We’ve been watching the commercials for years now. “It’s time to make the donuts…” was quickly adapted into our vernacular and the coffee was getting good reviews. Times were simpler then and the public accepted the offerings at Dunkin’ Donuts without much fanfare. The idea of this being marketing hype was never thought about. The coffee was consistently good and the donuts were made in the stores from a mass produced mixture and finished off with sweet variations much like they are today. Sweet and simple it sure was.
The trouble with Dunkin’ Donuts came after someone in their marketing department thought of reaching out to more customers by offering a more diversified menu. They introduced egg sandwiches, grilled cheese Texas toast sandwiches, bagels with chicken salad on them, ham and cheese sandwiches, and more. After all, the franchisees were investing tons of money to open their own Dunkin’ stores and the pot needed to be overly sweetened. (A trend which carries on today in much of what they serve, but I digress!)
The problem is that they never overcame some basic restaurant 101 hurdles. They fashioned themselves as a restaurant but if you wanted pepper on your egg sandwich you were out of luck. They never actually cooked anything there and still don’t. Everything is reheated or microwaved. It’s all prefab food and with the addition of all the magical marketing hype it is succeeding in driving in the customers. This marketing team has come up with phrases like artisan, America runs on Dunkin’, and ancho-chipolte. Plus they came up with a way to offer eggs benedict, which turned out to be a short lived rabbit out of the hat. The hype continues to be spoon fed to us and as a result the stores, like many of its patrons’ waist lines, is burgeoning.
Now they have the grilled chicken sandwich with the familiar ancho-chipolte sauce served on multigrain flat bread. It’s a safe bet for them. The chicken is precooked and the sandwich is assembled as the orders are received. The sauce will determine whether or not you like the sandwich. If you like the taste of the sauce then you will like it. If this stays on the menu watch out for a potential pineapple mango chicken sandwich, a honey lemon chicken sandwich, and eventually a chocolate chicken sandwich all to be made with the same chicken, – just topped with a different sauce! The marketing teams’ wheels will continue to turn, they will continue to spoon feed the hype, and the train we know as the Double D will keep rolling along. This is the trouble with Dunkin’ Donuts! They left too many people standing on the platform waiting for that simple cup of coffee!