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Rapidly expanding Dutch Bros is opening another support center in Arizona

The drive-thru coffee chain opened more shops in its history last year as sales accelerated. And it is also opening shops in Florida.
Dutch Bros
Dutch Bros plans to open in Florida this week. | Photo: Shutterstock.

Dutch Bros continues to expand, and not just with new shops.

The Grants Pass, Ore.-based drive-thru coffee chain plans to open a new support center in Arizona, which it expects will house 40% of its store support operations by January 2025, executives told analysts on Wednesday.

To the company, the new support center will help it better attract employees. “We recognize the importance of continuing to attract top-notch talent, and we believe adding a significant presence in the Phoenix market positions us to better compete for this talent,” CEO Christine Barone said on Wednesday.

The new support center will “focus on driving the strategic direction of the company and assisting day-to-day operations in the field,” Barone said. Dutch Bros will maintain a “significant presence” in Southern Oregon, she said, which will maintain the company’s roasting, accounting and other functions.

It’s the latest major restaurant chain to either open a secondary headquarters or move altogether, either for staffing, cultural or executive reasons. Subway opened a second headquarters in Miami. Chipotle moved to California altogether. Papa Johns opened a second headquarters in Atlanta.

For Dutch Bros, the move comes on top of changes in leadership, as Joth Ricci ceded the CEO role to Barone, who had been chief executive with the Phoenix-based True Food Kitchen.

The second support center, Barone said, will provide the company with greater access to its growing number of stores.

Dutch Bros has been one of the fastest growing chains in the U.S. in recent years and 2023 was no exception. The beverage chain opened 159 locations across 13 states last year, more than the 150 the company had projected. It finished 2023 with 794 locations.

The company plans to open another 150 to 165 locations this year. And among the new states it expects to open in is Florida.

Dutch Bros has been in the market with a food truck and plans to open its first location in Orlando this week.

The expansion comes as Dutch Bros’ sales appear to be accelerating. Same-store sales were up 5% in the fourth quarter, an improvement over the previous period. The performance sent the company’s stock soaring more than 8% in off-hours trading Thursday.

Much of the company’s sales come from loyal customers. Nearly two-thirds of its transactions in the fourth quarter came from members of its Dutch Rewards program.

Those members now want the company to expand the capability of its mobile app, by enabling customers to order through it. Dutch Bros plans to test a new app with mobile ordering in Arizona. “This could be a big opportunity for us,” Barone said. We “understand the importance of getting this right.”

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