Dunkin’ Donuts said it is returning to the United Kingdom with two franchise agreements that call for the opening of 50 locations in the Greater London area.
Owned by Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., the Canton, Mass.-based beverage-snack chain said it signed franchise agreements with The Court Group to open 25 units in East London and with DDMG Ltd. to open 25 outlets in East London over the next five years.
In addition, the brand said it is in “advanced discussions” with other franchise partners to open an additional 100 outlets in the United Kingdom, for a total of 150 units in that country over the next five years.
“We feel there is significant opportunity for Dunkin’ Donuts in the U.K., and we have had a tremendous response from potential franchisees interested in developing the brand across the country,” said Giorgio Minardi, president of Dunkin’ Brands International.
“We are especially excited to begin the expansion of Dunkin’ Donuts in the U.K. with The Court Group and DDMG Ltd., two experienced franchisees who have a deep passion for the brand and a solid understanding of the local market,” he added.
Dunkin’ Donuts outlets in the U.K. will offer the chain’s traditional range of coffees, teas, espresso-based beverages, Coolatta frozen drinks, doughnuts, muffins, croissants and sandwiches. The chain said the menu also will feature some regional menu items that were designed to appeal to local tastes.
The 10,500-unit bakery-café shuttered all of its U.K. shops in the mid-1990s when the concept failed to catch on with consumers there.
However, Nigel Travis, chairman and chief executive of Dunkin’ Brands, last year said he would like to see the chain re-enter the market, noting that its retooled menu includes breakfast sandwiches and other new items that would appeal to Britons.
The brand has outlets in 31 countries, including more than 100 in such European nations as Bulgaria, Germany, Russia and Spain. Sister brand Baskin-Robbins has 100 units in the U.K.
Competitor Starbucks already has more than 750 locations in the U.K.
Earlier this year, Dunkin’ Donuts also announced an aggressive domestic drive into Southern California, where Travis said it may eventually open as many as 1,000 units. The company recently opened its first Dunkin’ Donuts location in Utah.
For the second quarter ended June 29, Dunkin’ Brands reported a 120.6-percent increase in net income to $40.8 million from $18.5 million in the year-ago period.
Contact Paul Frumkin at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @NRNPaul