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A Dozen Facts You Might Not Know About Dunkin' Donuts

With more than 11,300 locations in 37 countries around the world that serve, on average, a total of three million customers a day, Dunkin' Donuts serves a lot of iced, glaze,d and sprinkled fried dough. Grab a coffee and one of their 52 varieties of doughnuts (or a croissant doughnut, if that’s your thing) and enjoy a dozen facts about Dunkin'.

1. THE CONCEPT HAS MOBILE ROOTS.

Future founder William Rosenberg started his life in the food service industry as a lunch caterer to industrial workers. He used the $1500 he made selling bonds during World War II and borrowed $3500 from relatives to launch Industrial Luncheon Services. Rosenberg started buying taxicabs to convert into catering vehicles, and when he noticed that 40 percent of his revenue came from just two products (coffee and doughnuts), Rosenberg had an epiphany.

2. DUNKIN' DONUTS WAS NOT THE SHOP'S FIRST NAME.

When Rosenberg opened his first brick-and-mortar store in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1948, he called it Open Kettle. He soon determined that a better name would sell more doughnuts and coffee, so he put his executives in a room and told them to brainstorm new names. His architect is said to be the one who came up with Dunkin' Donuts, and in 1950, they made it official.

3. DUNKIN' REVOLUTIONIZED HOW RESTAURANTS WERE FRANCHISED.

As the company grew, Rosenberg made the controversial decision to franchise. The concept was almost illegal in some states, and franchising was so taboo that companies that mentioned the word weren’t allowed to advertise in major newspapers. But Rosenberg wanted to turn the idea into a respectable, money-making profession. "Franchising supports the great American dream of allowing multitudes to own and succeed in their own businesses," he said decades later. By 1960, he had founded the International Franchise Assn., which still exists today.

4. FRANCHISES STILL USE ROSENBERG'S ORIGINAL COFFEE BLEND RECIPE.

It's said that he liked his company’s coffee so much that Rosenberg drank a cup of it every morning. He was also rumored to serve Dunkin’ doughnuts in his home. Now that sounds like an easy way to host brunch!

5. FOCUSING ON THE COFFEE REVOLUTIONIZED THE COMPANY.

While the company was by no means failing when new CEO Jon Luther came on in January 2003, his idea to change the company’s focus from doughnuts to coffee revitalized the brand. From then to 2006, when the slogan "America runs on Dunkin'" was launched, Luther brought espresso beverages to the menu, hired a new team of chefs, and redesigned stores with a focus on java. His hard work paid off. Over the next seven years, the company nearly doubled their number of stores and sales increased 66 percent.

6. DUNKIN' NOW SELLS 30 CUPS OF COFFEE EVERY SECOND, ON AVERAGE.

That amounts to 1.7 billion cups of hot and iced coffee globally every year. All of which are taste-tested by Dunkin' coffee experts who try 200 cups of coffee every day.

7. IT'S NOT ENTIRELY DUNKIN'S FAULT IF YOU SPELL "DOUGHNUT" WRONG.

The term "doughnut" was first used to describe a fried ball of dough by author Washington Irving in 1809. The truncated spelling appeared about 100 years later, before the founding of Dunkin’. However, use of the spelling "donut" grew significantly after the company was launched in 1950.

8. IN THE FIRST THREE MONTHS AFTER ITS DEBUT, DUNKIN' SOLD 8.5 MILLION CROISSANT DOUGHNUTS.

Based on the Cronut invented by New York’s Dominique Ansel Bakery, Dunkin’ introduced their croissant-doughnut mashup in November 2014 as a temporary menu item. It proved to be such a smash hit, it has stayed on Dunkin’ menus across the country ever since.

9. DUNKIN' HAS ALWAYS HAD A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH BOSTON.

Besides filming commercials with local sports heroes David Ortiz and Rob Gronkowski, Boston-area Dunkin' Donuts, at the request of law enforcement officials, stayed open during the citywide lockdown instituted during the manhunt for the second Boston marathon bombing suspect in 2013. While the company issued a statement that it encouraged everyone to stay home, all were welcome at open Dunkin’ locations, especially cops, who were served coffee and doughnuts for free.

10. DUNKIN' ONCE SOLD AN EASTER EGG DOUGHNUT.

As a holiday promotion in 1979, customers could pick up a carton of a dozen Easter egg-shaped doughnuts for just $1.49. The eggs were chocolate-covered and topped with sprinkles, and though the price eventually went up to $1.99 in the '80s, that's still cheaper than a dozen Munchkins.

11. SOUTH KOREA ALSO RUNS ON DUNKIN'.

In 2014, the company operated more than 900 locations across the country, making South Korea Dunkin’ Donuts's largest international market. South Korean franchises tend to be busier at night than in the morning, and while you can always get a classic glazed, you can also pick up a black rice doughnut or jalapeño sausage pie doughnut with your bubble tea latte.

12. A HANDFUL OF COUPLES HAVE GOTTEN MARRIED AT DUNKIN' DONUTS.

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Surrounded by doughnuts, Cliff Ranson and Elizabeth Fischer tied the knot (while drinking coffee) in a Williamstown, New Jersey location in December 2010. The pair said it was their own inside joke, as they had been known to hit the drive-thru twice a night. And they aren't the only lovebirds who bonded over some doughnuts. The chain sponsored a "Hole-y Matrimony Contest" in 2004, and two lucky couples got all-expenses paid weddings at their local Dunkin', complete with powdered doughnut cakes.

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Pop Culture
How Jimmy Buffett Turned 'Margaritaville' Into a Way of Life
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Few songs have proven as lucrative as “Margaritaville,” a modest 1977 hit by singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett that became an anthem for an entire life philosophy. The track was the springboard for Buffett’s business empire—restaurants, apparel, kitchen appliances, and more—marketing the taking-it-easy message of its tropical print lyrics.

After just a few years of expanding that notion into other ventures, the “Parrot Heads” of Buffett’s fandom began to account for $40 million in annual revenue—and that was before the vacation resorts began popping up.

Jimmy Buffett performs for a crowd
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“Margaritaville,” which turned 40 this year, was never intended to inspire this kind of devotion. It was written after Buffett, as an aspiring musician toiling in Nashville, found himself in Key West, Florida, following a cancelled booking in Miami and marveling at the sea of tourists clogging the beaches.

Like the other songs on his album, Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, it didn’t receive a lot of radio play. Instead, Buffett began to develop his following by opening up for The Eagles. Even at 30, Buffett was something less than hip—a flip-flopped performer with a genial stage presence that seemed to invite an easygoing vibe among crowds. “Margaritaville,” an anthem to that kind of breezy attitude, peaked at number eight on the Billboard charts in 1977. While that’s impressive for any single, its legacy would quickly evolve beyond the music industry's method for gauging success.

What Buffett realized as he continued to perform and tour throughout the early 1980s is that “Margaritaville” had the ability to sedate audiences. Like a hypnotist, the singer could immediately conjure a specific time and place that listeners wanted to revisit. The lyrics painted a scene of serenity that became a kind of existential vacation for Buffett's fans:

Nibblin' on sponge cake,
Watchin' the sun bake;
All of those tourists covered with oil.
Strummin' my six string on my front porch swing.
Smell those shrimp —
They're beginnin' to boil.

By 1985, Buffett was ready to capitalize on that goodwill. In Key West, he opened a Margaritaville store, which sold hats, shirts, and other ephemera to residents and tourists looking to broadcast their allegiance to his sand-in-toes fantasy. (A portion of the proceeds went to Save the Manatees, a nonprofit organization devoted to animal conservation.) The store also sold the Coconut Telegraph, a kind of propaganda newsletter about all things Buffett and his chill perspective.

When Buffett realized patrons were coming in expecting a bar or food—the song was named after a mixed drink, after all—he opened a cafe adjacent to the store in late 1987. The configuration was ideal, and through the 1990s, Buffett and business partner John Cohlan began erecting Margaritaville locations in Florida, New Orleans, and eventually Las Vegas and New York. All told, more than 21 million people visit a Buffett-inspired hospitality destination every year.

A parrot at Margaritaville welcomes guests
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Margaritaville-branded tequila followed. So, too, did a line of retail foods like hummus, a book of short stories, massive resorts, a Sirius radio channel, and drink blenders. Buffett even wrote a 242-page script for a Margaritaville movie that he had hoped to film in the 1980s. It’s one of the very few Margaritaville projects that has yet to have come to fruition, but it might be hard for Buffett to complain much. In 2015, his entire empire took in $1.5 billion in sales.

As of late, Buffett has signed off on an Orlando resort due to open in 2018, offering “casual luxury” near the boundaries of Walt Disney World. (One in Hollywood, Florida, is already a hit, boasting a 93 percent occupancy rate.) Even for guests that aren’t particularly familiar with his music, “Jimmy Buffett” has become synonymous with comfort and relaxation just as surely as Walt Disney has with family entertainment. The association bodes well for a business that will eventually have to move beyond Buffett’s concert-going loyalists.

Not that he's looking to leave them behind. The 70-year-old Buffett is planning on a series of Margaritaville-themed retirement communities, with the first due to open in Daytona Beach in 2018. More than 10,000 Parrot Heads have already registered, eager to watch the sun set while idling in a frame of mind that Buffett has slowly but surely turned into a reality.

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Design
The Secret to the World's Most Comfortable Bed Might Be Yak Hair
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Tengi

Savoir Beds laughs at your unspooling mail-order mattresses and their promises of ultimate comfort. The UK-based company has teamed with London's Savoy Hotel to offer what they’ve declared is one of the most luxurious nights of sleep you’ll ever experience. 

What do they have that everyone else lacks? About eight pounds of Mongolian yak hair.

The elegantly-named Savoir No. 1 Khangai Limited Edition is part of the hotel’s elite Royal Suite accommodations. For $1845 a night, guests can sink into the mattress with a topper stuffed full of yak hair from Khangai, Mongolia. Hand-combed and with heat-dispensing properties, it takes 40 yaks to make one topper. In a press release, collaborator and yarn specialist Tengri claims it “transcends all levels of comfort currently available.”

Visitors opting for such deluxe amenities also have access to a hair stylist, butler, chef, and a Rolls-Royce with a driver.

Savoir Beds has entered into a fair-share partnership with the farmers, who receive an equitable wage in exchange for the fibers, which are said to be softer than cashmere. If you’d prefer to luxuriate like that every night, the purchase price for the bed is $93,000. Purchased separately, the topper is $17,400. Act soon, as only 50 of the beds will be made available each year. 

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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