DUNKIN' CEO: 'Demanding' millennials are forcing a delivery revolution

  • Dunkin’ CEO says delivery will be a “revolution” in the restaurant industry.

  • “Demanding” millennials expect convenience.
  • Dunkin’ Doughnuts is developing a new app with delivery built in to meet demands for convenience.

The restaurant industry is on the cusp of a delivery revolution, according to Dunkin’ Doughnut’s CEO.

“Delivery will be the next wave,” Nigel Travis, CEO Dunkin’ Brands, told Business Insider. “It’s going to be like a revolution, and I believe it will happen faster than anyone thinks.”

Technology, such as mobile ordering and proliferation of delivery startups, has played a major role. However, the demand for convenience is also simply rising due to changing customer tastes.

“I think the millennial generation is much more demanding than prior generations,” Travis said.

Millennials favour the speedy service of fast casuals over the more time-consuming and expensive experience at a sit-down casual dining chain. They’re more likely to use mobile apps to order ahead, but will not tolerate being forced to wait. They’re even willing to ditch cereal because mixing in milk is less convenient than grabbing a yogurt or fast-food breakfast sandwich on the go.

To adapt, Travis says, restaurants need to figure out how they can meet millennials’ demands. Take-out chains can streamline their mobile app, something that Dunkin’ Doughnuts has been working on. Chains trying to win over sit-down customers need to speed up service.

“I go into restaurants — and I’m talking about more fine dining, casual dining restaurants — I’m still shocked how long it takes to get a menu, how long you have to wait to get our food, and… how long you have to wait to get your bill,” Travis said.

However, the Holy Grail of millennial convenience is never even having to put on clothes to leave the home.

One Dunkin’ franchisee that also owns a KFC location told Travis that some of his customers lived upstairs from the fast-food chicken chain. Instead of walking down the stairs, however, they were willing to pay to have someone deliver their chicken to their apartment.

“You may say it’s laziness, but it’s the ultimate convenience,” Travis said.

Travis says that companies are still figuring out how to make delivery profitable while meeting customers’ needs. Currently, Dunkin’ Doughnuts has a partnership with DoorDash. The chain is planning on rolling out a new version of its app with DoorDash delivery built in next year, and Travis says that Baskin-Robbins has already found delivery success internationally.

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