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Dunkin' Brands CEO on plans to simplify menu: 'The donut mojo is back'

Key Points
  • Dunkin' Brands CEO announced new plan to simplify Dunkin Donuts' lengthy menu.
  • A simpler menu could help the company cut down on labor needs and compete with other fast food brands.
  • This announcement comes just after Dunkin' Brands reported a narrow miss on earnings estimates, while still posting moderate same store sales growth.
Dunkin' CEO Nigel Travis on streamlining menu

Feeling pressure from competitors like McDonald's Corp and Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts has fought to make itself known for more than just its signature donuts. But the coffee and breakfast spot has added so many new menu items and beverages that franchise owners are struggling to keep up.

After reporting slight growth in comparable store sales during third quarter earnings, Dunkin' Brands' CEO Nigel Travis on Thursday said the company would pursue a simpler plan of action.

"We are actually streamlining our menu to make our stores less complicated to operate," Travis told CNBC's Closing Bell. "The donut mojo is back."

Dunkin' Brands named David Hoffman president of Dunkin' Donuts U.S. and Canada in September 2016. Since then, Hoffman has been working with the company to tackle its most egregious problem: lack of labor.

Executives believe simplifying the menu will help with training and employee turnover.

"It's easier to train people, it's better for our franchisee's employees. It should reduce labor turnover and boost guest satisfaction," Travis said.

The company is even testing some streamlined branding. Two locations – in Pasadena, California, and Quincy, Massachusetts – will sport the name Dunkin' instead of Dunkin' Donuts.

Dunkin' Brands shares closed slightly higher Thursday, at $55.63, following the company's third-quarter earnings announcement in the morning. A surprise fall in same-store sales at Baskin-Robbins locations weighed on the company's profit in the period.