Wednesday, December 11, 2013
By Paul Koenig email@example.com
(Continued from page 1)
This photo taken on Thursday shows construction on the new Dunkin Donuts on Maine Avenue in Farmingdale.
Staff photo by Joe Phelan
Thurston said that's why the incoming franchise probably won't affect his business.
"If they're going to go to Dunkin' Donuts, they can go to Gardiner anyways," he said.
Jaime Nix, one of the two regular employees at the drive-thru restaurant, said the shop's customers are loyal and she also isn't worried about Dunkin' Donuts taking them away.
"I'm more concerned about it impeding the growth we potentially have," she said at the drive-thru last week.
Nix, of Gardiner, said a lot of customers like coming because of the personal connections with the employees who know about their vacations, their grandchildren and their dogs' names.
"That once a week to get a doughnut is more than getting a doughnut," she said. "It's seeing your friends."
The big-box chain versus a mom-and-pop operation is a familiar battle, and although being a linchpin in a community helps, franchise chains benefit from already being well-known, said Richard Grotton, president of the Maine Restaurant Association.
"They do know what they're going to get in a Dunkin' Donuts, and they know it's going to be consistent," Grotton said. "If they've developed tastes for that brand, they're going to seek it out."
He said being able to be a challenger competitor immediately is one of the reasons people pay the sometimes high franchise fees to open new locations.
Grotton said he expects the company to succeed in its westward expansion, partly because of its ability to adopt to a variety of beverages and food options.
"I think Dunkin' Donuts will do fine, as Starbucks has done fine moving east, especially in big cities," he said.
The company also admits it's no longer focused on doughnuts.
Chief Financial Officer Paul Carbone told investors and analysts in June that Dunkin' Donuts is a beverage company, according to Forbes.
"Fred the Baker is not coming back," he said, referring to the mascot of the 1980s and 1990s that appeared in commercials.
The numbers back it up. Fifty-eight percent of sales at franchises in 2012 came from coffee and other beverages.
Cup N' Cruise also is trying to expand its offering beyond coffee drinks and doughnuts. Nix said it plans to add hot dogs and soda to the menu soon. But she said the doughnuts, which are made on site every day, still draw in a lot of customers.
"We definitely have a huge clientele for our doughnuts," Nix said.
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