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Warm smiles and attentive service: How this doughnut chain keeps its regulars coming back

Every Monday, a regular customer walks into Dunkin’ and is greeted by Gemma’s friendly smile behind the counter. “The usual?” she asks. Five minutes later, he’s on his way to the office, cold brew coffee and Boston Kreme doughnut in hand, ready to start the work day. 

This quick, fuss-free experience is what customers love about going to Dunkin’. “People expect service to be fast and have a personal touch,” says Ms Sandy Yu, director of Golden Donuts, the company that owns the Dunkin’ franchise in Singapore with 18 outlets across the island. “It can be something as simple as remembering a regular customer’s order,” she says.

For a quick service food outlet like Dunkin’, that transient interaction with customers means it has less time to make an impression. As such, each interaction is all the more important. “Guests like to go somewhere where people know them and know what they like,” Ms Yu explains.

Dunkin’ also makes it a point to take customer feedback seriously. Recently, a customer wrote in to suggest that they consider offering a certain drink and doughnut combination. As it was a good suggestion, the team decided to implement it across all stores the very next day. “The customer was pleased to hear that we had acted on his suggestion and promised to drop in soon for his doughnut fix,” says Ms Yu.

Their commitment to listen to feedback and make every customer interaction count led Dunkin’ to be recognised in the Singapore’s Best Customer Service survey 2023/24 by The Straits Times and research firm Statista in the sub-category of coffeehouse chains under Catering, Restaurants and Leisure. 

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Behind the scenes, staff are trained to help each other out, be flexible and work in sync together. Communication channels are kept open for staff to learn from the successes or mistakes of different outlets, updated via the store managers group chats. Monthly meetings are also held with the managers to share their key learnings and takeaways from daily operations. 

With no shortage of cafe options in Singapore, Ms Yu is grateful that Dunkin’ regulars keep coming back. “Beyond serving up their favourite coffee and doughnuts, we hope to provide an experience where our guests feel like they are in a welcoming, familiar place,” she says. “Great service is not always a grand gesture; sometimes it is the little things we can do to help our guests that make a difference.” 

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