Dunkin’ Brands Appoints New CEO

Dunkin' Brands

Taking over from a chief executive who spent almost 10 years at the helm of Dunkin’ Brands, David Hoffmann now has the top post at the quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain. Hoffmann came to the company in 2016 as head of Dunkin’ Donuts U.S., Financial Times reported.

With the new appointment, Dunkin’ said that Hoffmann will keep his existing position along with his new chief executive job. He takes the helm as the company aims to boost sales growth at Dunkin’ Donuts, as the chain has found itself amid a coffee price war among other U.S. QSR brands. While Dunkin’ is known for its namesake doughnuts, the chain has also been offering products such as espresso-based and cold brew beverages. But, at the same time, McDonald’s has been rolling out competitive offerings, such as $2 iced lattes.

The news comes as Dunkin’ has — like its oft-mentioned competitor Starbucks — been pushing consumers toward greater use of mobile order ahead, and bumping into the same order-ahead issues that tend to plague QSRs. Even when the technology works to expectations and gets a consumer’s order prepared on time, the physical layout of the store is not built to accommodate the new era of ordering ahead. So, the customer who picks up at the drive-thru still has to wait in the line of people ordering and paying, and the customer inside the store still has to navigate among the customers who are ordering and waiting.

The new 2,200-square-foot concept stores rolling out this year seek to solve that problem by separating out the drive-thru lanes, making it easier for mobile customers to cruise through. The stores’ interior design mirrors that instinct at separation, with a separate order-ahead queuing area. The design also goes one step further with a series of self-service kiosks, where people can order without the help of a staff member.