Dunkin’ Donuts is gearing up to roll out 50 test stores in the U.S. that make it easier for customers to get their beverages on the run.
According to the Wall Street Journal, citing the company’s Chief Financial Officer Katherine Jaspon, the company is investing $100 million in the initiative — this will include a dedicated pickup area, digital kiosks and expanded drive-through windows that give mobile app orders preference. “We believe this is a unique chapter in our brand’s history,” Jaspon told CFO Journal in an interview, “which is why we are contributing significant capital alongside our franchisees for the first time.”
The paper noted that more than half of the $100 million will be for store equipment to support its on-the-go beverage plans. The remaining investment is earmarked for technology infrastructure and training. The first store was launched in Quincy, MA. earlier this year. That was the location of the first Dunkin’ Donuts store, noted the report. The CFO noted that with the investment Dunkin’ Donuts isn’t changing its strategy of not having company-owned stores. “We remain committed to our asset-light business model,” Jaspon said, noting that franchisees have invested more than $1 billion over the past three years spending on opening new stores and overhauling existing ones. The idea is that if customers can get their orders quicker and more accurately it can boost sales. Ultimately, our guests and our franchisees are our guide in whatever we do, so we will be looking for their feedback over the year as we finalize our next-gen store before we roll it out to all our locations,” Jaspon said.
News of the investment comes in the same week that Dunkin’ Donuts announced it is supporting Alexa voice ordering. In a press release, Dunkin’ Donuts said the new integration of Alexa means DD Perks Rewards members can place a mobile order via voice on an Alexa-enabled device and skip the line to pick up. The company said customers who have a DD Perks account and an Amazon account can link them together in the Alexa app once they open the skill, with all ordering and payments happening within Dunkin’ Donuts’ mobile platform.