Starbucks CEO: McDonald’s McCafe Launch Made Starbucks Better

Reuters in USA Today reports that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said McDonald’s McCafe launch earlier this year made the cafe chain better. Starbucks (SBUX) executives have repeatedly said that the world’s largest hamburger chain’s entry into the market for espresso-based drinks, the first competitive pressure Starbucks had faced in the niche it pioneered, had no impact on Starbucks’ business. But comments beyond that have been few and far between

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Dunkin’ Donuts Franchisee will Open First in Overland Park

The Kansas City Business Journal reports that Dunkin’ Donuts is coming back to the metro with a new Overland Park location and more to follow. Franchisee Verona Key LLC plans to open its first Kansas City-area Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant Thursday in Overland Park.

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McDonald’s Preparing to Take Breakfast Dollar Menu Nationwide

Mike Hughlett reports in the Chicago Tribune that McDonald’s Corp. appears to be planning to mate its popular dollar menu with its equally popular breakfast menu in a nationwide promotion, and not just in Chicago and a few other markets where it currently exists, according to documents obtained by the Tribune.

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Peace Treaty Brews

Holly Sanders Ware and Josh Kosman report in the NY Post that Dunkin’ Brands is reaching out to angry franchisees they write: Dunkin’ Brands, accused of squeezing profits out of franchisees by suing them, is trying to make friends before it’s too late. Chief Executive Nigel Travis has been quietly meeting with angry franchise leaders in recent weeks, after a spate of unflattering reports about the doughnut chain’s litigious ways, sources with direct knowledge of the meetings saidTravis has told franchisees he is willing to take a fresh look at their contracts and would consider changes that give operators more say over their stores, sources said.

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Dunkin Donuts Returns To Chattanooga

Chattanooga.com reports that Dunkin Donuts is back at its location across from Northgate Mall on Highway 153 with a wide pastry assortment and coffee selection. The grand opening and ribbon cutting at the Hixson location will be Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. and the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce will make arrangements for the event. The new 1,800 square foot Dunkin Donuts at 5311 Highway 153 will have a drive-through window and will serve its famous coffee, all-day sandwiches, doughnuts and other baked goods.

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Peet’s Coffee to Buy Diedrich Coffee for $213M

Steven E.F. Brown reports in the San Francisco Business Times that Peet’s Coffee & Tea Co plans to buy Diedrich Coffee Inc. for $213M in cash and stock. Emeryville-based Peet’s (NASDAQ: PEET) will pay $26 per share for Irvine-based Diedrich, which has about 150 workers. Diedrich’s brands include Gloria Jean’s, Black Tiger and Flor de Apanas.

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Tim Hortons to Raise Coffee Prices in Quebec

Robert Gibbens writes in The Gazette that Tim Hortons Inc. said Friday it is boosting restaurant prices in Quebec and the Maritimes next month to offset higher operating costs. The fast-growing franchise chain has 2,971 units in Canada and another 556 in the United States.

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Dunkin Donuts Franchise Operator Sees Big Dreams Fall Flat

Michael Braga writes in the Sarasota Herald Tribune that Bill Daly swept down from Massachusetts two years ago with the goal of expanding his Dunkin’ Donuts franchise. For $11.15 million, he was able to buy a majority stake in the largest Dunkin’ Donuts chain on Florida’s west coast — a chain with 18 stores from Bradenton to Punta Gorda and a bakery large enough to service twice as many eateries. After closing the deal in August 2007, Daly announced he would build 26 new outlets in five years and would eventually increase his Florida payroll from 200 to 1,000 people.

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Canadian Fast Food Giant Expands Southward

Noreen O’Leary writes in Brandweek that Tim Hortons the donut and sandwich chain, huge in Canada, but largely unknown here, has been expanding its U.S. footprint of late and appears to be using the market as a testing ground. So far, Tim Hortons spend has been modest. Its outlay on measured media last year was $12 million in the U.S., which is a good $100 million shy of what Dunkin’ Donuts spent. But the chain, named after a star hockey player, has been throwing body checks at its rival lately.

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Caribou Coffee Tests Oatmeal, In-store Pastry Ovens

John Vomhof Jr. reports in the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal that Caribou Coffee Co. Inc. is testing ways to perk up its breakfast offerings and soon will launch an enhanced line of chocolate beverages. Brooklyn Center-based Caribou recently added oatmeal to the menu at 25 stores in the Twin Cities and Washington, D.C., and it’s offering fresh-baked pastries at about 25 locations in the Twin Cities. If the tests are successful, those items might be rolled out companywide.

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