Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. president of international Bill Mitchell will leave the company in March 2018, according to an SEC filing. The company’s international leadership team will report directly to Dunkin’ Brands CEO Nigel Travis. The company did not comment on whether it is an interim move. “Under Bill’s leadership, our international operations are firmly on a course of improving franchisee profitability by increasing ice cream sales for Baskin-Robbins and driving a coffee-forward strategy for Dunkin’,” the company said in a statement.
Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Brands opened 41 net new Baskin-Robbins locations and 18 net new Dunkin’ Donuts units internationally during the third quarter ended Sept. 30. Systemwide sales at international locations rose 6.7 percent during the quarter, driven mainly by sales growth in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, South America, Europe and China. Results were hampered by performance in South Korea. Dunkin’ Brands said the decision to leave was Mitchell’s. He has agreed to stay with the company until mid-March. Mitchell joined Dunkin’ Brands in October 2010 as vice president of Baskin-Robbins U.S. The company credited him with overseeing the turnaround of Baskin-Robbins’ domestic performance before moving to his current role. Mitchell has been focusing on international operations for Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins for the past two years. Travis will soon oversee the international team, in addition to a $100 million refresh of the Dunkin’ Donuts brand. “Our focus is on opportunities that we believe, along with our franchisees’ investments, ignite the transformation of Dunkin’ Donuts into a beverage-led, on-the-go brand,” Travis said during a third-quarter earnings call. Those opportunities include enhancing the brand’s digital app, refreshing the layout of restaurants and expanding delivery. Curbside delivery became available to all franchisees this year as well. Dunkin’ Donuts has also made efforts recently to streamline its menu. David Hoffmann, brand president for the U.S. and Canada, told NRN in September that the company was looking to bring an “overarching reset” to its doughnut roster. “We’ve shrunk the amount of doughnut variety, and we’re seeing a lift in those markets instantly,” Hoffman said. The brand cut its doughnut variety from more than 30 options to 18 in some markets and 24 in others. Dunkin’ Brands has locations in more than 60 countries, with about 12,400 Dunkin’ Donuts units and approximately 7,900 Baskin-Robbins outlets worldwide. – Source: NRN.