The chain has signed a multi-unit store development agreement with Roadrunner Markets for seven new restaurants in Tri-Cities, Tenn., and the surrounding areas of northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia.

Restaurants and Institution Magazine reports that Dunkin’ Donuts, America’s favorite every day, all-day stop for coffee and baked goods, announced today the signing of a multi-unit store Roadrunner Marketsdevelopment agreement with Roadrunner Markets for seven new restaurants in Tri-Cities, TN and the surrounding areas of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The first two locations are anticipated to open in 2011 and the remainder by 2015. Dunkin’ Donuts development in Tri-Cities is part of a steady and strategic growth strategy, which includes expanding in existing markets while entering new cities across the country to help drive the leading coffee and bakery chain’s growth.

Roadrunner Markets currently operates 90 convenience stores under the Shell, BP, Chevron and Sunoco brands. The principals of the company have extensive experience in the development, acquisition, construction and operation of convenience stores in the states of Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In addition, they have negotiated contracts, developed space and acted as landlord for 16 fast food franchises.

“We are excited to expand our portfolio to include Dunkin’ Donuts and look forward to playing an important role in the daily lives of people who live and work in the Tri-Cities community,” said Ryan Broyles, president, Roadrunner Markets.

This development agreement sells out Tri-Cities for future franchise sales, however, franchising opportunities are still available in a variety of cities in the U.S. within the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast. Opportunities also exist throughout Florida, Georgia, Washington, DC, Illinois and Michigan, among other states.

To drive its expansion efforts, Dunkin’ Donuts has aligned its strategy to support the growth opportunities and consumer needs of individual markets. As a result, the company continues to expand with single and multi-unit opportunities with no minimum unit requirements.

Ideally, franchisees should possess a minimum net worth of $500,000 and liquid assets of at least $250,000, but financial qualifications will vary based on the opportunity available by market. This evolution of Dunkin’ Donuts’ franchise sales effort enables the brand to expand in markets more aggressively, while balancing its market penetration and maturity.

“Dunkin’ Donuts is excited to expand its footprint in Tri-Cities with Roadrunner Markets,” said Grant Benson, CFE, vice president of franchising and market planning, Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. “Our secret to success is our passionate franchisees that provide a high-level of customer service to our customers everyday, and we’re confident Ryan and his team will grow and prosper in Tri-Cities.”

Building a solid network of stores within a market enables Dunkin’ Donuts to invest in a distribution model that provides a consistent, high-quality product customers expect “in the way and on the way” of their daily routines. In an effort to keep the brand fresh and competitive, Dunkin’ Donuts offers flexible concepts for any real estate format including free-standing stores, end caps, in-line sites, gas and convenience, travel plazas, universities, as well as other retail environments.

According to Benson, “Dunkin’ Donuts is proud to energize Americans and keep the honest, hard-working, value-driven people of this country running every day. Our recent and ongoing menu enhancements meet the needs of today’s on-the-go consumers, moving Dunkin’ Donuts beyond breakfast with high-quality food and beverage items available all day.”

Historically a doughnut and hot coffee chain, Dunkin’ Donuts has expanded its offering to include frozen and iced beverages, a full bakery assortment including bagels and muffins, breakfast sandwiches, and an all-day Oven-Toasted menu which includes flatbread sandwiches, hash browns and buttermilk biscuits. The new platform marks the most significant change to Dunkin’ Donuts product lineup since the company launched espresso-based beverages in 2003.