People may have seen the sign on U.S. 98 but there not only will be a Dunkin’ Donuts coming to town. There will be about 25 to 30 jobs that come with it.
“It’s going to be right before the McDonald’s,” said franchise owner Alex Fernandez. “And it will be open in the next 60 days.”
The Fernandezes live in the Orlando area but he said he has the development rights for Dunkin’ Donuts in Polk County. Previously he’d been a McDonald’s franchise owner in Chile.
He is also planning to open franchises in Lake Wales, Aburndale and Plant City. The Lake Wales store will be open 24 hours and is under construction at the Shoppes on the Ridge on U.S. 27. Fernandez said the location is a highly traveled road and lends itself to being open all night.
The other stores will be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Among the four stores Fernandez said there will be about 100 new jobs coming to Polk County. The stores will be open seven days a week. The only day it is closed is on Christmas Day.
Currently Fernandez said he is hiring people for management positions. After that he said signs will go onto the franchises that they are interviewing for shifts, of which there will be three to four. He said they may be minimum wage jobs for the shifts but he isn’t sure yet.
Historically a doughnut and hot coffee chain, Dunkin’ Donuts now offers frozen and iced beverages, a full bakery assortment including bagels and muffins, breakfast sandwiches, and an all-day Oven-Toasted menu which includes flatbread sandwiches, hash browns and buttermilk biscuits. The new platform marks the most significant change to Dunkin’ Donuts’ product lineup since the company launched espresso-based beverages in 2003.
He said in launching the franchises, town populations and growth are both examined and though Bartow, Lake Wales and Auburndale populations are smaller than most cities, they meet the requirements of the store.
“It’s a combination of several pieces,” he said. “These may be small towns, but the traffic is there and in Bartow there’s the county office and the courthouse and that generates traffic,” he said.
Also, being among very few doughnut shops in town may be an advantage but that won’t make it necessarily easy to make the store successful.
“You’ve still got to work at it. You’ve got to have a good product, good service and a good price. If you don’t have those three things people won’t go to your store,” he said.