Bill Rosenberg figured out in the 1940s that coffee and doughnuts were a combination that couldn’t be beat. So in 1948, he opened a restaurant in Quincy, Massachusetts, that has since expanded into a global chain with more than 12,500 restaurants in 46 countries.
The brand? Dunkin’ Donuts of course. But like some other prominent fast-food chains, the original name isn’t the one that propelled it into international ubiquity.
At first, Rosenberg named his restaurant “Open Kettle.” Then, an architect working for the restaurant was inspired by the idea of dunking doughnuts into coffee, according to company lore. In 1950, Open Kettle became Dunkin’ Donuts. Here’s how 8 famous fast-food restaurants got their names.
Since then, the fast-food chain has kept up with the times as customers have become increasingly interested in healthier options, rolling out munchkins and bagels over the years.
Then, nearly 70 years after Rosenberg first paired coffee and doughnuts, the company announced earlier this year that it was tweaking its identity again. That’s right, DD was dropping the “Donuts” from its name.
“After 68 years of America running on Dunkin’, we’re moving to a first-name basis,” the company tweeted on September 25, 2018. The change becomes effective in January 2019.
“Our new branding is one of many things we are doing as part of our blueprint for growth to modernize the Dunkin’ experience for our customers,” CEO David Hoffman added. “From our next generation restaurants, to our menu innovation, on-the-go ordering and value offerings, all delivered at the speed of Dunkin’, we are working to provide our guests with great beverages, delicious food, and unparalleled convenience. We believe our efforts to transform Dunkin’, while still embracing our incredible heritage, will keep our brand relevant for generations to come.” Next, find out the 13 secrets Dunkin’ employees want you to know.