By Michiko Yamashina
Do you like Dunkin’ Donuts? I bet you often go to Dunkin’ to have breakfast or coffee, or you sometimes buy a dozen of donuts for your family or your colleagues. Are you also familiar with Mister Donut? I assume that some of you may be nostalgic about Mister Donut. I would like to introduce to you the history and some little-known trivia about both of these doughnut chains.
Dunkin’ Donuts was founded by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1950, and today, it is a global American doughnut company with 6,000 stores in 29 countries, except in Japan. Mister Donut, on the other hand, was founded in 1956 by Harry Winokur, who was a relative of Rosenberg. Actually, Winokur ran Dunkin’ Donuts with Rosenberg, but he left Dunkin’ Donuts and created his own doughnut chain because of a conflict he had with Rosenberg’s management policy.
Both donut chains grew rapidly, but Dunkin’ Donuts acquired Mister Donut in 1990, so now almost all Mister Donut stores have changed their names to Dunkin’ Donuts, and Mister Donut no longer exists anymore in America. However, before Mister Donut was acquired, both Dunkin’ Donuts and Mister Donut had started to do business in Japan in the 1970’s. Dunkin’ Donuts was run by a food company, Yoshinoya, which mainly provides a meal known as beef rice bowl. Mister Donut was run by a cleaning company, Duskin, in Japan. Dunkin’ Donuts failed in Japan and withdrew, but Mister Donut succeeded and dominated the doughnut industry in Japan. Even now, Mister Donut continues to be the most popular doughnut chain in Japan, even though you can’t find it anymore in America. On the contrary, you can’t find any Dunkin’ Donuts in Japan, even though it is the world biggest doughnut chain.
The name of Dunkin’ Donuts comes from the custom of Americans who eat doughnuts by dunking them into (‘dunkin’) milk or coffee. It is said that Clark Gable introduced this way of eating donuts in the movie “It Happened One Night.”
Dunkin Donuts provides doughnuts and coffee with no charge to police officers who are wearing uniforms. How generous they are!! But actually, it is a clever idea to help them maintain security at their stores. Since many Dunkin’ Donuts stores stay open at night, the employees and customers are often concerned about their security, but if police officers often come to visit the stores to get free doughnuts and coffee, their security is assured. What a good strategy!! They help to secure their stores by giving police officers doughnuts and coffee!!
Mister Donut also uses interesting strategies to increase the number of customers they have. The stores provide point cards to customers, and when the point card is filled with stamps, the customers can obtain original products, such as cute bags, dishes or lunch boxes. Besides doughnuts, they also provide dim sum in the stores. Thus, Mister Donut is a popular place for teenagers to have a casual lunch.
Dunkin’ Donuts and Mister Donut have their own different policies and grew their businesses in different ways. Next time, you go to a doughnut store, think about their strategies and history, which might make you more interested in tasting the doughnuts!
=> This article was reviewed by Dan Ethe