The list of Minnesota communities poised to welcome Dunkin’ Donuts franchises is growing, with Mankato looking to be dunkin’ those doughnuts in fresh-brewed coffee by next year.
Franchisees Oliver Schugel and David Schooff, both Mankato residents with more than 45 years of combined experience in business and real estate development, have agreed to develop three restaurants, Dunkin’ announced from its Boston headquarters. The deal calls for the first site to open next year.
“We are thrilled to expand the brand’s presence in Mankato,” Schooff said in a statement. “We have a passion and loyalty for the Dunkin’ Donuts brand and look forward to opening our restaurants in the years to come.”
In October, two franchise deals in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud were announced for a combined total of 24 outlets. The first of those locations are also scheduled to open next year.
In April of 2015, a plan was revealed for 10 outlets starting operations potentially by the end of that year in Minneapolis, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina and other west-metro communities. Franchisee Damon Dranchak said Thursday that his timetable had been delayed, saying it’s “been a challenge to find the right locations.” However, Dranchak said he has a letter of intent for one site in the western suburbs. “I don’t think we’ll have one [location] open this year,” he said. “We definitely will in 2017.”
Dunkin’ Donuts ended a nearly 10-year hiatus from Minnesota in the summer of 2014, with the opening of an outlet at the Kahler Grand Hotel in downtown Rochester. Within weeks, another franchisee revealed plans to build Dunkin’ outlets across northern Minnesota, from Brainerd to the Iron Range to the Duluth area. The first one opened in June.
With more than 11,800 restaurants in 44 countries, Dunkin’ Donuts has been steadily expanding its sandwich and wrap offerings in an effort to counter competitors such as Starbucks and Brooklyn Center-based Caribou. The chain, operating since the 1950s, is strongest in the Northeast.
Its persistent push into Minnesota follows inroads in 2013 in Salt Lake City, Dallas and Houston.