Every day millions of customers pick up coffee or donuts from Dunkin' Donuts, part of Dunkin' Brands Group (NASDAQ:DNKN). Although some prefer the coffee from Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) or donuts from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE: KKD), fans of Dunkin' Donuts choose to make it their preferred stop for coffee and donuts. Here are a few fact that even Dunkin's biggest fans might not know about this great chain.
1. The first location was called Open Kettle
Founder William Rosenberg opened his first restaurant in Quincy, MA in 1948 and named it Open Kettle. Two years later, he renamed it Dunkin' Donuts. He realized that coffee and donuts were the most popular items when he sold food to factories and construction sites. In 1955, he started franchising the concept. By 1963, the chain had grown to 100 restaurants, and would grow to 1,000 by 1979.
2. There are 15,000 ways to order coffee at Dunkin' Donuts
While many think that you go to Dunkin' Donuts for the donuts, the fact is that the chain is really a coffee company. On average, Dunkin' Donuts sells more than 30 cups of coffee every second and there are more than 15,000 ways to order a single cup. These combinations take into account all of the syrups, turbo shots, and sweeteners available at each location. The company's coffee tasters each average 200 cups of coffee per day to ensure quality and consistency.
The company uses approximately 2,000 coffee beans to make one pound of coffee. The coffee beans are then roasted at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and blended using Dunkin' Donuts secret, special recipe. The company uses only the finest Arabica coffee beans, which take more than five years to mature. Every year, Dunkin' Donuts sells 1.7 billion cups of coffee.
3. There are ways to limit the calorie intake with your order
To cut an easy 50 to 60 calories from your order, drink a medium coffee with whole milk instead of cream. You can also order the "Lite" options. A medium Dunkin' Latte Lite has 160 fewer calories than a medium latte with whole milk and sugar. Flavor Swirls are pre-sweetened, but Flavor Shots are unsweetened and sugar free.
4. Yes, the Dunkaccino is still available
Even though it's not always found on the menu, Dunkin' Donuts can still make the famous Dunkaccino. This is the unique blend of Dunkin' Donuts' coffee with hot chocolate. I prefer getting it with extra whipped cream for that added flavor.
5. Everyone loves "Fred the Baker"
Dunkin' Donuts became a part of Americana in the 1980's with it famous "time to make the donuts" commercials that featured "Fred the Baker" played by actor Michael Vale. This campaign won honors from the Television Bureau of Advertising as one of the five best commercials of the 1980's.
Vale portrayed "Fred the Baker" for 15 years until he retired in 1997. Overall, he did more than 1,300 commercials for Dunkin' Donuts. He joked that, "making the donuts put three kids through college." Unfortunately, we can't see any new commercials since Vale died in 2005 at the age of 83.
6. There are only two Dunkin' Donuts in California
Dunkin' Donuts has more than 10,500 restaurants in 31 countries, but only two locations in California. In fact, Dunkin' Donuts just opened its first public franchise in California this month. The only other location in California is on a military base in San Diego that serves only those living and working on the base. The new Dunkin' Donuts is located in Barstow, Calif. on the drive to Las Vegas and is more than 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Dunkin' Donuts hopes to eventually have more than 1,000 locations in California.
7. Each country has its own unique flavor
To celebrate each country that has a Dunkin' Donuts location, Dunkin' Donuts has a special donut made for that country. In China, Dunkin' serves the "Pork Floss" donut, which is glazed and rolled in shredded pork. Thailand has a shredded chicken-and-chili paste donut, and there's the kimchi croquette in South Korea.
These are just a few of the interesting facts about Dunkin' Donuts and its parent Dunkin' Brands. For those who want to buy the stock, it has a current market cap of $5 billion versus Starbucks' $60 billion and Krispy Kreme's $1.6 billion.
Its current P/E of 35 is about the same as Starbucks and lower than Krispy Kreme's. For those with a long time horizon, shares will likely outperform the overall market, but after rising 58% in the past year shares look a little pricey.