Does America really run on Dunkin’?


Photo Credit: Alivia Taveras

Americas top breakfast food chains battle it out for the top spot.

By: Alivia Taveras, Spring Reporter

Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, the two biggest breakfast chains are often a hot topic of debate when discussing fast food breakfast options. But which one is really the best fast food breakfast restaurant.

The categories to determine which is really the better chain will include: efficiency, taste, price, consistency and variety. A combination of those attributes makes the perfect breakfast fast food chain. Recently Dunkin’ Donuts has opened up on the west coast, up until last year Dunkin’ Donuts has only been an east coast delight. But in April of 2016 the franchise opened 25 stores in California with 300 more coming.

First up, efficiency. Living in New Jersey we move fast here, so it’s very necessary to have a fast pace when at a food place. While at Starbucks you can find a perky cashier who is happy to take your very complicated order and you will have to wait a while for it. But at Dunkin’ Donuts, your order is done and ready in the time of driving your car from the ordering window to the actual window with the food. Which is about two minutes, an impressive time. The winner in efficiency is Dunkin’ Donuts.

Next is taste, in order to have a functioning restaurant you need to have good food and coffee in this case. To make it fair I ordered four of the same items at the locations, the iced caramel latte, iced coffee, hot chocolate and regular coffee.  The big difference between Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts beverages is sweetness. The Starbucks franchise has a bitter flavor throughout all its beverages. The iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts blew the one from Starbucks out of the water. Although all of this is true Starbucks is a clear victor when it comes to seasonal drinks. When the PSL arrives that’s basically the signal of the start of fall not the leaves changing. But besides that, Dunkin’ is the taste winner.

One of the most thought provoking questions in today’s society, is it worth it? Well a venti (large) iced caramel macchiato at Starbucks it’s almost five dollars,while at Dunkin’ its four. The dollar price difference stays consistent throughout the entire menu. So let’s do the math to see if it’s really worth it. A Dunkin’ Donuts large is 4.19 for a 32 ounce cup, a Starbucks venti is 5.25 for a 21 ounce cup. Grande is 16 oz and medium is 24. Smalls both 12. But Starbucks has two extra sizes a Short which is 8 ounces and a Trenta which is 31. A Dunkin’ large is about 14 cents per ounce and Starbucks is 25 per ounce. Still not a significant difference but a slight one. Dunkin’ wins again.

Consistency is also important because you want your drinks to taste pretty much the same every time. Which is something that Dunkin’ Donuts lacks, you order the same thing every time but something is slightly different. Dunkin’ Donuts will use the same ingredients but use more or less of said ingredients every time. So one time it may be sweeter than the last. While at Starbucks, there is a recipe each barista learns so it’s the same drink every time. Starbucks wins consistency.  

Variety is the last category to determine which franchise is the overall winner. Dunkin’ Donuts has a larger variety of breakfast meals with over ten different types and 15 types of donuts. While Starbucks has a wide assortment of beverages, you can substitute milk with almond or coconut milk. Starbucks also has a wide variety of frappuccinos, including double chocolaty chip and cotton candy creme. Not to mention their secret menu has tons more recipes to make your own drink, like the pink drink which is a strawberry acaci refresher and coconut milk or the cotton candy frappuccino which is the vanilla bean frappe and one or two pumps of the raspberry syrup. Which proves, Starbucks is the variety winner.

Both franchises have their own good and bad things about them. But if I had to choose which franchise to go to on a Monday before school it’d be Dunkin’, efficiency matters the most and you just can’t beat the fast service. But Starbucks is a great option to go to if you have some time on a Sunday morning to just relax.