Having made its mark up and down the California coast, Dunkin’ Donuts is readying its return to Hawaii. According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser newspaper, “Hawaii’s first Dunkin’ Donuts shop in more than a decade will be near the Honolulu Airport as part of a development project that includes an IHOP restaurant, a Shell gas station and an Aloha Island Mart convenience store.”
Aloha Petroleum Ltd., which is developing the property and will own and operate the Dunkin’ restaurant along with the gas station and convenience store, announced its agreement with Dunkin’ Brands in May 2016 to open as many as 15 shops in the 50th state.
Hawaii is the only state that grows coffee, though it’s unlikely the brand will be incorporating Aloha State beans into its famed blend. Honolulu, which has the longest borders (approximately 1500 miles) of any U.S. city, is the nation’s 11th largest metropolitan area.
Pacific Business News reports Aloha Petroleum is targeting Downtown Honolulu, Waikiki, Hawaii Kai, Mililani and Kapolei for its initial locations. Many of those locations are already home to Starbucks, which has over 15 shops in Honolulu. The paper recalls Dunkin’s first foray into Hawaii, which ended a decade ago, reporting that franchise owner “shuttered the shops.”
Because of its distance from the U.S. mainland (2400 miles from California), and the fact that it is surrounded by water, prices for virtually everything are higher in Hawaii. It’s estimated everything costs approximately 30 percent more. That means a small coffee at Starbucks, which costs $1.75 on the mainland, would cost about $2.25. But, the National DCP will try to keep costs down by loading containers for the Hawaii Dunkin’ shops from the Phoenix DCP facility, then sending those containers to the franchisee’s freight forwarder who will consolidate the Dunkin’ freight with other products for their other businesses.
Hawaii is one of four states in the nation that bans billboard advertising. It means Dunkin’ will have to rely on other means – like traditional advertising and word of mouth – to spread the word that Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and snacks are now available in the land of sun, surf, volcanoes—and coffee fields.
While Hawaii has welcomed many new national and international food brands in recent years. Dunkin’ Donuts has developed a loyal following across the country. We will be keeping an eye westward for news about Dunkin’s move to Five-O.