Why Are There So Many Dunkin Donuts in Boston?

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Boston, the capital city of Massachusetts, is known for many things: its historical significance, sports teams, prestigious universities, and yes, Dunkin’ Donuts. If you’ve ever visited Boston, you’ve probably noticed the high number of Dunkin’ Donuts outlets scattered throughout the city. So why are there so many Dunkin’ Donuts in Boston? This article dives into the history, influence, and reasons behind the prevalence of this popular coffee and donut chain in the Boston area.


The high number of Dunkin’ Donuts in Boston can be attributed to the company’s historical roots in Massachusetts, Bostonians’ deep affection for the brand, and the significant economic impact it has on the city. Founded in Quincy, Massachusetts, Dunkin’ Donuts has become a symbol of regional pride and identity for Bostonians, further solidifying its presence in the area.

Dunkin’ Donuts and Boston: A Historical Connection

Dunkin’ Donuts was founded in 1950 by Bill Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts, a city just outside of Boston. Originally named “Open Kettle,” the restaurant served coffee, pastries, and sandwiches. By 1955, Rosenberg had already opened five locations. The first franchised restaurant opened in Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1955, selling 52 varieties of donuts. By 1963, the 100th restaurant in the chain had opened.

The original Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant is still in operation today at 543 Southern Artery in Quincy, Massachusetts, and has been restored to its 1950s retro design. This strong connection to the region has helped Dunkin’ Donuts maintain a loyal customer base in the Boston area.

Boston’s Love for Dunkin’ Donuts

Bostonians perceive Dunkin’ Donuts as a symbol of regional pride and identity. The brand is associated with values that Bostonians hold dear, such as loyalty and honor. Dunkin’ Donuts is also seen as an unpretentious, blue-collar alternative to “premium” coffee shops and is deeply ingrained in the local culture. In fact, Dunkin’ Donuts is so deeply rooted in Bostonian identity that it has been referred to as a “lynchpin of Bostonian identity,” a “religion,” and a “cult”.

The Economic Impact of Dunkin’ Donuts in Boston

The economic impact of Dunkin’ Donuts on Boston is considerable. Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts, reported annual revenue of $1.4 billion in 2019. The company has 270,000 employees, with a revenue per employee ratio of $5,074. In the first quarter of 2020, Dunkin’ Donuts sales declined nearly 20% in the last three weeks of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it had a 3.5% increase over the first 10 weeks of the year.

Dunkin’ Donuts has a strong presence in Boston, with numerous job opportunities available in the area. The company’s grab-and-go business model positions it well to take market share from independent coffeehouses, many of which have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

The Number of Dunkin’ Donuts Locations in Boston

As of September 2023, there are around 85 Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Boston. Comparing this number to other cities, Chicago has the highest number of Dunkin’ Donuts locations with 226, followed by New York City with 176, and Brooklyn with 149. In the United States, there are more than 9,200 Dunkin’ Donuts locations. The number of locations varies greatly among states, with New York having the most at 1,414, followed by Massachusetts with 1,068, Florida with 883, New Jersey with 866, Illinois with 692, and Pennsylvania with 629.


Dunkin’ Donuts’ strong historical connection to the Boston area, its resonance with the city’s culture and values, and its significant economic impact all contribute to the high number of Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Boston. With its loyal customer base and strategic expansion plans, Dunkin’ Donuts continues to be a beloved institution for many Bostonians.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Dunkin’ Donuts sell?

Dunkin’ Donuts is a popular chain that primarily sells coffee, donuts, and other baked goods. They also offer a range of breakfast sandwiches, wraps, and other quick-service food items.

Who founded Dunkin’ Donuts?

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

How many Dunkin’ Donuts locations are there in the United States?

As of September 2023, there are more than 9,200 Dunkin’ Donuts locations in the United States.

What was the original name of Dunkin’ Donuts?

The original name of Dunkin’ Donuts was “Open Kettle.”

What is the address of the original Dunkin’ Donuts?

The original Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant is located at 543 Southern Artery in Quincy, Massachusetts.

How does Dunkin’ Donuts compare to premium coffee shops?

Dunkin’ Donuts is often seen as a more affordable and unpretentious alternative to premium coffee shops. It appeals to a broad customer base with its variety of offerings and accessible price points.

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