Dunkin' Brands is on a quest for the 'holy grail' of food service: Donut delivery

Key Points
  • Dunkin' Brands' CEO says delivery is the next worldwide phenomenon in food service, CEO Nigel Travis said.
  • Dunkin's "DD Perks" rewards program had more than 5 million members in 2016, Travis said.
Dunkin' CEO Nigel Travis: We're giving the consumer everything they're looking for

The CEO of Dunkin' Brands says delivery is the next worldwide phenomenon in food service.

"I think the holy grail in the next few years ... is going to be delivery. And that's going to be a global trend, not a trend just here in the U.S.," CEO Nigel Travis said on CNBC's "Closing Bell" Thursday.

Recently, Dunkin' Brands has taken the kitchen-sink approach to technological innovation.

Dunkin' Donuts' mobile app has been around since 2012, and the Baskin-Robbins app launched just last year. DD Perks, Dunkin's rewards program, had more than 5 million members in 2016, and Travis said the company recently announced a plan to implement curbside pickup at many of its locations.

"We are giving the consumer everything they're looking for," Travis said.

Travis said delivery will be the dominant trend in coming years because of the changing nature of consumer demand. "The whole industry is under some pressure from changing demand," he said. "Consumers are demanding it instantly, they want it delivered, they're pressured for time."

Travis said Dunkin' Donuts is positioned "perfectly" to meet the more demanding consumer base by focusing on speed, delivery and technology. Eighty-five percent of new franchisees, for instance, are equipped with drive-through windows, compared with 70 percent in prior years, Travis said.

Dunkin's stock fell 0.17 percent during intraday trading on Thursday. The company's second-quarter earnings release Thursday morning fell short on revenue, and gave a full-year outlook that mostly fell below analysts' expectations.

Still, Travis said his company's focus on tech will help Dunkin' win the day.

"I'm more excited than I've ever been by the support of our franchisees getting right behind the technological innovations that we've been pushing for some years, and you'll see a lot more in the future."