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What we know (and want to know) about Dunkin’ closing 450 stores

Donuts inside a Dunkin' location.
Donuts inside a Dunkin' location.Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

We know America (and Massachusetts specifically) runs on Dunkin’, so when the Canton-based coffee and doughnut chain announced it will permanently close hundreds of stores across the country, some may have been left wondering what that means.

Dunkin’ announced plans to close 450 store locations by the end of this year after reaching an agreement with the gas station chain Speedway, according to its fourth quarter and 2019 fiscal year earnings report, which was released in February and gained traction this week.

If you’re worried about the fate of your corner Dunkin’, don’t. All stores that are closing are located inside Speedway convenience stores with limited menus, according to chief financial officer Kate Jaspon.

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“These limited-menu locations are lower volume units, in total representing less than 0.5 percent of Dunkin’ US annual systemwide sales,” Jaspon said in a Feb. 6 press release. “By exiting these sites, with minimal financial impact, we’re confident we’ll be better positioned to serve many of these trade areas in the coming years with new Dunkin’ NextGen restaurants that offer a broader menu.”

So what are NextGen restaurants? And just how many Speedway gas stations are there in Massachusetts? Here’s what we know so far.

What are NextGen restaurants?

Dunkin’ launched its Next Generation concept stores in 2018, which feature “modern design” and “innovative technologies” such as a drive-thru for mobile ordering, new espresso machines, digital kiosks, a tap system serving cold beverages, and ecofriendly cups. It also added plant-based proteins to its breakfast sandwiches. Think — posh Dunks.

How many Speedway gas stations are there in Massachusetts?

There are at least 100 Speedways in Massachusetts, according to that company’s website, although it’s unclear how many locations host the Dunkin’ chain. Most Speedway-Dunks are clustered along the East coast, but Speedway is based in Enon, Ohio.

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Speedway locations do not offer espresso, cold beverages or sandwiches, and they don’t accept the loyalty program or offer mobile ordering, which are increasingly popular among Dunkin’ customers.

Will additional locations open in their place?

Dunkin’ expects to open between 200 and 250 new outposts in fiscal year 2020, according to its earnings report.

Have many locations closed yet?

Very few of the 450 Speedway owned and operated Dunkin’ locations have closed to date, a spokesperson told TODAY.

“By exiting these sites, we are confident we will be better positioned to serve these trade areas with Dunkin’s newest Next Generation restaurant design that offers a broader menu and modern experience,” Jaspon said. “We also remain committed to growing our presence in gas and convenience locations, as well as other non-traditional locations, including airports, universities, travel plazas and military installations.”


Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follower her on Twitter @brittbowker.