Saturday, November 5, 2011

Top 5 Reasons I'm Done with Dunkin' Donuts

I had Dunkin' Donuts recently.  I grew up on this stuff, it got me through law school, and I start many morning with some Dunkin' coffee...  But I've made an executive decision--this is all going to change.  I am off the bandwagon.  Here's the top 5 reasons why:

5: Cost -  They are getting expensive.  There is no way a breakfast sandwich and cup of coffee should be costing me close to $8.

4: Quality - The more things they add to their menu, the lower the quality becomes for everything on their menu.  Add bagels, donut quality drops.  Add flatbreads, donut and bagel quality drop, etc.  Through it all, the coffee quality drops too.  Dunkin used to be the best coffee in town--better than the much more expensive Starbucks.  Now it's just not very good--barely above "random deli" quality.

3: Healthy - There is nothing on the menu that is even remotely healthy.  Nothing (here's their menu--check it out).  I'm not a healthy eater, but even I don't want fattening food every morning.

2: Taste - The coffee is burnt.  I know someone who used to work for Dunkin in the early 90s.  She explained they had to change the coffee every x minutes (10 or 15, can't remember*).  Even if it was a full pot, the coffee was dumped and fresh coffee brewed because coffee that sat on a burner too long "burned," developing a gross taste.  That practice has apparently gone out the window, and the taste of the coffee suffers as a result.

1: Temperature - The coffee is always too hot, just below boiling.  If a beverage burns your mouth, you can't taste it.  Who needs their coffee so hot--I refuse to believe there is a demand for this!  I ordered an iced coffee this morning.  It's cold out, and iced coffee shouldn't be an option, but the only coffee place near me is Dunkin' and I knew if I ordered a hot coffee, it wouldn't be drinkable for at least a half hour.

I am not a big Starbucks fan, since I think their normal blend tastes like water filtered through dirt, but I am making the switch.  I'll check back in and let you know if the problems worsen or the situation improves...  Any guesses as to whether Starbucks will be better?  Let me know below.

[edit]*My friend wrote me to remind me the coffee was changed every 18 minutes.


  1. As your blog following Starbucks employee, and DD hater, I'll give some perspective:

    1.  Dunkin Donuts is technically the first expensive coffee.  When they first open they charged double the average price for a cup.  (For many items they are still more expensive the Starbucks).

    2. The easiest way to make extra money in the coffee word is water it down and hold it longer then it should be.  In a franchise world, this becomes the fastest way to make money in the business model.  DD spends more time fining franchisees for broken floor tiles then it does for bad quality.

    3.  Temperature.  Ok, I have to go with DD on this one.  The way to get the most flavor out of the coffee beans is to brew them between 190-205 degrees, so yes, just before boiling.  Anything else tastes starts tasting like soggy cardboard.  Besides, since the average American fills the cup with 30% cold milk, you can see why it would need to stay hot.  You'd be surprised how many people come back with their coffee saying its cold after they just filled the cup halfway with cold cream.

    As for not being a fan of Starbucks because of the "earthy" taste.  Coffees from Indonesia have that characteristic.  I don't like them either.  And Latin American coffees are too mild for me.  Stick to East African, definitely the best, and my favorite.  Ask for one if you go to the bux.

    Ok, class dismissed.

  2. Excellent comments and food (or coffee) for thought...