual retail locations), rental income (also from franchisees), sales of goods within Company-owned stores and elsewhere and other licensing fees. Franchisee royalties represent the predominant portion of revenue, generated through gross sales at existing stores as well as royalties related to new store openings. Sales of ice cream (Baskin-Robbins) and rental income represent the majority of remaining revenue.
Dunkin’ Brands has, until recently, primarily focused its franchisee network within the Northeast, aiming towards more “traditional” coffee customers, who often require less diverse menu options, and who appreciate the brand for its ability to offer a quality product quickly, efficiently and at a reasonable price. Dunkin’ Brands has successfully maintained a strong franchise network that has been adept in maintaining strong growth, profitability and brand recognition while significantly shifting its business model from food towards beverage. Without direct control over retail locations, Dunkin’ Brands has continued to focus on franchisee coaching and support, marketing and advertising and consumer feedback in order to maintain its overall business and has been quite successful in maintaining this quality without the distraction of day-to-day operations.
As a franchisor, Dunkin’ Brands operates primarily as an overseer of stores’ performance, with significant oversight of site selection, training and compliance, all in efforts to maintain consistency of service and product delivery across the network. Through requirements for site approval from Dunkin’ Brands, the Company ensures that franchisees locate in areas with high population density, quality traffic patterns and target demographics that align with the overall brand message and intended audience. The Company also helps franchisees to select locations that will allow for profitable growth of their own businesses in addition to profiting Dunkin’ Brands.
Pathways to Just Digital Future
Additionally, the Company maintains tight control over its supply chain, ensuring consistency, quality and availability of coffee, food and other products, while maintaining minimal inventory. Through concentration in the Northeast, Dunkin’ Brands was able to develop and successfully implement this low inventory distribution model. In addition, Dunkin’ Brands’ focus on customers with less particular requirements around coffee bean type and source location, has allowed the company to maintain lower overall product costs.
With regards to the shift towards a beverage-focused strategy, the Company responded to growing health consciousness and rising coffee consumption by focusing on providing the best value proposition to their customers, moving from donut-first to coffee-first. Dunkin’ Brands has been extremely successful in selling donuts, breakfast sandwiches, and other items, including Baskin-Robbins ice cream, through to customers drawn in by the coffee and other beverage offerings. Whereas competitors, such as Krispy Kreme, have focused on a donut-first strategy, and struggled, Dunkin’ Brands has responded well to consumer shifts and has developed a strong method for acquiring customers and using beverage sales to drive food sales.
The Company, knowledgeable that customers are focused on quality, cost and timing, has trained employees to focus on fast, consistent service and includes drive-in concepts across many of its locations. Many locations are in or near gas stations, supermarkets, malls and airport food courts, with a focus on the on-the-go beverage customer.
Dunkin’ Brands’ operating model, which focuses on site selection, franchisee training, supply chain management, marketing and brand management while ensuring low-cost, quality products and service to a targeted market of coffee drinkers, aligns very well with the Company’s goal of increasing franchisee revenues through increased gross sales as well as new store openings (gross sales royalties dwarf new store royalties). Dunkin’ Brands’ has successfully built its site selection process, whereby the Company is able to assist entrepreneurs in decisions around the best potential location for new openings, thereby creating profits for both the franchisees and the Company. Additionally, Dunkin’ Donuts’ transition towards the beverage business has been incorporated in the Company’s operating model, with increased brewing equipment, commitment to coffee turnover and a staffing model that emphasizes quick delivery of customer orders in order to maximize customer turnover. This operational emphasis maintains higher customer satisfaction, retention and overall volume, revenue and profit.
The franchisor model allows Dunkin’ Brands to operate a significantly more profitable business model than peers who focus on direct management of stores, given lower overall margins within direct store management and beverage / food sales. Separation of core competencies between marketing, brand management, strategy, distribution and product innovation (Dunkin’ Brands) and food preparation and customer service (franchisees) allows both parties to execute at greater levels of efficiency. Additionally, Dunkin’ Brands’ capital-light investment model allows for quick, more flexible shifts in strategy as initial investment costs are generally borne by franchisees. In a highly competitive market, this is a great strength that will allow Dunkin’ Brands to capture significant value.
Overall, Dunkin’ Brands has been highly successfully in designing an operating strategy that allows for the management of a network of stores dedicated to fast delivery of low-cost beverages, cross-sales of food items and consistent product quality across a well-targeted network of retail points of distribution serving the growing needs of consumers across the United States and abroad.
The virtuous cycle
The pandemic has pulled forward certain trends that were already on Dunkin' Brands' radar. The company has offered mobile ordering and its Perks program for many years, but the benefits have bubbled up to the surface over the last several months.
Under constant stress about COVID-19, customers are increasingly aware of staying socially distant for their own safety. But customers who download the Dunkin' app can order their favorite food or beverage before arriving at the store . Members can pay through the app ahead of time, or at the time of purchase, using a QR code. In the past, this might have been a convenience, but in light of the pandemic, touchless payment options have increased in popularity.
Image source: Getty Images.
On Dunkin's Q2 2020 earnings call, Scott Murphy, President Dunkin' Americas, said, "Perks active enrollment increased by nearly 110%," compared to last year. While it is possible to use the app and check out as a guest, the app tends to nudge users toward Perks membership, which offers advantages aside from touchless payments. Membership means earning points toward a periodic free beverage. In addition, customers can save their favorite stores and favorite orders, and receive custom offers and discounts. The benefits of the Perks program seem to resonate with the Dunkin' faithful. That 110% growth in the most recent quarter compared to a relatively small 38% annual growth in membership in Q4 2019.
With each member who orders through the Dunkin' app, the company gets valuable information about locations visited, popular menu items, and in theory, more sales in the long run. According to Harvard Business Review, "a company's most loyal customers are also its most profitable." Loyaltylion.com suggests loyalty program customers spend an average of 67% more than new customers.
In addition, a Brand Keys study found that Dunkin' was the No. 1 brand for customer loyalty in the out-of-home coffee category. In the study, Dunkin' customers appreciated its continued menu innovation -- and the app allows non-Perks customers to see and admire all those new menu items without first having to visit a Dunkin' store. The company also expanded the loyalty program to allow members to earn points for all purchases, rather than requiring a minimum dollar amount.
The Perks program seems to have a potent influence on members' spending. Back in Q4 2014, the company disclosed that members spent 40% more on average per week, and visited 30% more often, compared to the prior year. That effect doesn't seem to have waned over time in Q2 2019, Dunkin' noted that average weekly sales from mobile orders had increased by 30% year over year. And since Dunkin' estimates that employees spend about 30% of their time taking customers' orders, the speed and efficiency gains from increased mobile ordering could make those employees more productive -- and more profitable. The powerful combination of faster sales growth from Perks members and a more efficient operation from digital orders could help drive sales and decrease expenses over the long run.
In short, Dunkin' has loyal customers, these customers traditionally spend more, and the pandemic -- with its frequent boredom and ample reasons for people to seek a pick-me-up -- is pulling more people into the Perks program. The company hopes to continuing the virtuous cycle of introducing customers to the app, showing them what Perks offers, and enticing them to become Perks members with rewards and special offers.
To drive its digital business into the future, Dunkin' created the position of Chief Digital and Strategy Officer, and hired company newcomer Phil Auerbach to fill this role. He has a long history of marketing and sales experience, along with nearly 15 years in management consulting with McKinsey & Company. At the consulting firm, he co-launched the company's Loyalty service, focused in part on the hospitality industry.
W.R. Dunkin & Son, Inc. is the outgrowth of a partnership established in 1915 in Carroll County, Indiana by W. R. Dunkin and his son, Glenn F. Dunkin. W. R. Dunkin was a carpenter and Glenn was a brick mason. These two skilled craftsmen began contracting for residential and small commercial buildings and progressed to larger institutional buildings such as churches and schools, as well as industrial projects
Over the course of time the company moved its home office to Huntington, then to Bluffton. In 1951 the firm settled in Anderson to be more centrally located in the state.
Richard W. Dunkin, Glenn’s son, joined the business after World War II, where he served in the Army Air Force and completed 2 tours of combat duty in North Africa and Italy flying fighter planes (P-40, P-47 and P-51). He was awarded the Silver Star, Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross. Richard served as president until 1988.
Craig R. Dunkin, Richard’s son and the fourth generation, has served as president since 1988.
This multi-generational family business has been blessed to have had other multi-generational families serving in key positions. The Browning family has had three generations, with two members of the third generation currently serving. The Watkins family currently has two generations involved, with Skip Watkins serving as V.P of Operations/Director.
Dunkin Donuts Franchising Packages
The Dunkin Donuts Franchise currently offers 3 business models.
- Chainstore Model – a take-out booth which is applicable for convenience stores or canteens.
- Dealership Model – investment starts at around 200,000 which is inclusive of the franchising fee, security deposit, and equipment and materials needed.
- Area Franchising – this is awarded to an individual or company and is required to put up a production center and build up the area that was agreed upon.
Ed Wolak began working in the Dunkin’ Donuts business in 1967, when there were less than 250 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the entire country. He started out as a porter and later became a donut baker. While working as a baker, he earned his Associates degree in Business Management in 1972, then earned his Bachelors with a double major in Business Management & Marketing and a minor in Finance in 1974 from Southern New Hampshire University. After graduating, Ed took a management position at a Dunkin Donuts in Nashua, New Hampshire, and he was quickly promoted to General Manager for three locations. It was not long before he began looking for an opportunity to purchase his own store.
In 1975, Ed purchased his first Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant in Portland, Maine and created what is today The Wolak Group. Over the next several years, The Wolak Group concentrated on developing stores in Maine and New Hampshire, and in 1998 expanded its development activities to Central New York. Today, The Wolak Group and its affiliates own and operate more than 97 Dunkin’ restaurants in Maine, New Hampshire and New York, as well as a 21,000 square foot automated central production facility in Syracuse, New York. The central production facility produces and delivers donuts and other baked goods to our restaurants everyday, and currently has the capacity to supply up to 120 stores.
The Wolak Group’s success as a developer and operator of Dunkin’ restaurants has been accompanied by a successful history of acquiring and developing commercial real estate. In 1983, The Wolak Group opened its first Dunkin’ restaurant located on “self-developed real estate” (i.e., real estate acquired, permitted, and constructed by The Wolak Group). Since then, most of our new Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants have been opened on self-developed real estate. Most of these sites are stand-alone Dunkin’, although several of our sites include multi-tenant buildings.
The Wolak Group works hard to support fundraising activities in the communities we serve. Furthermore, while the company is rapidly expanding, The Wolak Group is also a major contributor to numerous charities and non-profit organizations, donating money back to the Maine, New Hampshire and New York communities they serve coffee to each day.