Economy doesn’t scare Dunkin’ Donuts away from Ahwatukee - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Topstory

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Economy doesn’t scare Dunkin’ Donuts away from Ahwatukee

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Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2009 11:00 pm

Imagine a free Dunkin' Donuts T-shirt with a picture of a refreshing beverage on the back, and then imagine getting that beverage for free every day for 60 days after you received the free T-shirt.

The scenario probably sounds too good to be true, but it's not. A new Dunkin' Donuts is opening up on Chandler Boulevard and 48th Street in Ahwatukee Foothills, and the first 100 people who come to the store when it opens next Wednesday will receive the shirt and free drink offer.

Ahwatukee Foothills' new Dunkin' Donuts is owned by First Cup LLC, a franchise group that has opened up 11 Dunkin' Donuts stores in Arizona within the past year.

"A few of First Cup LLC's partners live here, and we were attracted to the big sense of family in the community," said Alex Apodaca, a partner in First Cup LLC. "People go to Dunkin' Donuts year after year, and we want Ahwatukee Foothills residents to eventually refer to us as "my Dunkin'."

According to Apodaca, First Cup LLC is not weary of expanding during the economic recession because he believes their business model appeals to the average customer who may not have extra money to spend.

"Hardly anything on our menu is over $4, so the average Joe can afford to come here for coffee and donuts," he said.

While Apodaca acknowledges that people are trading down in their restaurant habits, he said that Dunkin' is still conscious of its décor.

"We try not to make our décor look like the typical fast and casual restaurant," he said.  

Dunkin' Donuts also strives to appeal to people rushing to work in the mornings.

"We set the standard for speed," Apodaca said. "Our average drive thru wait time is 150 seconds because we understand that everyone wants to be quickly on their way in the morning."

Ahwatukee Foothills residents will also enjoy the benefit of First Cup LLC hiring quality employees to run its store. Between 20 and 25 people will be employed at the Ahwatukee Foothills location.

"As you come into our stores you will see that we have a higher level of employees who are welcoming and try to relate to our regular customers," Apodaca said. "Quality people are looking for jobs, and we just hired a woman to be a cashier who was out of work as a CPA because she was energetic and has a great personality."

In the future, First Cup LLC would like to involve its Ahwatukee Foothills Dunkin' Donuts location with catering, community donations, school fundraising and sports sponsorships.

"We've had good relationships with cities and mayors in the past, and we want to continue that here in Ahwatukee," Apodaca said.

To find out more about Dunkin' Donuts, visit www.dunkindonuts.com. The Ahwatukee Foothills location, located at 4923 Chandler Blvd., will open on Wednesday, June 24.

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