Dunkin’ Brands released its Q2 results this week and held its first earnings call with new CEO Dave Hoffmann reporting that Dunkin’ acquired a multi-year license with CardFree, a technology “mobile wallet” platform for $100 million.  This may enable mobile and app flexibility and data capture, especially for “catering initiatives”. Brand sales and profits were largely as anticipated and the stock was flat, albeit at a historically high $71.17. Three important notes from the call include that the reduced menu has been fully implemented, and as a result of the menu, they see franchisees lost 1.0% (100 bpts) of same store sales but gained 1% (100 bpts) of gross profit efficiencies, and a small amount of labor savings; secondly, they announced that franchisees will open 50 Next Gen stores in 2018. Both Hoffmann and Travis said they expected the Next Gen format will go into system development in 2019 – a fast rollout with franchisee feedback and learnings being critical; and third, CFO Kate Jaspon detailed the allocation of the $100M in brand investments that has been discussed for some time: 65% will go to shared equipment purchases with franchisees and 30% for digital IT investments. This is a bit different than was earlier anticipated but underscores the Brand’s hope for NextGen store success. Finally, afternoon sales and food sales were said to be lower, with cold beverage sales stronger and hot drinks lagging. DD Perks accounted for 12% of sales. And, new Dunkin’ CEO Dave Hoffmann speaks with CNBC here about implementation of the Blueprint for Growth and the broader outlook on the Next Gen store.