HOME > Chowhound > Chains >

Discussion

No Dunkin' Donuts in SoCal = crime (moved from LA)

Dunkin' Donuts folded up shop and left our region in the late 90's. They have never come back and nor do they plan to.

Isn't that just ridiculous? Personally, I don't like Krispy Kreme very much. And I *don't* drink coffee so please don't tell me I can the DD Brand get it at Target or Pavilions now.

I want their *donuts.* It's time to eat the donuts.

The company apparently doesn't like us here and I think we should all be offended.

Add your comments here:

http://www.dunkindonutstalk.com/?p=388

if you agree with me! :

)

(p.s. that's not my website and this isn't meant as an advertisement or spam. I'm a real person who misses Dunkin' Donuts and really want them to come back to our area!).

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Seriously..Just drive to Vegas, if you need your DD fix. They are -only- okay to me, I would rather get better donuts from hundreds of Mom n' Pop shops in LA that make TASTY, unique donuts.

    I wish I could get LA donuts instead of DD.

    1. What's with their website https://www.dunkindonuts.com/ no mention or pictures of donuts.

      I grew up on the east coast on Dunkin' Donuts and found nothing spectacular about their donuts. I thought their odd shaped "dunking' donut" was funny, but I don't know anyone who dunks their donuts in coffee except on TV. When I came here I found Winchell's to be just as good and later ventured out to independents.

      There's too much competition in the donut business here with good independents and the recent over saturation of Krispy Kreme.

      14 Replies
      1. re: monku

        I actually don't remember the last time I saw a DD ad that mentioned the doughnuts -- their current TV spots are all about the hot food items (none of which sound appealing in the least), and here in Boston, their home market, Dunkin Donuts is universally thought of as a place to get coffee, not doughnuts.

        John Krasinski from The Office, a Newton boy, once mentioned on Conan O'Brien that he's seriously thought about taking his money from acting and using it to put a couple of Dunkin Donuts franchises in L.A., simply because he hates not being able to get his favorite coffee there!

        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

          I've noticed this whole "coffee" thing as well, and honestly it's mind blowing. I'm so happy that their coffee business is doing well for them (as it keeps them open), but for me as someone who does not drink coffee at all and is highly nostalgic when it comes to donuts -- it's heartbreaking!

          In fact, every post I read about Dunkin' "Donuts" that mentions only the "coffee" makes me feel sad. They may as well just stop serving donuts at this point and change their name to Dunkin' Coffee or something. Then at least I won't have to cry over not being able to eat them anymore. (And yes readers, that is sour grapes on my part!).

          It's like a Pizza Parlor that ends up being known only for the salad it serves. Quite an unintentional slap in the face if you ask me.

          1. re: atrac

            Well, that's because the doughnuts are basically inedible now. They're no longer made in-store, but trucked in from central bakeries, and they're already stale when they hit the shelves. You may not be able to eat Dunkin Donuts anymore, but you might be able to take solace in the fact that no one else is able to, either!

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

              Some of them still bake in house. For example, the location at Gilbert & Southern in Mesa, AZ. Also, their beans, which are now selling at Costco, are terrible. They made me wonder if I only like the coffee because it comes with a donut.

              1. re: yamalam

                Their coffee sold outside of DD shops is actually roasted & distributed by Smuckers (think Folgers). It's different from what they use internally.

                As for the donuts, they haven't been edible since they shifted from on-site baking to central factories, many years ago.

                1. re: Clams047

                  Not edible? Millions of folks would disagree. They don't keep expanding because there donuts are inedible.

                  I personally stopped going when they phased out the cruller. Blasphemy.

                  1. re: foodieX2

                    I frequent DD for its hot chocolate where I rarely see anyone buying donuts. RI has a DD for each 9 square miles(one for every 8000 residents - metropolitan Providence has about 25 DDs per 100,000 people), but there are much better places to get (fresh) donuts. I'll occasional get an old fashion or a blueberry, but they haven't been the same for quality nor selection since they went to factory manufacturing many years ago.

                    I've read coffee is 63% of their revenue (1.8 billion cups/yr) far exceeding their donut sales, then there's the much higher markup on coffee vs. other their other goods.

                    1. re: Clams047

                      Here in Mass I see munchkins at every school function and office breakfast. Their box of Joe shows up at the office breakfast too. Their donuts and munchkins are ubiquitous my church's coffees. There are never any leftovers. My son loves nothing more than their old fashions.

                      I am not saying they are gourmet or the best all I am saying is that if they were inedible then people wouldn't eat them. They may not be edible to *you*, and thats fine but even if only 10% of their business comes from donuts, that is a hell of a lot of donuts!

                      ETA:
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3OpPu...

                      1. re: Clams047

                        Very true, over the decades DD has evolved from donuts to their major product coffee and specialty sandwiches. Donuts are there but, just for show. I do hear that they are expanding in CA.

              2. re: atrac

                The most perplexing aspect of the people-going-to-Dunkin-Donuts-only-for-the-coffee thing is that (IMO) the coffee REALLY stinks. I know I'm in the extreme minority here (in New England) but yuck already; it's almost as bad as the donuts there.

                I take solace in the fact that I live not far from a couple of the independent donut shops that thrive in the Boston area. Indie coffee shops that serve good strong fresh coffee are also very rare (esp in my neighborhood). Luckily, I can brew coffee at home...but I can't make my own donuts very well!

                1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                  It depends on the Dunk, I find. One of the eight DDs within a 15-minute walk of my house (you may think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not) is staffed almost exclusively by young Hispanic women, and a coffee with cream and sugar ordered there comes out tasting exactly like the cafe con leche I remember fondly from my years in New Mexico, which to my mind is no bad thing. Although my personal patronage of Dunkin Donuts coincides pretty much exactly with the time of year when it's appropriate to be walking around with a big-ass iced hazelnut cream no sugar, and happily, that time is coming soon.

            2. re: monku

              i moved to boston 3 years ago and i still laugh at how many dunkin d's there are around here.
              it's like starbuck's in cali. almost on every corner.
              sometimes 2 on one block, and there's always long lines in the mornings.
              so funny to me.
              i only like their pumpkin donuts in the fall.
              i'm not a huge sweets person though...
              i gotta admit i do like their coffee though.

              1. re: daylight

                Wow, I was just going to post exactly the same thing. I just visited Boston for a few days this summer from LA, and was absolutely blown away by how many Dunkin Donuts I saw. It was like Starbucks in LA, only worse.

                1. re: HastaLaPasta

                  Agreed. What makes it worse is that Dunkin' Donuts is awful, except for their cookies, which are pretty good.

                  Their coffee is weak tasting and lacks personality. Their donuts are the absolute worst I've had from a restaurant, ever -- dry, leaden, and flavorless. The vanilla coolatas are disgusting, greasy nasty things. The breakfast sandwiches are too gross for words.

                  Beats me how they stay in business.

            3. I couldn't agree more, there needs to be a DD out here! I miss the iced coffee the most, especially because you can get one for $2 instead of the options out here.........

              1 Reply
              1. re: swt9876

                The hazelnut iced coffee at MCD's is pretty darn good !!! Take it any day over Starbucks.

              2. I empathize with what seems to be a nostalgic yearning for something from another decade, but you might want to consider the first two posters' replies. So Cal has to be one of the donut capitals of the world. Search the site for the jillions of postings on donuts. In fact, there's one that is active at the moment - Donut Man is definitely one of the tops here in So Cal. If you haven't ventured beyond DD, I'm hoping you'll be blown away by some of your new discoveries...

                18 Replies
                1. re: bulavinaka

                  I hate to say it but many of the mom and pop shops around here serve pretty darned lousy donuts, below average, they never throw anything away (I don't like to myself) and they don't keep track of inventory so often your $2 croissant or your $1 apple fritter is a day or two old. You have to try various places to find the better ones for sure.

                  And Glendora's famous Donut Man is not that close for most of us :-)
                  I'm interested in why Dunkin Donuts left, is it that stiff (I think mostly Asian-run but I guess that sounds wrong to say to many) constituency competition was too darn tuff?
                  Just Wondering, please.

                  1. re: MaryT

                    DD left town because the stores did not do sufficient volume per unit.
                    Reason: 1) because the local competitors were good, 2) insufficient numbers of units to be able to support the advertising required to get the message out, 3) the real estate was way too expensive, relative to what the company was used to paying in most other parts of the country, and since their real estate was secured many decades earlier, a unit might not be paying current market rent, and lastly, a less desirable product in the eyes of too many.
                    I have had the product in vegas and feel you can find much better locals, yet not being a donut 'hound, I do not seek them out like some would.

                    1. re: carter

                      These seem like all valid and realistic points, but then I start thinking about Krispy Kreme. They started opening here a few years after DD left and they seem to be doing very very well. Is DD just a cheap company and KK is made of money that they can afford to be out here? I know a company called Golden Circle Family Foods actually franchises them out here...did they just get lucky?

                      1. re: atrac

                        I'm pretty sure Krispy Kreme is having a tough time out here now. At first there was a lot of anticipation and they flooded the market. I think a few of them are closed now. I think it was the low carb fad that started their downfall besides being too sweet.....my teeth are hurting thinking about them.

                        1. re: monku

                          And then the other thing that still permeates in my brain is that the same company that owns Dunkin Donuts also owns Togos and Baskin Robbins. We have plenty of Togos and Baskin Robbins in L.A. Subway? Quiznos? Cold Stone Creamery? Mom and Pop sandwich and ice cream stores? We have plenty of those too and those are direct competitors. And the cost of rent is I am sure the same for a sandwich store or ice cream store as it is for a donut shop.

                          No, DD just doesn't like us.

                          1. re: atrac

                            Well, Krispy Kreme came and cornered a significant portion of the marketplace for several years, yet now about half of them are shuttered and converted to other concepts. And their stores were huge and were appealing to customers willing to drive much longer distances than the typical DD shop would be, and also allowing economies of scale in their operation. And they mostly always owned their real estate, which DD does not do.
                            DD is owned by the same outfit owning B/Robbins and Togo's, yet they locate both of them in the same storefront, and the only reason they did so is that neither could handle the rent on its own. In selected locations nationwide, all 3 concepts are in one shop to try to cover the rent.
                            But the biggest problem is still trying to get sufficient coverage in the market to be able to justify advertising to promote the stores. How far will people drive to get a DD? They drove significant distances for KKreme in the beginning, yet then it just became another donut.
                            As to Subway and Quizno's, their average volume is higher than DD, yet neither of them make much money in any given location, with rare exceptions.

                            1. re: atrac

                              If DD and BR are owned by the same company, why did the DD near me drop its Baskin Robbins store? I can't figure out why, it's not like the repurposed square footage is going to improve donut sales.

                              1. re: aynrandgirl

                                Maybe more people were buying that crap ice cream than that crap coffee.

                                Seriously, DD's main product is their coffee, hands down. The line can be so long that they might have thought it worth while to make more room to serve that stuff.

                            2. re: monku

                              KK also had a big Finance scandal (company was overvalued for a while as a result). They tanked here in Boston, which is Mecca for Dunkin.

                              I personally think DD has royally sucked ever since they stopped baking the product in the actual stores. Trucked-in stale donuts don't do it for me, but I'm in the minority here in New England, where there are seemingly 4 locations on every corner.

                            3. re: atrac

                              atrac wrote: "These seem like all valid and realistic points, but then I start thinking about Krispy Kreme. They started opening here a few years after DD left and they seem to be doing very very well."

                              Sorry atrac, but you are mistaken. After a phenomenal launch, Krispy Kreme got the wind knocked out of it when it was sucker-punched by the anti-carb movement. Its stock plummeted and it closed most of its stores in Southern California. According to the Krispy Kreme website, there are now only 10 locations in the entire area stretching from San Diego to Los Angeles (and I assume farther north and east as well).

                              I'm sure I'm not the only one who expects a similar fate for Pinkberry.

                              1. re: Arthur

                                *gasp* You are absolutely correct. I was doing a little "assuming" there and we know what that makes out of me at least. :)

                                The two locations that I have gone to (City of Industry and Crenshaw) are still there so when I just checked the Krispy Kreme website it indeed confirms what you say....I managed to go to two of the few restaurants that have experienced no effect to the health food nuts of SoCal.

                                Before I moved to the Los Angeles area I had it in my head that the people out here were going to be gorgeous, skinny, model types. I have never gotten over the shock I had when I saw the people were just as or even less attractive then people in the midwest. I call it the "Abercrombie model myth" of Los Angeles.

                                So it's funny to me that it is apparently true that people out here try to eat more healthy and try to be in better shape..blah blah blah. It ain't workin folks.

                          2. re: MaryT

                            Years ago I'd read about Cambodians coming to the US and their business dream was to open a donut shop. Following in the footsteps of a fellow country man pioneer named Ngoy who was a janitor and then amassed dozens of donut stores in Southern California. An easy business from the standpoint that you didn't really have to speak English because buying a donut is a point and purchase transaction.

                            You might want to read this article when you have time for an insight

                            http://www.dailyyonder.com/cambodian-...

                            1. re: MaryT

                              I used to enjoy DD's donut holes back in the 80s - particularly from the shop that WAS at the corner of Aviation and PCH in Hermosa Beach. Always consistent in quality and freshness.

                              Like any other competitive business environment involving food, you will find a lot offerings that are below average to average and a lot of people are okay with that - this is why these sub-par places which you refer to survive - and I do mean survive. The most recent Southern California business model for donuts was replicated innumerable times in the Cambodian immigrant community (this is a story in itself). In essence, the donut market was flooded by these mostly immigrant/family-run operations, thereby crowding out just about any competitors whose operating margins were higher than these mom&pop businesses. Companies like Winchell's and Dunkin' Donuts have much higher margins - just their marketing/advertising alone would eat far into their profits, and if the sales volume isn't high enough, time to close shop. These chains/franchises also tend to pay higher rents due to their more strategically placed locations. But location is by no means any guarantee for higher volume in this business - again, because of the large number of small shops that siphon off the business, a donut here, a couple dozen there, previously enjoyed by the chains.

                              The exceptions to this phenomenon are the donut shops who have carved out a reputation and/or a niche that creates an appreciative customer base. Primo's, Stan's, some of the Royal Donut shops, Bob's, Donut Man, etc., that are similar to the current mom&pop business model - many are family-run, not so location-reliant, little or no marketing/advertising expenses - but usually step it up at least a few notches in the quality and originality department.

                            2. re: bulavinaka

                              I am intrigued by Donut Man! I live in Alhambra so Glendora is not too far of a jaunt for me.

                              I seem to remember Huell Howser doing a show on that place too!

                              1. re: atrac

                                Get out there...probably the strawberry donut is in season.

                                1. re: monku

                                  I was reading about Donut Man and am wondering...do they serve "regular" donuts? I am a simpleton when it comes to the little buggers, and it looks like they may use a lot of fresh fruits in them. To the elitist, that's probably a dream..but I just like sugary frosting and dough. Would I possibly be disappointed if I make the drive?

                                  If only I would have paid more attention when Huell Howser was there!

                                  1. re: atrac

                                    Elitist is so negative..I think connesuer fits a bit better!

                                    1. re: Honeychan

                                      Connoisseur it is then! ;)

                                      Someone in another area of this site told me that I will find what I am looking for at Donut Man....so I'm going tomorrow! :)

                            3. I am originally from the East coast and I miss Dunkin Donuts, too. Yes, it's partly nostalgia. And partly that donut shops out here don't seem to make vanilla creme, my favorite Dunkin Donuts flavor. It's not custard or Boston creme...it's a bright white vanilla creme filling (also comes in chocolate). If anyone knows what I'm talking about, please tell me where to get my vanilla creme Dunkin equivalent in L.A.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Nicole

                                Was called a Bismark....I know what kind of cream you're thinking of...almost like the inside of a Twinkie.

                                1. re: monku

                                  I thought it was called a Bavarian Creme when it had the bright white inside. But my memory of DD is fuzzy because I haven't been in one in decades (as I said in an earlier post....when they stopped baking on the premises, I stopped going)

                                2. re: Nicole

                                  Well.. They don't sale Maple Bars at DD in Philadelphia, so let's say we're even..