In Brief:

    • The Dunkin’ Donuts franchise dates back to a small doughnut and coffee shop in 1948 Massachusetts called “Open Kettle.” Open Kettle was founded by William Rosenberg who served his doughnuts for five cents, accompanied by ten cent cups of premium coffee.
    • The Dunkin’ Donuts franchise does offer to facilitate certain lending arrangements using third-party lenders.
    • All food products and supplies at the new Dunkin’ Donuts location must meet the franchisor’s specific requirements and standards. Franchisees are also obligated to purchase all items from approved distributors.
    • Dunkin’ Donuts had a total of 5,678 franchised outlets at the end of 2010. At the end of the same year, the franchise had a total of 21 company-owned locations.

Financial Summary:

  • Initial Franchise Fee: $40,000 – $90,000
  • Startup Costs:  $97,500 – $1,597,200
  • Royalty Fee: 5.9%

What is the first thing you need in the morning? Right after begrudgingly waking up, before getting into the car for the long, traffic-ridden commute to work, you need a cup of coffee. Whether you like a flavor, want to try a fun new latte, or like it straight black, Dunkin’ has what you need to have a good start to your day.

Photo: m01229 via Flickr/Creative Commons

The Story Behind the Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise

The Dunkin’ Donuts franchise dates back to a small doughnut and coffee shop in 1948 Massachusetts called “Open Kettle.” Open Kettle was founded by William Rosenberg who served his doughnuts for five cents, accompanied by ten cent cups of premium coffee. His little shop grew largely popular, inspiring Rosenberg to rename the shop to Dunkin’ Donuts in 1950. Rosenberg set up his goals for his business, aiming to: “make and serve the freshest, most delicious coffee and donuts quickly and courteously in modern, well-merchandised stores.” The Dunkin’ Donuts franchise still holds this philosophy among its business standards.

By 1955, the first Dunkin’ Donuts franchise location opened. Experiencing much of the same popularity the company had before, the franchise expanded to over 100 locations in just ten years. After reaching this milestone in 1972, the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise introduced a new product: Munchkins® donut hole treats. Today, the product has become largely popular with customers, prompting the franchise to release different seasonal flavors throughout the year. In addition to its Munchkins® donut treats, the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise has released a variety of food and coffee products to keep guests interested.

Alongside the company’s focus on quality doughnuts, Dunkin’ also began to invest resources into improving its coffee beverages. Today, the business has classic flavors like Hazelnut and French Vanilla but also releases seasonal flavors, like the popular Pumpkin Spice. More recently, the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise has begun to introduce and develop various forms of coffee including Nitro Brew and Cold Brew.

Photo: JeepersMedia via Flickr/CreativeCommons

The Dunkin’ Donuts franchise largely prioritizes speed and service. The company introduced the Dunkin’ Mobile® App, which allows customers to browse the menu and order their food on their phones. When the customer arrives at their selected Dunkin’ location, their order is already waiting for them. The app also provides DD Perks®, which are mobile coupons and offers guests may redeem.

In September 2018, the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise decided to rebrand and rename their franchise to “Dunkin’.” After testing the rebrand at several Massachusetts locations, the company decided to change its title in order to take a more casual approach. The Dunkin’ Donuts franchise now has more than 12,000 locations worldwide in 45 different countries.

Why You Should Dunk on This Franchise

1. Strong Brand

Dunkin is home to the two most popular, and beloved brands: Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robins. Everybody loves donuts and ice cream, and both franchises produce affordable, convenient best quality food and beverage. Their slogan rings true: America and the world run on Dunkin’.

2. Fantastic Support

Franchisees are lead to success by industry professionals. The experienced team comprises of a Franchising Manager, Real Estate Manager, Construction Manager, Operations Manager, Field Marketing Manager, and many others. They guide you throughout the process from site selection, construction, and training to operations, marketing, and management.

Dunkin’ Donuts provides a three-day franchise business course, which takes place in Boston. Each franchisee must attend this course in order to open their location.

Dunkin’ Donuts also has a Core Initial Training Program, which is a classroom style course that takes 24 days to complete. These courses take place in varied locations and depend on the franchisee, however, may require travel. This training program teaches food safety, restaurant management systems, POS training, among other aspects.

3. Products That Are in Constant Demand

You become part of the coffee culture. Dunkin’ Donuts serves millions of customers every day and help them start their mornings. A work commute is made better with Dunkin’ Donuts, and the company is constantly thinking of new ways to serve their products. This includes new donut recipes, coffee flavors, limited time offers and more.

4. Strong Principles

Dunkin’ Donuts serves customers with a cup of coffee and a sprinkled-donut, but they also serve their community. The company is behind the Joy in Childhood Foundation, which provides the simple joys of childhood to kids battling illness or hunger. Through the generosity of franchisees, employees, vendors, and guests, the Joy in Childhood Foundation raises funds to support partnerships with children’s hospitals, food banks, and nonprofit organizations directly committed to serving sick and hungry kids.  Since 2006, the franchise has raised $20 million for hundreds of national and local charities across the country to support this cause.

FDD Summary

Initial Franchise Fee: $40,000 – $90,000

The Initial Franchise Fee for a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise depends on the type of development area. The company divides these into three development types.

  • Development Area Type 1: $90,000
    • These designated areas include: Albany, NY; Schenectady, NY; Troy, NY; New York, NY; Binghamton, NY; Syracuse, NY; Utica, NY; Bangor, ME; Boston, MA; Hartford/New Haven, CT; Portland, ME; Providence, RI; Springfield, MA.
  • Development Area Type 2: $80,000
    • These designated areas include: Chicago, IL, Elmira, NY; Ft. Myers, FL; Miami, FL; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Orlando, FL; Daytona, FL; Melbourne, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Rochester, NY; Tampa, FL; St. Pete, FL; Sarasota, FL; Watertown, NY; West Palm Beach, FL; Ft. Pierce, Florida; Wilkes Barre, PA; Scranton, PA; Youngstown, OH.
  • Development Area Type 3: $70,000
    • These designated areas include Jacksonville, FL; Baltimore, MD; Cleveland, OH; Greenville, NC; Pittsburgh, PA; Salisbury, MD.
  • Development Area Type 4: $60,000
    • These designated areas include: Burlington, VT; Plattsburg, NY; California; Lancaster, PA; Harrisburg, PA; York, PA; Washington DC
  • Development Area Type 5: $50,000
    • These designated areas include Atlanta, GA; Presque Isle, ME.
  • Development Area Type 6: $40,000
    • All other designated areas not listed.

 Estimated Initial Investment: $97,500 – $1,597,200

Dunkin’ Donuts provides an estimation of what the startup costs may be for a franchisee. These fees include building costs, opening inventory, licenses, permits, fees, deposits, insurance, uniforms, and more. The fees are broken down in the chart below:

Name of Fee Low High
Initial Franchise Fee $40,000 $90,000
Building Costs $190,000 $350,000
Site Development $0 $10,000
Additional Development Costs $22,000 $75,000
Equipment, Fixtures, and Signs $300,000 $450,000
Electronic Cash Register/Retail Information System $16,050 $23,550
Opening Inventory $7,000 $15,000
Miscellaneous Opening Costs $16,800 $68,100
Licenses, Permits, Fees, and Deposits $3,500 $5,500
Uniforms $400 $1,200
Insurance $4,500 $15,000
Travel and Living Expenses While Training $2,000 $4,500
Marketing Start-Up Fee $5,000 $7,500
Additional Funds for First 3 Months Operation $81,000 $184,000
Travel/Lodging/Meals for Training $500 $3,500
Total $97,500 $1, 597, 200

Royalty Fees: 5.9%

The royalty fees are a continuing payment made on or before the Thursday of each week, for the seven-day sales reporting period ending at the close of business on Saturday,  twelve days previous.

The entire world runs on Dunkin’, and when joining this business, you, as the potential franchisee, get to say you help millions jumpstart their day or give them an energy boost at any time. It’s a globally-recognized brand and the ideal entrepreneurial opportunity you “donut” want to pass up.

Disclaimer: The above information was derived from the year 2019 FDD of Dunkin’ Donuts. This data may not reflect the most current information. AskMrFranchise and affiliates are not responsible for any act or failure to act in reliance upon this report, article, data, and/or information. None of the information mentioned above should be used to substitute or replace consultation with legal or other professionals.


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