Why Some States Still Don't Have a Dunkin' Donuts (But Probably Not for Long!)

Stay tuned, coffee lovers.

By David Zax

Courtesy of Dunkin’ Donuts

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

To those who grew up in Dunkin' Donuts' Northeast stronghold, where the orange-and-pink double D is as ubiquitous as the Golden Arches, this news may come as a shock: Dunkin' isn't everywhere! Only in the past half decade has it ventured into Colorado, California, Minnesota and Utah, and 2017 was the year Dunkin' learned to say "aloha," with its first three stores opening in Hawaii. In a few northwestern states, including Idaho, there's no Dunkin' at all. There, America evidently runs on something else.

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All of this means that Dunkin' -- despite having 12,435 global locations at the end of 2017, of which 9,015 are in the U.S. -- still has plenty of room to grow. And grow it does: A year ago, those numbers were 12,258 units worldwide, of which 8,828 were stateside. That expansion is happening strategically. "It's not so important to us to just sprinkle new stores over a wide area," says Grant Benson, the company's senior vice president of franchising and development. "Once we make a commitment to go somewhere, we go deep. But there's certainly nothing unattractive about any state, and we look forward to being represented everywhere." (Sorry, Gem State residents: "It's just not time for Idaho today," he says. Maybe tomorrow!)

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Meanwhile, Dunkin' continues to scale globally. Like a box with a mixed dozen of strawberry frosted, blueberry cake and Boston kreme, Dunkin' Donuts' units abroad present a variety of flavors, with each market reflecting local tastes. A new store in Amsterdam, for instance, is testing a novel model: one that's "a bit upscale" and "very beverage-focused," per Benson, more in tune with Europe's café culture. America may run on Dunkin', but others prefer to relax with it. And the brand will take all kinds.

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