How Much Dunkin' Franchise Owners Really Make Per Year

You love their coffee and their donuts so much you and your friends joke about picking up a franchise, because really, that's how much you spend on Dunkin' Donuts anyway.

Dunkin' (as it's now officially known) was founded by Bill Rosenberg, who started with a catering business that kept workers in the Boston area fed with meals and snacks. Because that business was a success, Rosenberg decided to open a donut shop in Quincy, Massachusetts called The Open Kettle, which renamed itself Dunkin' Donuts two years later. The first Dunkin' Donuts franchise opened in 1955, and a decade later they were up to 100 stores (via Day Translations). 

Dunkin' Donuts was acquired by British company Allied-Lyons PLC in 1989, in a move that then-company chairman Robert Rosenberg would strengthen the company's position as what was then the world's largest coffee-and-donut chain (via The New York Times).

Dunkin Donuts and Mister Donut share a history

Those of us who didn't know better might have thought Mister Donut and Dunkin Donuts were fierce rivals, and they might have been, once upon a time. Remember that catering business operated by Dunkin' founder Bill Rosenberg? Rosenberg, it seems, once had a partner: his brother-in-law, Harry Winouker. 

The pair both split went their own separate ways in 1955 (the year Dunkin' was born) to set up their own coffee and donut shops. Mister Donut was sold in 1970 to Minneapolis-based International Multifoods (via Mister Donut). In 1990, International Multifoods sold the U.S. and Canadian franchises of Mister Donut brand back to what was then known as Allied-Lyons. That sale, at least in the .S. and Canada, meant that the Dunkin' Donuts and Mister Donut brands back where they started — under the same roof (via Associated Press).

Dunkin Donus is a global snack icon

The fast food market is notorious for being fickle, but innovation helped Dunkin' stay on its toes. Today, the ubiquitous orange-and-pink themed donut chain has opened more than 12,000 stores in 45 countries, of which 73 percent of stores are in the United States, and 27 percent are located overseas. The chain also features as much as 70 different kinds of donuts, as well as coffee drinks, sandwiches, bagels, and other baked goods (via Entrepreneur).

Fun Fact: Dunkin' Donuts, Mister Donut, and Baskin Robbins ice cream are owned by Dunkin' Brands, once known as Allied-Lyons. This explains why you see both Dunkin' and Baskin Robbins stores appear as co-branded shops from time to time, although Mister Donut usually appears as a standalone store.

Dunkin Donuts is also popular overseas

Dunkin' Donuts prides itself on adapting to the tastes of its local consumers. Because of this, the company appears to be happy to make tweaks to the menu, in order to make flavors and offerings more relevant and appealing to the markets they are in. 

For instance, Caramel Macchiato is served with coffee cubes in South Korea. In Japan you can get a Mochi Ring made with glutinous rice flour, and which comes in different flavors including mango, banana, chocolate, and green tea. Indian Dunkin' Donuts customers can ask for a donut with saffron-flavored icing and sprinkled with pistachios. Asian Dunkin' Donuts customers can even find Fish Flake Donuts in China, and durian donuts in Thailand (via Instagram).

Why Dunkin' Donuts might be a good investment

Franchise Business Review says while Dunkin' Donuts is considered an icon in the Northeastern U.S., it's just as strong across the globe; the brand serves an estimated 3 million customers a day, and 8 million are enrolled in their mobile app DD perks program. With more than 12,000 locations around the world and 8,500 in the U.S., Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins together have 98 percent brand recognition among their customers. 

And while it faces competition from chains like Starbucks and McDonalds, the annual sales of a Dunkin' Donuts (depending on its location, of course) can range from $620,000 to $1.3 million a year. As an added bonus, a drive-through window can boost sales by about $200,000 to $300,000 a year. Of that, Career Bliss says a franchise owner can expect to make up to $124,000 a year, or about $60 an hour.

Entrepreneur named Dunkin' Donuts No. 2 on its list of Fastest Growing Franchises Rankings for 2019. The ranking reflects the brands' ability to scale up — and to take their franchisees with them. Fun fact: In the same survey, only one of two of Dunkin's strongest competitors, McDonald's, made it to the top 20, and it came in at No. 18.