November 26, 2005

Via Brand Autopsy: a New York article called Average Joe. For the record, I've been big-upping Dunkin' Donuts' coffee for years, especially their iced coffee. One thing you can be pretty sure of with DD's coffee -- no mouse droppings!

Recently, I had noticed that new Dunkin’ Donuts shops seemed to be spontaneously materializing on every other block in New York. A little research confirmed it: Dunkin’ Donuts—whose previous claim to local fame was an epic episode of bad publicity in the form of 1998 New York Post photos of mice nibbling on doughnuts in a Dunkin’ window—has increased the number of its stores in the metropolitan area from 600 to 1,200 since 2002 and plans to open another 100 stores by next summer, bringing the total to 1,300 (by comparison, there are 237 Gap stores in the metro area). So I placed a call to Dunkin’s Canton, Massachusetts, headquarters with the hope of getting a flack to discuss its plans for New York coffee hegemony. After three months of negotiations and a dozen phone calls, I was instructed to be at the Dunkin’ Donuts at 40th Street and Second Avenue on a Monday morning in October. Imagine my surprise when I was met by not one, not two, but eight Dunkin’ employees. There was the flack, the outside-agency flack, three executives, the franchise owner, his son, and someone to drive the trail vehicle. Soon, I was deluged by a shower of business cards, fair-trade beans, and Coffee Coolattas. Over the course of the day, I would be shuttled to four stores, a building site, and a proposed location that I could see only if I swore on a box of Munchkins not to divulge its address. Oh, and as an afterthought, I was shown where they make the doughnuts.


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