How Did Dunkin Donuts Get It's Name

How Dunkin Donuts Got Its Name? (Quick Facts)

In this article, I give you a quick history of Dunkin Donuts and how this ever-popular franchise got its name.

Origins and Founding

Open Kettle

Dunkin’ Donuts was founded in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1950 by William Rosenberg.

The business began as a donut and coffee restaurant called “Open Kettle.”

At Open Kettle, Rosenberg served donuts for five cents and premium cups of coffee for ten cents.

After some years, Rosenberg realized that his customers had a particular affinity for his coffee and donuts.

William Rosenberg’s Influence

William Rosenberg was born in Massachusetts in 1916 and raised in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. Rosenberg left middle school in eighth grade to help support his family, which had lost their family business during the great depression.

Rosenberg’s success with Open Kettle led him to rename the restaurant to Dunkin’ Donuts in 1950.

Industrial Luncheon Service

Before opening Dunkin’ Donuts, William Rosenberg operated the Industrial Luncheon Service, which served factory workers during World War II from mobile carts.

Rosenberg’s success with this service inspired him to open his own restaurant, which eventually became Dunkin’ Donuts.

Overall, William Rosenberg’s experiences with Open Kettle, Industrial Luncheon Service, and his passion for coffee and donuts led him to create Dunkin’ Donuts, which has become a global brand.

The Birth of Dunkin’ Donuts


Dunkin’ Donuts was founded in 1950 by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts. The company started as a small coffee and donut shop called “Open Kettle.” However, Rosenberg realized that he needed a more memorable and catchy name to attract customers.

After brainstorming with his executives, Rosenberg came up with the name “Dunkin’ Donuts” in 1950.

The name was a reference to the practice of dunking donuts in coffee.

The company’s goal was to provide customers with the freshest and most delicious coffee and donuts quickly and courteously in modern, well-merchandised stores.

First Franchise

In 1955, Dunkin’ Donuts began franchising its business model. The first Dunkin’ Donuts franchise opened in Worcester, Massachusetts. By 1963, there were over 100 Dunkin’ Donuts franchises across the United States.

The company’s success can be attributed to its focus on providing high-quality coffee and donuts at an affordable price. Dunkin’ Donuts has since become a global brand with over 12,000 locations in 36 countries.

Despite the company’s growth and success, Dunkin’ Donuts has remained true to its roots. The company still serves fresh coffee and donuts in modern, well-merchandised stores while providing customers with fast and friendly service.

Brand Evolution

Dunkin’ Donuts has undergone several changes over the years, including changes to its logo, color scheme, and name. This section will explore the evolution of the brand.

Logo Changes

Dunkin’ Donuts has had several logos since its inception in 1950.

In 1976, the company redesigned its logo, replacing the donut and cup with the bright lettering “Dunkin’ Donuts” in two rows.

The word “Dunkin'” at the top is written in tinted powdery orange, while “Donuts” is written in candy pink at the bottom.

In 2002, the company made minor changes to the logo, including changing the font and making the letters bolder.

In 2018, Dunkin’ Donuts announced that it would be dropping “Donuts” from its name and would henceforth be known simply as “Dunkin’.”

This change was reflected in the company’s logo, which was updated to feature the word “Dunkin'” in bold letters, with the word “Donuts” in smaller letters underneath.

Color Scheme

Dunkin’ Donuts has always had a distinctive color scheme featuring orange and pink.

The company has used various shades of orange and pink throughout its history, but the colors have remained consistent.

The bright colors are meant to be eye-catching and memorable, and they have become synonymous with the brand.

Name Change

Dunkin’ Donuts was originally called “Open Kettle” when it first opened in 1948.

However, the name was changed to Dunkin’ Donuts in 1950, after an architect working for the restaurant was inspired by the idea of dunking doughnuts into coffee.

The name change was a good move for the company, as it helped to establish the brand and make it more recognizable.

In 2018, Dunkin’ Donuts announced that it would be dropping “Donuts” from its name and would henceforth be known simply as “Dunkin’.”

The name change was part of the company’s efforts to rebrand itself as a beverage-led, on-the-go brand. The new name is shorter and easier to remember, and it reflects the company’s focus on coffee and other beverages.

Menu Development

Dunkin’ Donuts started as a coffee and donut shop, but over time, the menu has expanded to include a variety of items. Today, the chain offers breakfast sandwiches, muffins, bagels, and more.

Introduction of Coffee

Bill Rosenberg, the founder of Dunkin’ Donuts, opened the first location in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1950. The shop was originally called “Open Kettle” and served only coffee and donuts.

In 1955, Rosenberg opened a second location and renamed the chain “Dunkin’ Donuts.” The name was inspired by the idea of dunking donuts into coffee.

Donuts and Munchkins

Donuts have always been a staple of Dunkin’ Donuts’ menu.

The chain offers a variety of flavors, including glazed, chocolate frosted, and Boston cream.

In addition to regular-sized donuts, the chain also offers “Munchkins,” which are small, bite-sized donut holes.

Expansion to Sandwiches and More

Over time, Dunkin’ Donuts has expanded its menu to include more than just donuts and coffee.

In 1983, the chain introduced breakfast sandwiches, which quickly became popular with customers.

Today, the chain offers a variety of sandwiches, including bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel or croissant.

Dunkin’ Donuts also offers a variety of beverages, including espresso, lattes, and iced coffee. The chain has continued to innovate, introducing new items like the “Frosted Coffee” and “Frozen Dunkin’ Coffee.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the origin of Dunkin’ Donuts’ name?

Dunkin’ Donuts was originally named “Open Kettle” when it first opened in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1948. However, the name was changed to “Dunkin’ Donuts” in 1950 when an architect working for the restaurant was inspired by the idea of dunking donuts into coffee.

When did Dunkin’ Donuts change its name to Dunkin’?

Dunkin’ Donuts officially changed its name to “Dunkin'” in 2019. The company made the change to reflect its focus on coffee and other beverages, as well as its expanding menu beyond just donuts.

What is the current CEO of Dunkin’ Donuts?

As of August 2023, the current CEO of Dunkin’ Donuts is David Hoffmann.

In what countries can you find Dunkin’ Donuts?

Dunkin’ Donuts has locations in over 60 countries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, and Brazil.

What are some popular Dunkin’ Donuts flavors?

Some of the most popular Dunkin’ Donuts flavors include Boston Kreme, Glazed, Chocolate Frosted, and Jelly.

What are some interesting facts about Dunkin’ Donuts?

  • Dunkin’ Donuts sells over 1.9 billion cups of hot and iced coffee globally each year.
  • The company’s original logo featured a donut with the words “Dunkin’ Donuts” in orange and pink. The current logo features just the word “Dunkin'” in bold pink and orange letters.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts was the first national chain to sell espresso in the United States.
  • The company’s slogan, “America Runs on Dunkin’,” was introduced in 2006 and has become a widely recognized catchphrase.