Dunkin’ Survives 2020 Business Apocalypse


Because Dunkin’ had been focusing more on their beverage service, it made it easier for them to garner more interest than when they still had the “Donuts” tag to the brand. It was effective, to say the least. 2 years prior, it was recorded that revenues hit $646 million and last year, the company held the number one spot on the top franchises list from a variety of business news outlets.

Like many others, 2020 had forced everyone to shift priorities. However, there was still a notoriously high percentage of customers that wanted good coffee with a side of reassurance. President of Dunkin’ Americas, Scott Murphy said, “The two biggest things our customers are asking for are: Make me feel safe and give me access to your brand on my terms.”

Dunkin’ did not disappoint amidst the unknown. Even before the start of the pandemic, to keep up with customer demands, the company offered mobile ordering and delivery options which was a huge step up and had proven to be such a useful transition from the old ways of relying heavily on foot traffic. Because of this, the franchise survived a whole year of less in-customer visits due to lockdowns and strict regulations on social distancing. Within weeks of the onset of the pandemic, Dunkin made curbside pickup available at 1,400 of its US stores all while promoting new trendy beverages in hopes to get new customers to shift.

To keep it real, it wasn’t all sunshine and daisies for 2020. Because of the pandemic, Dunkin’ took a bad hit in sales and was driven to about 800 of its locations. However, it did manage to keep more than 90% of its locations open throughout the pandemic and sales are on a steady rise. Despite the tough year, Murphy still sees the good. “We focused on quality over quantity,” he says. “Our franchisees are opening fewer units because of COVID, but the ones they are opening are generating higher sales per restaurant.”