Back in 2014, Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees were adding amenities like free Wi-Fi, comfortable seating and even conference rooms to appeal to a growing sector of people staying connected and working remotely. By then, Dunkin’ had already established itself as a leader in drive-thru service—having helped pioneer the modern drive-thru experience. But in the late 2000s and early 2010s, Dunkin’ wanted to appeal to customers who were using Starbucks as their go-to, get-connected, meet-and-greet location. How times have changed.
Today, all eyes are on the drive-thru as it continues to drive QSR sales and profits. Through Oct. 20, 2021, drive-thru sales at quick-service restaurants were up nearly 47% from last year, according to QSR Magazine. Dunkin’ has reaped the benefit of its well-established, well-regarded and fast drive-thru service. And even after a decade-long strategic push to make its drive-thru an industry standard, Starbucks is still catching up when it comes to quick drive-thru service.