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Dunkin’ Brands Group names Philip Auerbach chief digital and strategy officer as the parent of Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins doubles down on customer engagement

Stephanie Meltzer-Paul and Santhosh Kumar promoted to SVPs of digital marketing and IT

Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. has appointed Phillip Auerbach to the newly created position of chief digital and strategy officer, effective Aug. 10, overseeing a new Dunkin' U.S. digital engagement team that includes consumer and business insights, digital marketing, media, and customer care. He also will lead global strategy and information technology for Dunkin’ Brands, which is the parent company of Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins.

He will report to Dunkin’ Brands CEO Dave Hoffman.

Working under Auerbach will be Stephanie Meltzer-Paul, who is being promoted from head of digital and loyalty marketing for Dunkin’ U.S. to senior vice president for digital marketing, and Santhosh Kumar, who is being promoted from head of global information technology to SVP of IT.

Philip-Auerbach-headshot.pngAuerbach (pictured) most recently was chief commercial officer of cruise company Lindblad Expeditions, where he was responsible for marketing, sales, distribution and strategic partnerships. Before that he was senior vice president and regional chief marketing officer for Las Vegas at Caesars Entertainment.

He spent nearly 15 years in management consulting prior to that.

Auerbach has a degree in hospitality administration from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

"Dunkin' has long been at the forefront of using digital technology to enhance the customer experience — whether through its world-class app; its advanced one-to-one marketing capabilities; or its DD Perks platform, one of the first and fastest growing loyalty programs in the quick service industry," Auerbach said in a release announcing his appointment. "I am delighted to join Dunkin' Brands and excited to build a digital ecosystem that will deliver an even more personalized, frictionless experience across all channels."

Hoffman indicated in the release that Auerbach’s appointment was part of the Canton, Mass.-based company’s renewed efforts in digital engagement with its customers.

"Dunkin' is doubling down on our digital platform and the relationship we have with our guests,” he said. “Providing a more seamless, best-in-class restaurant experience enabled by technology is a cornerstone of the Dunkin' U.S. Blueprint for Growth strategy. Phil is a transformational leader who has led the evolution of consumer and hospitality brands and will take our growing digital platform to the next level.”

He added that Meltzer-Paul and Kumar are being promoted “in recognition of their many contributions to the company.”

During the novel coronavirus pandemic, many restaurants have relied on their digital apps, loyalty platforms and other tech-based means to stay engaged with their customers and help stem declines in traffic.

In the last three weeks of Dunkin’s first fiscal quarter, which ended March 28, the chain saw same-store sales drop by 19.4%.

After falling farther in April, they climbed back up to -15% in the week ended May 23.

Dunkin’ Brands is slated to report its 2nd quarter earnings on July 30.

Dunkin’ Brands has more than 13,000 Dunkin’ restaurants and more than 8,000 Baskin-Robbins locations worldwide.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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