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Full Day's Work

Morning's over, but Dunkin' Donuts' sales aren't.

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This story appears in the April 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Much to my chagrin, I have never met a doughnut I didn't like. However, whenever I think about owning a doughnut shop, the memory of the summer I worked at an ice cream store still dissuades me. (A normal human does not gain 30 pounds in three months.) I also recall the pity I felt when I saw the TV ad for Dunkin' Donuts (DD) that featured the old guy stumbling out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, grumbling, "Time to make the doughnuts." Yes, it's a good idea to be a skinny morning person when you're in the doughnut biz. So, assuming you qualify, let's explore the salient remaining issue: How on earth can you make a living baking 55-cent doughnuts?

The answer is, you can't. You make a living selling doughnuts, bagels, coffee and juice, plus some new proprietary additions known as the Omwich, the Dunkaccino and the Coolatta. New products like these have created some pretty exciting same-store sales growth in DD's strongest markets, which consist of the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, Chicago and Northern and Southern Florida. With several markets in its prime territories seeing double-digit growth, DD says, average sales for the entire system are up 8 percent. Because DD doesn't make earnings claims, we don't know what the baseline sales figures are; however, it appears the franchise is putting lots of effort into improving them.

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