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Formerly known as Dunkin Donuts … Harrison is getting one. The corporation is now calling the business just “Dunkin” because they are more focused on drinks now. But not to worry. The donuts will be there too.

Owner Girish Patel and Justin Williams, his multi-until leader/director of operations, met with Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce officials on Wednesday, Sept. 30, in the Claridge Conference Room.

Williams explained that Patel is part of a group that owns more than 80 Dunkin Donut businesses and some are the combo, Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins, such as the one in Branson, Missouri. Patel started in 1999 on the East Coast with more than 80 locations. “The franchise said that Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas were undeveloped markets, and asked me if I’d be willing to help them grow,” Patel said.

The Harrison location will be a first of its kind. The half-acre of property purchased from Petromark, Inc. at the corner of Highway 65 North and Hester Drive will be the new location. The original gas station, convenience store and car wash will be leveled to the ground to make room for the 1,800 to 2,000 square feet structure.

“We like a smaller footprint,” Patel said.

Dunkin will have two drive-thru lanes with two windows. One for paying and one for order pick up. There will be seating indoors for about 15 people with comfortable couches in a modern design and new color scheme.

Williams said even before COVID, their locations were seeing about 20% of sales inside and the other 80% from the drive thru service.

“Our Springfield locations have set records all summer,” Williams said.

Patel said, “I like this area and look forward to working with you.”

Chamber president/CEO Bob Largent asked him some specific questions about the planned location.

“We plan to have about 10 full time employees and 30 part time employees,” Patel said.

Williams explained they will begin by hiring a general manager in January or February and pay their expenses to train at an existing location. Then a couple of weeks before the official opening they will have the facility staffed with corporate people training locals for a soft opening.

“We are a little behind with COVID, but we hope to open June 1,” Williams said.

Corporate offices for Patel are in Kansas City with Boston, Massachusetts, being the parent home of Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins.

Mayor Jerry Jackson mentioned to Patel that 30 years ago he opened a Baskin Robbins and they set all kinds of records for the company’s first year. “So, get ready. This little town will help you set some records, too.”

Patel said they love to partner with local schools and look forward to getting involved in the community.

Dunkin fun facts:

● More iced coffee is sold than hot. Sales for hot coffee are only 4%.

● They still serve the cappuccino blast that started 30 years ago at Baskin Robbins.

● Patel owns facilities in six states now, counting Arkansas.

● Statistics show the average customer for Dunkin is a young college-age female.

● The new location will be touchless and coffee will be served “on tap.”

● There is no charge for police, fire and emergency medical personnel when in uniform.

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