In line with its goal to rebrand itself as a high-end coffee shop chain, Dunkin’ is investing about $60 million in new brewing equipment for all of its cafes.
Designed to improve coffee quality and consistency, offer more variety, and reduce waste, these smart brewers are expected to help Dunkin’ serve better hot coffee, and subsequently bring in more customers.
“We’re maniacally focused on traffic,” said CEO Dave Hoffman during a recent analyst call discussing the company’s fourth-quarter results. Though the company’s customer traffic is starting to improve, Hoffman noted that it was still negative in 2019.
On the brighter side, espresso sales jumped almost 40 percent year-over-year, thanks to the company’s improved espresso recipe in 2018, and the installation of better espresso equipment in the same year. Dunkin’s new espresso cup and the espresso-making training the company provided to its employees are also believed to have helped boost the espresso sales.
In addition to improving its coffee, Dunkin’ is also pushing trendy food items to lure more customers. In fact, just last year, the company started to serve breakfast sandwiches made with meatless Beyond Meat sausages. According to Hoffman, customers usually order these sandwiches with premium iced coffees and espressos, resulting in a higher total check.
“It is important to give our consumers on-trend choices,” Hoffman said, pointing out that trendy menu items are actually one of the key tenets of the company’s marketing strategy this 2020.
Additionally, Dunkin’ is coming up with new value meals to attract more budget-conscious customers. It’s also stepping up its game in the breakfast segment, as more and more restaurant chains are making huge improvement to their menus.