Some Dunkin’ Donuts shops sell more than coffee and pastries. In a bid to increase business, they also offer sleek conference rooms with plush swivel chairs, most at less than $10 an hour.
In addition to the iced lattes, the flatbread sandwiches and the frosted treats, the Dunkin’ Donuts in Davie offers eye-grabbing bonus features.
Inside the shop, sleek glass walls along the side walls showcase two furnished rooms with a polished executive flair. They’re both available for rent.
Talk business. Play games. Enjoy a birthday party.
The public is welcome to reserve the rooms for meetings — as well as fun. The price is $8 an hour for the Espresso Conference Room and $12 an hour for the Cappuccino Conference Room.
The fresh and innovative approach to a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise comes from a South Florida family that owns several similar versions in Broward County, says Manoochi Fallah, chief operating officer of the Davie shop that opened recently in a free-standing parcel in Pine Island Plaza.
Fallah said his brother came up with the concept of adding meeting rooms when he established one of his other Dunkin’ Donuts shops in Sunrise. The idea, he said, works well.
”We generate a lot of new customers,” he said.
Customers reserve the rooms for various events — or even to enjoy a friendly chat or game while relaxing in the plush executive-style swivel chairs.
The rooms also are equipped with monitors and computer equipment for sophisticated business presentations — or for playing video games or watching football on television.
Fallah’s shop in Pompano Beach features an 18-foot conference table and two 52-inch monitors. A businessperson is able to expand his presentation from one monitor to the other, he said.
The conference room rental fees are relatively modest, Fallah said, because the goal is to attract patrons and provide a more upscale ambience than a basic grab-and-go fast-food restaurant.
Part of that ambience also applies to the rest of the shop. In addition to the conference rooms, sofas and other inviting seating are available for folks who want to relax while sipping beverages and snacking on doughnuts. At the Davie location, as with some of the other similar shops, two computers are set up for customers to use.
Sometimes, customers walk in, glance at the conference rooms, then look around to be sure they are in the right place, Fallah said.
‘You feel like `wow,’ ” he said. “It’s more than a coffee and doughnut shop.”
David Gonsalves, membership director for the Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce, said that while holding professional meetings in coffee shops and restaurants is not necessarily ideal for all situations, it is convenient and popular for people such as home-based workers who don’t have their own office facilities.
Open 24 hours, the shop in Davie tends to draw students who bring their books and laptop computers. To accommodate them, the staff often opens the conference rooms for free, Fallah said.
For those who want to grab a snack on the run, the shop offers a drive-through.