Dunkin' Donuts cashiers will try to 'upsell' you in the afternoo - Fox 2 News Headlines

Dunkin' Donuts cashiers will try to 'upsell' you in the afternoon

Posted: Updated:
Dunkin' Donuts handout photo Dunkin' Donuts handout photo
NEW YORK (AP) -

If an iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts is part of your afternoon routine, expect a nudge to buy a cookie or doughnut you didn't plan on.

Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis said in a phone interview Thursday that the company is pushing to get its cashiers to "upsell" to afternoon customers. It's part of an effort to increase sales after stores have emptied out after the morning rush. In the afternoon, customers who do come in are mostly just searching for a drink.

Upselling of this kind — often called "suggestive selling" in the fast-food world — is common. Who hasn't been asked "Would you like fries with that?" But it's not a strategy Dunkin' has aggressively pushed in the past, because most the chain's business is in the morning when customers are in a rush and speed is the top priority.

"People tend to be in a slightly different mode in the afternoon," Travis said. "In the afternoon, they tend to be more relaxed."

For Dunkin', that means cashiers can take the extra few seconds to ask customers if they want a doughnut, cookie or even a sandwich along with that coffee. Travis said the need to upsell would be emphasized in an upcoming talk with U.S. franchisees.

As an extra temptation, the company has also been rolling out small cases in some stores to display items like cookies and Danishes more prominently at the counter.

"Franchisees are kind of excited about it, Travis said. "It's a way to push various items."

It's a tried-and-true strategy. The head of the U.S. division for McDonald's Corp., Jeff Stratton, has said in a past interview with the AP that keeping the chain's apple pie dispensers visible to customers right behind the cashier helps drive sales. If McDonald's were to put the dispensers in the back kitchen area, he said apple pie orders would probably be cut by half.

Some people may think they're not susceptible to such tactics, but Travis says the evidence shows otherwise. He cited an example of a company where he previously worked that used video cameras to study the eye motions of customers while they waited in line. Customers would look up at the menu board to decide what they wanted while in line. But once they reached the counter, they'd look up at the menu board again, he said.

That second glance at the menu suggested people are susceptible to changing their minds, Travis said.

Attracting more customers in the afternoons — and getting them to buy more when they visit — is critical for Dunkin' Donuts, with convenience stores, fast-food chains and packaged food companies all pushing into the breakfast business. Dunkin' Brands Group Inc., based in Canton, Massachusetts, cited that intensifying competition Thursday as one of the reasons for its underwhelming sales increase of 1.8 percent at established U.S. locations in the latest quarter.

The disappointing results prompted Dunkin' to trim its U.S. sales forecast for the year. It now expects growth of 2 to 3 percent at domestic Dunkin' Donuts locations, down from the 3 percent to 4 percent increase it previously forecast.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Report: health risks at some nail salons

    Report: health risks at some nail salons

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:28 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:28:27 GMT
    One of the most surprising findings in a report from the New York City public advocate is that city officials have virtually no authority over how nail salons are run. The city can't enforce standards like they do with restaurants, so it's clearly a case of beauty buyer beware. We get our nails done without thinking too much about it.
    One of the most surprising findings in a report from the New York City public advocate is that city officials have virtually no authority over how nail salons are run. The city can't enforce standards like they do with restaurants, so it's clearly a case of beauty buyer beware. We get our nails done without thinking too much about it.
  • Car strikes toddler; driver arrested

    Car strikes toddler; driver arrested

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:15:49 GMT
    Police on Long Island say a 30-year-old driver has been arrested in connection with an accident that injured a 3-year-old girl being pushed in a stroller. Police say Scott Shea of Middle Island was driving a Jeep northbound on William Floyd Parkway, just south of Montauk Highway, when he struck the toddler at about 3:45 p.m. Monday.
    Police on Long Island say a 30-year-old driver has been arrested in connection with an accident that injured a 3-year-old girl being pushed in a stroller. Police say Scott Shea of Middle Island was driving a Jeep northbound on William Floyd Parkway, just south of Montauk Highway, when he struck the toddler at about 3:45 p.m. Monday.
  • Lawsuit settlements reached in Metro-North crash

    Lawsuit settlements reached in Metro-North crash

    Monday, September 15 2014 8:39 PM EDT2014-09-16 00:39:39 GMT
    Four of 28 people who sued the Metro-North Railroad in federal court after being injured in a Bridgeport train crash last year have settled with the commuter railroad.
    Four of 28 people who sued the Metro-North Railroad in federal court after being injured in a train crash in Connecticut last year have settled with the commuter railroad.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices