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Dunkin’ Donuts looks to California

Munchkins in Malibu? The Boston Kreme doing a star turn in LA? Dunkin’ Donuts going Hollywood?

Such could soon be the case. Dunkin’ Donuts said Wednesday that it is expanding to Southern California.

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Canton-based Dunkin’ ­Donuts said in a press release that it is recruiting multi-unit franchisees for Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, Ventura, and Orange counties and it expects that restaurants in those markets will begin to open in 2015.

Dunkin’ is in a growth mode and hopes to be as popular in many other parts of the country as it is in Massachusetts.

For 2012, the company said it opened 291 new locations in the United States in 2012, a growth rate of 4 percent. The chain said there are currently more than 7,200 US locations. One of the chain’s long-term goals is to grow to 15,000 US restaurants.

“In 2013, the company says it plans to open 330 to 360 net new restaurants in the United States with growth coming from both new and existing markets, representing an increase of 4.5 percent to 5 percent,” the release said.

Dunkin’ has been in California before. In the late 1990s, it had about 15 restaurants there, but later exited the market, saying that it didn’t have the infrastructure to grow and expand. Now, though, Dunkin’ thinks that the time is right for a return engagement.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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