Former McDonald's president joins Dunkin' in ops shuffle

A former McDonald’s regional president has joined Dunkin’ Donuts as part of a senior management change at the repositioning drinks and doughnuts chain.

Rick Colon, who oversaw 4,000 McDonald’s units as president of the burger giant’s southern zone, joins Dunkin’ as SVP of operations and development for the United States, a newly created position. Colon’s region generated annual sales of $11 billion annually across 11 states.

His hiring comes at a time when Dunkin’ is streamlining its menu and aiming to simplify operations as part of a repositioning into what U.S. President Dave Hoffmann terms “a beverage-led on-the-go brand.”

Simultaneous with Colon’s addition, Scott Murphy has moved up to COO of Dunkin’s U.S. operations, from SVP of ops. He reports directly to Hoffmann. In his new role, Murphy, age 45, will oversee the operations of 8,500 Dunkin’ Donuts units in the U.S., along with supply-chain management, manufacturing and execution of the chain’s domestic expansion plan.

Colon, 56, reports to Murphy.

He spent 40 years working within McDonald’s, starting as a teenaged hourly employee, before joining Dunkin’. He has held senior posts both for the franchisor and McDonald’s franchisees.

"Scott and Rick are innovative, inspirational leaders who understand every aspect of the restaurant industry, including most importantly driving operational excellence, people development and franchisee profitability," Hoffmann said in a statement. "Each has a unique blend of store operations and general management experience, and both are eminently qualified to help us capitalize on our tremendous growth opportunities.”

The management changes come at a pivotal time for Dunkin’, whose sales have softened in recent quarters. Customers have complained that the brand’s menu is too complicated to navigate quickly, slowing patrons who want to grab a quick coffee and doughnut and get out.

Part of the effort to streamline service is the addition of more drive-thrus, with a target of offering that option in 85% of U.S. stores, and providing curbside delivery.

The repositioning extends to dropping "Donuts" from the brand's name in selected test units.

In addition, Dunkin' has been stressing value, undercutting such rivals as Starbucks in the price of hot and cold beverages.

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