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Franchise Deep Dive: Dunkin’ Franchise Costs, Fees, Profit and Data

The northeastern classic has developed locations across the country and continues to offer convenient, accessible on-the-go beverages to its loyal customer base.

By Morgan Wood1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 11:11AM 01/13/23

LAST UPDATED: December 12, 2022
REPORTED COST TO GET IN: $121,400 – $1,787,000
REPORTED ROI (Item 19): $634,942 – $1,467,695

Dunkin’, formerly Dunkin’ Donuts, is one of the top American coffee concepts offering both hot and iced coffee, breakfast sandwiches, donuts, snacks and more. First founded in 1950, the coffee concept is now incredibly versatile, popping up in airports, gas stations, strip malls, standalone buildings and more.

Now, the brand serves as a quick and easy coffee option, competing against some of the more high-end, expensive, and sometimes pretentious offerings that have come with the third and fourth-wave coffee movements. America runs on Dunkin’, and that very well may be due to its delicious accessibility.

How Many Dunkin’ Locations Are There?

According to Dunkin’s 2022 FDD, the brand has over 8,000 locations across dozens of countries. In 2001, the 10,00th restaurant opened in China, and the concept continues to grow steadily. It started franchising in 1955, just five years after its founding.

In more recent years, the brand experienced a bit of a dip, losing 492 stores in 2020, but 2021 brought 220 new openings, showing a bit of a turnaround and placing the brand on a positive trajectory.

As Dunkin’ continues to grow, its propensity for a less traditional model drives its success. In 2020 alone, despite COVID-related challenges, the brand opened 27 non-traditional units in states across the country, infiltrating airports, malls, military bases and educational hubs.

What Is the Business Model?

The Dunkin’ business model varies based on the type of unit a franchisee opens, but at the core of all operations is the brand’s appealing drink menu. Though it was previously known as Dunkin’ Donuts, the brand dropped the “Donuts” as part of a larger rebranding strategy to shift focus to its drink offerings. 

This effort also included the establishment of a new drive-thru model, which differentiated between customers who needed to order at the speaker box and those who were simply picking up a mobile order, streamlining the process further and reinforcing the idea that even the busiest Americans can “run on Dunkin’.”

There are multiple store models available with Dunkin’:

  • Freestanding: A freestanding Dunkin’ can exist in a retrofitted space or use new construction. This restaurant model includes indoor seating and can also offer drive-thru services.
  • Shopping Center: This type of Dunkin’ restaurant can be on an endcap or an inline tenant space. It can also exist in high-density, multiple-level buildings like a downtown office building.
  • Gas & Convenience Restaurants: These locations exist within a gas and convenience store.
  • Drive-Thru Only: Drive-thru-only Dunkin’ locations have no indoor seating. They can exist as a freestanding, shopping center, or gas and convenience store model but only offer service through a drive-thru or walk-up window.

How Much Can Dunkin’ Franchise Owners Make?

The financial representations in Dunkin’s 2022 Franchise Disclosure Document are categorized by building type and whether the locations have a drive-thru or not, but each statistic accounts for sales made between November 1, 2020, and October 31, 2021.

Continental U.S. Dunkin’ Single-Branded Restaurants, Freestanding Type

  • A sample of 2,719 drive-thru restaurants reported $1,467,695 in average sales
  • A sample of 461 non-drive-thru restaurants reported $1,027,870 in average sales

Continental U.S. Dunkin’ Single-Branded Restaurants, Shopping Center/Storefront Type

  • A sample of 1,275 drive-thru restaurants reported $1,308,351 in average sales
  • A sample of 1,357 non-drive-thru restaurants reported $803,467 in average sales

Continental U.S. Dunkin’ Single-Branded Restaurants, Gas & Convenience Site Type

  • A sample of 673 drive-thru restaurants reported $1,131,996 in average sales
  • A sample of 381 non-drive-thru restaurants reported $634,942 in average sales

Continental U.S. Dunkin’ Single-Branded Restaurants, Drive-Thru Only

  • A sample of 35 drive-thru-only restaurants reported $1,137,554 in average sales

For all 6,683 restaurants in the sample, the average cost of goods sold was 25.7%, and the average labor cost 25.1%.

How Much Does It Cost To Open a Dunkin’?

The Dunkin’ franchising website outlines high-level costs for both traditional and non-traditional build-outs.

The initial investment to open a non-traditional restaurant is between $121,400 and $972,800.

The initial investment to open a traditional restaurant is between $526,900 and $1,787,000. Dunkin’s 2022 FDD breaks this down to include:

  • Initial Franchise Fee (20-year term): $40,000 – $90,000
  • Building Costs: $180,000 – $600,000
  • Site Development Costs: $13,000 – $350,000
  • Additional Development Costs: $12,000 – $90,000
  • Equipment, Fixtures, and Signs: $189,000 – $300,000
  • Restaurant Technology System: $65,000 – $95,000
  • Licenses, Permits, Fees, and Deposits: $3,500 – $5,500
  • Real Estate Costs: Amount Not Specified
  • Opening Inventory: $8,000 – $20,000
  • Miscellaneous Opening Costs: $9,500 – $70,000
  • Uniforms: $400 – $1,200
  • Insurance: $4,500 – $16,000
  • Travel and Living Expenses While Training: $2,000 – $35,000
  • Marketing Start-Up Fee: $0 – $10,000
  • Additional Funds for First 3 Months of Operation: $0 – $105,000

What Is the Franchise Fee for Dunkin’?

The franchise fee for a traditional franchise is $40–90k. For non-traditional build-outs, the franchise fee is between $1,000 and $2,250 each year.

Who Is the Leadership of Dunkin’?

What Helpful Articles Can I Read To Learn More?

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