I read an article in the April 9th (yes I’m way behind in my reading) edition of the Wall Street Journal where Dunkin Donuts execs paid $100 for loyal Starbucks customers to eat and drink at Dunkin for a week, and loyal Dunkin customers to eat and drink at Starbucks for a week and then took down their comments for evaluative purposes. Apparently Dunkin is trying to go upscale to compete with Starbucks without alienating their loyal customer base who despise the "uppity" Starbucks customer/atmosphere/coffee. The outcomes are very interesting and I won’t go into them here unless this gets a lot of response, but is there any real debate here which is the better establishment?
I went up North a couple of years ago where Dunkin Donuts shops are ubiquitous. Coffee there comes in two forms; black and regular. Regular coffee, and black coffee are synonymous down South, but up there, "regular" coffee (at least at Dunkin style) is coffee with a predetermined amount of cream and sugar added. It’s "haahrable" (read thick Boston accent). And Dunkin only has one type of coffee; bland.
Give me a Guatelmala Antiqua, or a Cafe Estima, or a cup of Cafe Verona anyday of the week. And add a Black Bottom Cupcake for good measure with some upbeat jazz in the background. Saturday morning family breakfast out? Dunkin Donuts (bringing my own coffee). Otherwise? Starbucks hands down.