HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >

Discussion

A better idea for Dunkin Donuts

http://nypost.com/2014/07/25/dunkin-d...

Saw this article just now about how Dunkin Donuts is getting their butts kicked by Starbucks in sales growth. The CEO is pushing franchisees to sell more of their expensive items to boost check averages. I have a better idea......START SELLING DECENT COFFEE NOT THAT WEAK NASTY TASTING DISHWATER YOU CURRENTLY SELL! American tastes are getting more sophisticated and they are demanding better coffee like Starbucks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
    1. re: MGZ

      Oh yea, closing will really help their bottom line.

    2. I know people all have their preferences but I really can't stomach DD coffee. I say this as a New Englander who sees a DD on every block. It has a weird (burnt?) taste to me. The word "acrid" comes to mind. I would rather have coffee from the local gas station than DD.

      5 Replies
      1. re: mels

        "It has a weird (burnt?) taste to me. The word "acrid" comes to mind"....agreed!
        I'm no coffee expert but I sold coffee when I worked for Sysco and received some sales training. Coffee has both pleasant and unpleasant components and if you get too much extraction you introduce these unpleasant elements into the final brew. I was told that DD "pushes the envelope" using a minimum amount of coffee to get maximum yield. Starbucks uses a much higher coffee to water ratio, it's not burnt it strong!

        1. re: zackly

          Many people find that Starbucks roasts its beans too darkly; hence the nickname Charbucks.

          1. re: sandylc

            I love Starbucks coffee. Before I had my first cup of their coffee in the mid nineties I was a daily visitor to the DD near my office. When SB opened nearby I resisted going there for awhile due to their Europhile pretentiousness (It's a coffee dude not a barista & I still ask for small, medium or large not tall, grande or vente). I wanted to hate them. When I did try it was game-set-match. I could never go home (DD)again. The coffee was so much richer and stronger (I don't find it harsh at all. After that DD seamed weak & watery.

            1. re: zackly

              Clearly individual taste is always the main thing with coffee; everyone seems to have a different opinion. When my parents were alive and were visiting, my dad and husband used to see who could get to the coffeemaker first so they could control the strength!

              From what I've observed, many people fall somewhere in between Charbucks and DD's flavored water as far as strength and degree of roasting. We have a couple of smaller chains here that fill that niche.

              1. re: sandylc

                I like really good coffee brewed strong. In a pinch, I will buy Starbucks, but I do believe they burn the beans and now, no longer make as strong a brew as they used to. Unless I'm on the road long distance, I always make my own for my Contigo auto seal.

                When Starbucks was more generous with the amount of coffee per pot, I could cut them a break, but they're getting closer to the competition, dishwater wise, just enough better that they're still the only place I'll go into in a tight pinch.

      2. I have no dog in this fight, as I don't drink coffee. However, my observations are that among the coffee drinkers I know and have listened to, Dunkin Donuts coffee lovers think Starbucks is too strong, too dark, too bitter, too whatever; conversely, Starbucks coffee mavens deride Dunkin Donuts as dishwater, swill, weak, etc.

        Clearly, there's room in the market for both, purely on differing tastes in coffee. What does DD in, AFAIK, is the abysmal food they serve; bread-like donuts, fluffy bagels with no character, egg-product loaf breakfast sandwiches, etc. No amount of upselling will help there. Atlanta Bread has better muffins, any bagel shop does better than DD, Panera and Starbucks have far better breakfast pastries.

        DD may as well stand for desperate dining.

        As to doughnuts, Oh! for the all-too-brief days when Krispy Kreme shops were in NJ.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mcsheridan

          The only Starbucks commercial I've ever seen on tv is about their "blonde" blend in response to people thinking their regular blend is too rich or whatever. I never even knew this conversation was going on.

        2. I've never cared for DD's coffee...it always tasted wishy-washy to me. I put up with it because they used to make a decent donut, but not anymore. It's really sad when the bakery dept. in the local Publix grocery store is producing a far better product.

          1. Funny - I am odd man out here. I much prefer DD coffee to Starbucks. I am particularly addicted to their large iced coffee - a total rip off but a "necessity" on hot summer days.
            DD food is abomination, as is Starbucks.

            I would hate to see them go more complicated/expensive I am tired of endless options at FF restaurants - keep it simple and quick I don't need to be behind the person who orders mocha-java-raspberry-frappacocktail and a eggwhite-Florentine-flatbread-pizzaburrito when I want a black coffee and a donut

            6 Replies
            1. re: JTPhilly

              You are not the only one. I will take DD coffee over Starbucks any day of the week. I like my coffee black and simple, and Starbucks is simply undrinkable in that form -- it's burnt and too heavy, only meant to be consumed when diluted beyond all recognition with sugar, cream, flavorings, etc.

              When I'm on the road DD black coffee is my fuel of choice and I like their basic breakfast sandwiches as wll.

              1. re: sockii

                I drink my coffee black as well - and agreed Starbucks coffee black BLECH

                1. re: sockii

                  Im with y'all.

                  I drink it black, too, and Charbucks is totally undrinkable black.

                  I love me Dunkies ice coffee in the summah!

                  1. re: sockii

                    I drink Starbucks coffee black all the time. Sometimes I put an extra shot of espresso in it.

                    1. re: jpc8015

                      Starbucks' Pike Place Roast is one of my favorite coffees. I wouldn't drink it any way but black. I like to make and drink it at home, though. Nearly all coffee in paper cups tastes nasty to me.

                  2. re: JTPhilly

                    You're not the only one, JT. I'll only drink Starbucks coffee if I'm desperate. It's too acrid and bitter for my taste. I'll take DD regular coffee/iced coffee any time. Plus their coolattas are THE summer drink in these parts.

                    As for the rest of their offerings...eh. I've had better baked goods, but they're passable for a FF outfit.

                  3. I thought people liked Dunkin coffee. Costco sells big bags of it. I don't enter donut shops so I don't know how their coffee tastes.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: tcamp

                      Me too. Not a coffee drinker myself. But I seem to remember that people really liked the stuff.

                    2. But Starbucks coffee is burnt, bitter crap unless you dilute it with tons of sugary, fatty flavorings.

                      For me as a black coffee drinker, Dunkin Donuts coffee is much more palatable. I hate it when I'm traveling for work and all I can find in hotels is Starbucks...ick. The only thing I can stomach there is the Americano...never the drip coffee.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: sockii

                        I don't take my coffee black and Charbucks still tastes like burnt yuck, even with milk and sugar. My kid likes it, but she gets so much flavored syrup, crunchies, munchies, and whipped cream in it that I doubt anyone could taste the coffee. Me, I'd rather a glass of water than a cup of Starbucks.

                        1. re: sockii

                          It's always best to seek out independent coffee shops, their coffee will always be better than a chain. They don't have the global brand recognition working for them, so they have to ensure customer loyalty by creating a good product. Business 101.

                          1. re: smoledman

                            I whole heartedly disagree with you. Many of those so called independent coffee shops get their coffee from sysco and the like and often have substandard brewing mechanisms.

                            I think you meant find an independent coffee roaster or specialty coffee shop. We have this one in our town and while I am sure the beans are "better" most of the coffee still tastes like acidic, harsh crap at prices that would make SB blush. The trendy folks seems to think that means good.
                            http://www.redeyeroasters.com

                            1. re: smoledman

                              I have had plenty of awful coffee from independent coffee shops.

                              1. re: smoledman

                                You are assuming independent coffee shops are always available. Such is not the case when driving an interstate for hours on end and you need fuel to keep going, or staying in a downtown hotel somewhere where the only places that can afford the rent nearby are national coffeehouse chains.

                                1. re: sockii

                                  When on the road, If I only have the choice of either DD or Mickey D's, I'll choose Mickey's although not a very good cup either.

                                  1. re: zackly

                                    Doesn't McD's use Seattle's Best Coffee?

                                    1. re: jpc8015

                                      I think they may use regional coffee suppliers because nobody is large enough to supply all the Mickey D's.

                            2. I drink coffee with cream and a sugar substitute . Maybe Starbucks is too strong for many black coffee drinkers but DD is so weak when cream and sugar are added. Do this test: see how much cream it takes to lighten (color wise) a cup of DD compared to SB. DD coffee needs just a small amount while SB needs a lot more. That tells me SB is using more coffee solids.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: zackly

                                That's exactly why I drink Dunkies black and can't even contemplate Starbucks

                              2. Dunkin Donuts - doing their darnedest to give Americans heart disease since 1950!

                                1. I live in the Boston suburbs and used to pass 8 DD sites on my <10 mile work commute. Yeah, it's really horrible coffee - that's why there are so many locations! Seriously, DD has a strong, loyal customer base but it's mostly commuters, some lunch business, and a bit of after-work refreshment. The growth made it faster to get coffee en route to work, but resulted in too many locations than justified by the rest of the day.

                                  Even if I enjoyed any of Starbucks coffees, they remain considerably pricier than DD. A group I belong to has its weekly gathering at SB; after a year of trying to find a SB coffee choice I don't despise, I settled for passionfruit iced tea. I find their baked goods fake-tasting, stale, and expensive. Give me a honey-dip DD any day! (Miss me a freshly-made French cruller, though)

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: greygarious

                                    Starbucks baked goods are one of their weaknesses. The quality varies a lot from store to store depending on their vendor and how diligent the staff is about tossing the stale stuff. I guess they made the decision not to bake in house when the first started and you can't really argue with their success but it would be nice to get a freshly baked croissant or muffin like you can at Au Bain Pan or Panera. What is the price difference between a large drip coffee @ DD vs SB? I thought prices were similar for basic drip coffee. I know you pay a lot more for a barista drink.

                                    1. re: greygarious

                                      Maybe I'm just not as discriminating a coffee drinker, but on the rare occasion I go to Starbucks (or Panera, or Barnes and Noble) I just order a house coffee. One pack of sugar and maybe cream if I'm feeling frisky. And it's fine. And it's about the same price at Starbucks as anywhere else, pretty sure under $2.

                                      DD coffee I haven't had in years but remember it being weak and bitter. That may have changed but it was unpleasant to my taste, although it may "pair well" with DD donuts by cutting the sweetness. I dunno.

                                    2. IIRC, when I read the CI review years ago, DD had a very high percentage of quakers and also the lowest quality beans to start with.

                                      http://breweddaily.com/2013/02/cooks-...

                                      http://www.wineloverspage.com/forum/v...

                                      But there are folks who swear by it. I tossed my last cup of DD roadside coffee out after barely managing to swallow the first sip instead of spitting it out.

                                      1. Used to be you could sit at the counter at DD and get coffee served in a real cup. Each location did their own baking. Aside from thinking that their coffee is now crap, I just hate going into one as much as I do Subway. They are designed to make people want to get in and out as quickly as possible. I hate everything about it.

                                        1. DD coffee, as well as WaWa coffee are both atrocious. It isn't coffee at all. It is watered-down, airline coffee. I'll take Starbucks anyday!

                                          1. I am a life long New Englander, who prefers my coffee black. Starbucks is just too bitter for me (unless it is the Blonde brew). DD's is weak crap, who's popularity has always amazed me. I used to go to The Coffee Connection here in Boston (until Starbuck's bought them), and now go to Red Barn, as I prefer their coffee to either SB or DD's. I will admit to the occasional DD's ice coffee (with a touch of cream), but only iced, and mainly because I don't love the Red Barn iced (and it's almost $1 a cup more than DD's).

                                            1. Starbucks coffee customers and Dunkin Donuts coffee customers are not the same audience. Also Dunkin Donuts really is a franchise driven corporation and Starbucks stand alone stores are corporate owned. DD sit in places like gas stations, and their purpose may in fact be to drive market share for gas rather than for dog nuts.