Dunkin Opens First of 200 Restaurants in California

Launches new dark-roast coffee to capitalize on West Coast expansion

Dunkin Donuts dark roast coffee

CANTON, Mass. -- Dunkin' Donuts latest moves in the coffee-retail wars include moves to the West Coast and the launch of a new dark-roast coffee.

West Coast Expansion

The quick-service restaurant chain opened its first "full expression" locations on the West Coast in Modesto and Santa Monica this week. The restaurants offer the full Dunkin' Donuts menu of beverages, sandwiches and baked goods, along with and inviting restaurant environment, comfortable seating areas and free Wi-Fi for guests, according to the company.

"Today, we continue to celebrate our highly anticipated expansion to California, starting with the opening of our new restaurants in Modesto and Santa Monica," said Paul Twohig, president, Dunkin' Donuts US and Canada, and Dunkin' Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Europe and Latin America. "Californians have eagerly and enthusiastically awaited Dunkin' Donuts' arrival, and we are proud to bring our high-quality beverages and baked goods, as well as the fast and friendly service we're famous for, to the state."

The new locations offer Dunkin's famous hot, iced and frozen beverages, breakfast and bakery sandwiches, doughnuts, bagels and muffins, as well as better-for-you options from its DDSmart menu, to guests in the Golden State. The opening of Dunkin' Donuts' Modesto and Santa Monica restaurants is part of a larger plan to open approximately 200 new restaurants in California over the next several years. The company plans to open more than 1,000 restaurants in total throughout the state over the long-term.

Dunkin' Donuts' Modesto restaurant is owned and operated by Sizzling Donuts LLC, an experienced Dunkin' Donuts operator with restaurants throughout the West. The franchise group has signed a multi-unit store-development agreement to open 46 stores in the Sacramento metro area. The Santa Monica location is owned and operated by existing Dunkin' Donuts franchisee Gary Haar and his business partner Steve Silverstein. The two will develop 10 restaurants in total throughout Los Angeles County.

In addition to these first two full expression Dunkin' Donuts store openings, there are plans to open Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in Whittier, Downey and Long Beach in the coming months. The company also continues to recruit qualified franchisees to help develop the Dunkin' Donuts brand throughout the state of California.

Dark Roast Launch

Meanwhile, Dunkin' Donuts is making one of the boldest additions ever to its coffee lineup, unveiling a new Rainforest-Alliance-Certified Dark Roast Coffee. The new dark roast, developed by Dunkin' Donuts' Coffee Excellence team over the past several years, uses a unique roasting process to bring out key characteristics of different beans, creating a bold flavor and smooth finish without the bitterness typically associated with most dark roast coffees, according to the company.

Dunkin' Donuts introduced Dark Roast at the first two California restaurants and plans to make it available at participating Dunkin' Donuts restaurants nationwide beginning on Monday, Sept. 22.

"Dark roast represents possibly the most dramatic expansion of our coffee portfolio since we introduced espresso beverages a decade ago," said John Costello, Dunkin' Brands' president, Global Marketing and Innovation. "As we continue our national expansion and introduce our brand to millions of new guests, many of whom enjoy a darker-roast coffee, this new launch is a big step in our growth and reinforcing our position as a coffee leader, and the brand offering one of the largest varieties of coffee choices for busy, on-the-go people."

Dunkin' Donuts guests can enjoy the new dark roast served either hot or iced. It will also be available for sale for brewing at home in both packaged coffee and in K-Cup packs, for use with Keurig Brewing systems.

Founded in 1950, Dunkin' Donuts is a market leader in the hot regular/decaf/flavored coffee, iced coffee, doughnut, bagel and muffin categories. The company has nearly 11,000 restaurants in 33 countries worldwide. Based in Canton, Mass., Dunkin' Donuts is part of the Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc.