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U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
____________________________ 
FORM 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934.
For the year ended December 28, 2019
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934.
For the transition period from             to             
Commission file number 001-35258
____________________________ 
DUNKIN’ BRANDS GROUP, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
 
20-4145825
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
130 Royall Street
Canton, Massachusetts 02021
(Address of principal executive offices) (zip code)
(781) 737-3000
(Registrants’ telephone number, including area code)
____________________________ 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Trading Symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share
DNKN
Nasdaq Global Select Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: NONE
____________________________ 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  x    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ¨    No  x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  x    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
 
Accelerated filer
 
 
 
 
 
Non-accelerated filer
 
Smaller reporting company
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes      No  
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting stock of the registrant held by non-affiliates of Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. computed by reference to the closing price of the registrant’s common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market as of June 29, 2019, was approximately $6.59 billion.
As of February 20, 2020, 82,576,313 shares of common stock of the registrant were outstanding.
____________________________ 
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for the 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Form 10-K, are incorporated by reference in Part III, Items 10-14 of this Form 10-K.
 




DUNKIN’ BRANDS GROUP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
Page
Part I.
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
 
Part II.
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
 
Part III.
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
 
Part IV.
Item 15.
Item 16.




Forward-Looking Statements
This report on Form 10-K, as well as other written reports and oral statements that we make from time to time, includes statements that express our opinions, expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or projections regarding future events or future results and therefore are, or may be deemed to be, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Generally these statements can be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “feel,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “project,” “should” or “would” and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts.
By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. Our actual results and the timing of certain events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including, but not limited to, those set forth under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this report and in our other public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC.
We caution you that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate may differ materially from those made in or suggested by the forward-looking statements contained in this report. In addition, even if our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate, are consistent with the forward-looking statements contained in this report, those results or developments may not be indicative of results or developments in subsequent periods.
Given these risks and uncertainties, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or to publicly announce the results of any revisions to any of those statements to reflect future events or developments.




PART I
Item 1. Business.
Our Company
We are one of the leading franchisors of quick service restaurants (“QSRs”) serving hot and cold coffee and baked goods, as well as hard serve ice cream. We franchise restaurants under our Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins brands. With over 21,000 points of distribution in more than 60 countries worldwide, we believe that our portfolio has strong brand awareness in our key markets.
We believe that our 100% franchised business model offers strategic and financial benefits. For example, because we do not own or operate restaurants, our Company is able to focus on menu innovation, marketing, franchisee coaching and support, and other initiatives to drive the overall success of our brands. Financially, our franchised model allows us to grow our points of distribution and brand recognition with limited capital investment by us.
We report our business in five segments: Dunkin’ U.S., Dunkin’ International, Baskin-Robbins International, Baskin-Robbins U.S., and U.S. Advertising Funds. In fiscal year 2019, our Dunkin’ segments generated revenues of $672.8 million, or 51% of our total segment revenues, of which $646.1 million was in the U.S. segment and $26.7 million was in the international segment. In fiscal year 2019, our Baskin-Robbins segments generated revenues of $160.5 million, of which $112.4 million was in the international segment and $48.1 million was in the U.S. segment. In fiscal year 2019, our U.S. Advertising Funds segment generated revenues of $473.6 million. As of December 28, 2019, there were 13,137 Dunkin’ points of distribution, of which 9,630 were in the U.S. and 3,507 were international, and 8,160 Baskin-Robbins points of distribution, of which 5,636 were international and 2,524 were in the U.S. See note 11 to our consolidated financial statements included herein for segment information.
We generate revenue from five primary sources: (i) royalty income and franchise fees associated with franchised restaurants; (ii) continuing advertising fees from Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins franchisees and breakage and other revenue related to the gift card program; (iii) rental income from restaurant properties that we lease or sublease to franchisees; (iv) sales of ice cream and other products to franchisees in certain international markets; and (v) other income including fees for the licensing of our brands for products sold in certain retail channels (such as Dunkin’ K-Cup® pods, retail packaged coffee, and ready-to-drink bottled iced coffee), the licensing of the rights to manufacture Baskin-Robbins ice cream products to a third party for sale to U.S. franchisees, refranchising gains, and online training fees.
Our history
Both of our brands have a rich heritage dating back to the 1940s, when Bill Rosenberg founded his first restaurant, subsequently renamed Dunkin’ Donuts, and Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins each founded a chain of ice cream shops that eventually combined to form Baskin-Robbins. Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin’ Donuts were individually acquired by Allied Domecq PLC in 1973 and 1989, respectively. The brands were organized under the Allied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants subsidiary, which was renamed Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. in 2004. Allied Domecq was acquired in July 2005 by Pernod Ricard S.A. In March of 2006, Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. was acquired by investment funds affiliated with Bain Capital Partners, LLC, The Carlyle Group, and Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. through a holding company that was incorporated in Delaware on November 22, 2005 and was later renamed Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. In July 2011, we completed our initial public offering (the “IPO”). Upon the completion of the IPO, our common stock became listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “DNKN.” In 2018, the Company unveiled new branding for Dunkin’ Donuts that recognizes the brand as simply “Dunkin’.”
Our brands
DunkinU.S.
Dunkin’ is a leading U.S. QSR concept, and is the QSR leader in donut and bagel categories for servings. Dunkin’ is also a national QSR leader for breakfast sandwich servings. Since the late 1980s, Dunkin’ has transformed itself into a coffee and beverage-based concept, and is a national QSR leader in servings in the hot regular/decaf/flavored coffee category and the iced regular/decaf/flavored coffee category, with sales of approximately 1.6 billion servings of total hot and iced coffee annually. Over the last ten fiscal years, Dunkin’ U.S. systemwide sales have grown at a 5.9% compound annual growth rate and total Dunkin’ U.S. points of distribution grew from 6,583 to 9,630. As of December 28, 2019, approximately 85% of these points of distribution were traditional restaurants consisting of end-cap, in-line and stand-alone restaurants, many with drive-thrus, and gas and convenience locations. In addition, we have special distribution opportunities (“SDOs”), such as full- or self-service kiosks in offices, hospitals, colleges, airports, grocery stores, wholesale clubs, and other smaller-footprint properties. We believe that Dunkin’ continues to have significant growth potential in the U.S. given its strong brand awareness and variety of restaurant formats. For fiscal year 2019, the Dunkin’ franchise system generated U.S. systemwide sales of $9.2 billion, which


- 1-



accounted for approximately 76% of our global systemwide sales, and had 9,630 U.S. points of distribution (with more than 50% of our restaurants having drive-thrus) at period end.
Baskin-Robbins U.S.
Baskin-Robbins is the leading QSR chain in the U.S. for servings of hard-serve ice cream, according to CREST® data, and develops and sells a full range of frozen ice cream treats such as cones, cakes, sundaes, and frozen beverages. Baskin-Robbins enjoys strong brand awareness in the U.S., and we believe the brand is known for its innovative flavors, popular “Birthday Club” program and ice cream flavor library of over 1,300 different offerings. We believe we can capitalize on the brand’s strengths and continue generating renewed excitement for the brand. Baskin-Robbins’ “31 flavors” offers consumers a different flavor for each day of the month. For fiscal year 2019, the Baskin-Robbins franchise system generated U.S. systemwide sales of approximately $615.3 million, which accounted for approximately 5% of our global systemwide sales.
International operations
Our international business is primarily conducted via joint ventures and country or territorial license arrangements with “master franchisees,” who operate and sub-franchise the brand within their licensed areas. Our international franchise system, predominantly located across Asia and the Middle East, generated systemwide sales of $2.3 billion for fiscal year 2019, which represented approximately 19% of Dunkin’ Brands’ global systemwide sales. As of December 28, 2019, Dunkin’ had 3,507 international points of distribution in 40 countries (excluding the U.S.), which grew from 2,583 points of distribution as of December 26, 2009, and represented $834.5 million of international systemwide sales for fiscal year 2019. As of December 28, 2019, Baskin-Robbins had 5,636 international points of distribution in 51 countries (excluding the U.S.) and represented approximately $1.5 billion of international systemwide sales for fiscal year 2019. We believe that we have opportunities to continue to grow our Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins concepts internationally in new and existing markets through brand and menu differentiation.
Overview of franchising
Franchising is a business arrangement whereby a service organization, the franchisor, grants an operator, the franchisee, a license to sell the franchisor’s products and services and use its system and trademarks in a given area, with or without exclusivity. In the context of the restaurant industry, a franchisee pays the franchisor for its concept, strategy, marketing, operating system, training, purchasing power, and brand recognition. Franchisees are solely responsible for the day-to-day operations in each franchised restaurant, including but not limited to all labor and employment decisions, such as hiring, promoting, discharging, scheduling, and setting wages, benefits, and all other terms of employment with respect to their employees.
Franchisee relationships
We seek to maximize the alignment of our interests with those of our franchisees. For instance, we do not derive additional income through serving as the supplier to our domestic franchisees. In addition, because the ability to execute our strategy is dependent upon the strength of our relationships with our franchisees, we maintain a multi-tiered advisory council system to foster an active dialogue with franchisees. The advisory council system provides feedback and input on all major brand initiatives and is a source of timely information on evolving consumer preferences, which assists new product introductions and advertising campaigns.
We generally do not guarantee our franchisees’ financing obligations. From time to time, at our discretion, we may offer voluntary financing to existing franchisees for specific programs such as the purchase of specialized equipment. We intend to continue our past practice of limiting our guarantee of financing for franchisees.
Franchise agreement terms
For each franchised restaurant in the U.S., we enter into a franchise agreement covering a standard set of terms and conditions. A prospective franchisee may elect to open either a single-branded distribution point or a multi-branded distribution point. When granting the right to operate a restaurant to a potential franchisee, we will generally evaluate the potential franchisee’s prior food-service experience, history in managing profit and loss operations, financial history, and available capital and financing. We also evaluate potential new franchisees based on financial measures, including liquid asset and net worth minimums for each brand.
The typical franchise agreement in the U.S. has a 20-year term. The majority of our franchisees have entered into prime leases with a third-party landlord. The Company is the lessee on certain land leases (the Company leases the land and erects a building) or improved leases (lessor owns the land and building) covering restaurants and other properties. In addition, the


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Company has leased and subleased land and buildings to other franchisees. When we sublease properties to franchisees, the sublease generally follows the prime lease term. Our leases to franchisees are typically for an overall term of 20 years.
We help domestic franchisees select sites and develop restaurants that conform to the physical specifications of our typical restaurant. Each domestic franchisee is responsible for selecting a site, but must obtain site approval from us based on accessibility, visibility, proximity to other restaurants, and targeted demographic factors including population density and traffic patterns. Additionally, the franchisee must also refurbish and remodel each restaurant periodically (typically every five and ten years, respectively).
We currently require each domestic franchisee’s managing owner and/or designated manager to complete initial and ongoing training programs provided by us, including minimum periods of classroom and on-the-job training. We monitor operations in the U.S. with regard to compliance with our standards for restaurant operations and use “Guest Satisfaction Surveys” in the U.S. to assess customer satisfaction with restaurant operations, such as product quality, restaurant cleanliness, and customer service.
Store development agreements
In certain domestic markets, we may grant domestic franchisees the right to open one or more restaurants within a specified geographic area pursuant to the terms of a store development agreement, or “SDA”. An SDA specifies the number of restaurants and the mix of the brands represented by such restaurants that a franchisee is obligated to open. Each SDA also requires the franchisee to meet certain milestones in the development and opening of the restaurant and, if the franchisee meets those obligations, we agree, during the term of such SDA, not to operate or franchise new restaurants in the designated geographic area covered by such SDA. In addition to an SDA, a franchisee signs a separate franchise agreement for each restaurant developed under such SDA.
Master franchise model and international arrangements
Master franchise arrangements are used on a limited basis domestically (the Baskin-Robbins brand has one “territory” franchise agreement for certain Midwestern markets) but more widely internationally for both the Baskin-Robbins brand and the Dunkin’ brand. In addition, international arrangements include joint venture agreements in South Korea (both brands), Australia (Baskin-Robbins brand), and Japan (Baskin-Robbins brand), as well as single unit franchises, such as in Canada and the United Kingdom (Baskin-Robbins brand). We utilize a multi-franchise system in certain markets, including in Germany and China.
Master franchise agreements are the most prevalent international relationships for both brands. Under these agreements, the applicable brand typically grants the master franchisee the limited exclusive right to develop and operate a certain number of restaurants within a particular geographic area, such as selected cities, one or more provinces or an entire country, pursuant to a development schedule that defines the number of restaurants that the master franchisee must open annually. Those development schedules customarily extend for five to ten years. If the master franchisee fails to perform its obligations, the limited exclusivity provision of the agreement may terminate and additional franchise agreements may be granted to third parties to develop additional restaurants.
The master franchisee is generally required to pay an upfront market entry fee and an upfront initial franchise fee for each developed restaurant, and, for the Dunkin’ brand, royalties. For the Baskin-Robbins brand, the master franchisee is typically required to purchase ice cream from Baskin-Robbins or an approved supplier. In most countries, the master franchisee is also required to spend a certain percentage of gross sales on advertising in such foreign country in order to promote the brand. Generally, the master franchise agreement serves as the franchise agreement for the underlying restaurants operating pursuant to such model. Depending on the individual agreement, we may permit the master franchisee to subfranchise within its territory.
Within each of our master franchisee and joint venture organizations, training programs have been established by the master franchisee or joint venture based on our specifications. From those training facilities, the master franchisee or joint venture trains future staff members of the international restaurants. Our master franchisees and joint venture entities also periodically send their primary training managers to the U.S. for re-certification.


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Franchise fees
In the U.S., once a franchisee is approved, a restaurant site is approved, and a franchise agreement is signed, the franchisee will begin to develop the restaurant. Franchisees pay us an initial franchise fee for the right to operate a restaurant for one or more franchised brands. The franchisee is required to pay all or part of the initial franchise fee upfront upon execution of the franchise agreement, regardless of when the restaurant is actually opened. Initial franchise fees vary by brand, type of development agreement and geographic area of development, but generally range from $25,000 to $100,000, as shown in the table below.
Restaurant type
 
Initial franchise fee*
Dunkin’ Single-Branded Restaurant
$
40,000-90,000
Baskin-Robbins Single-Branded Restaurant
$
25,000
Dunkin’/Baskin-Robbins Multi-Branded Restaurant
$
50,000-100,000
*
Fees as of January 1, 2020 and excludes SDOs
In addition to the payment of initial franchise fees, our U.S. Dunkin’ brand franchisees, U.S. Baskin-Robbins brand franchisees, and our international Dunkin’ brand franchisees pay us royalties on a percentage of the gross sales made from each restaurant. In the U.S., the majority of our franchise agreement renewals and the vast majority of our new franchise agreements require our franchisees to pay us a royalty of 5.9% of gross sales. During fiscal year 2019, our effective royalty rate in the Dunkin’ U.S. segment was approximately 5.5% and in the Baskin-Robbins U.S. segment was approximately 4.8%. The arrangements for Dunkin’ in the majority of our international markets require royalty payments to us of 5.0% of gross sales. However, many of our larger international franchisees, including our South Korean joint venture, have agreements at a lower rate and/or based on wholesale sales to restaurants, resulting in an effective royalty rate in the Dunkin’ International segment in fiscal year 2019 of approximately 2.7%. We typically collect royalty payments on a weekly basis from our domestic franchisees. For the Baskin-Robbins brand in international markets, we do not generally receive royalty payments from our franchisees; instead we earn revenue from such franchisees as a result of our sale of ice cream products to them, and in fiscal year 2019 our effective royalty rate in this segment was approximately 0.5%. In certain instances, we supplement and modify certain SDAs, and franchise agreements entered into pursuant to such SDAs with certain incentives that may (i) reduce or eliminate the initial franchise fee associated with a franchise agreement; (ii) reduce the royalties for a specified period of the term of the franchise agreements depending on the details related to each specific incentive program; (iii) reimburse the franchisee for certain local marketing activities in excess of the minimum required; and (iv) provide certain development incentives. To qualify for any or all of these incentives, the franchisee must meet certain requirements, each of which are set forth in an addendum to the SDA and the franchise agreement. We believe these incentives will lead to accelerated development in our less mature markets.
Franchisees in the U.S. also pay advertising fees to the brand-specific advertising funds administered by us. Franchisees make weekly contributions, generally 5% of gross sales, to the advertising funds. Franchisees may elect to increase the contribution to support general brand-building efforts or specific initiatives. The advertising funds for the U.S., which earned $473.6 million in revenue in fiscal year 2019 primarily from contributions from franchisees, are almost exclusively franchisee-funded and cover substantially all expenses related to marketing, research and development, innovation, advertising and promotion, including market research, production, advertising costs, public relations, and sales promotions. We use no more than 20% of the advertising funds in the U.S. to cover the administrative expenses of the advertising funds and for other strategic initiatives designed to increase sales and to enhance the reputation of the brands. As the administrator of the advertising funds, we determine the content and placement of advertising, which is done through print, radio, television, online, mobile, billboards, sponsorships, and other media, all of which is sourced by agencies. Under certain circumstances, franchisees are permitted to conduct their own local advertising, but must obtain our prior approval of content and promotional plans.
Other franchise related fees
We lease and sublease properties to franchisees in the U.S. and in Canada, generating net rental fees when the cost charged to the franchisee exceeds the cost charged to us. For fiscal year 2019, we generated 9.0%, or $122.7 million, of our total revenue from rental fees from franchisees and incurred related occupancy expenses of $79.2 million.
We also receive a license fee from Dean Foods Co. (“Dean Foods”) as part of an arrangement whereby Dean Foods manufactures and distributes ice cream and other frozen products to Baskin-Robbins franchisees in the U.S. In connection with this agreement, Dunkin’ Brands receives a fee based on net sales of covered products. For fiscal year 2019, we generated 0.7%, or $9.8 million, of our total revenue from license fees from Dean Foods.


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We distribute ice cream products to Baskin-Robbins franchisees who operate Baskin-Robbins restaurants located in certain foreign countries and receive revenue associated with those sales. For fiscal year 2019, we generated 6.7%, or $91.4 million, of our total revenue from the sale of ice cream and other products to franchisees primarily in certain foreign countries and incurred related cost of ice cream and other products of $75.8 million.
Other revenue sources include online training fees, licensing fees earned from the sale of K-Cup® pods, retail packaged coffee, ready-to-drink bottled iced coffee, and other branded products, net refranchising gains, and other one-time fees. For fiscal year 2019, we generated 3.1%, or $42.7 million, of our total revenue from these other sources.
International operations
Our international business is organized by brand and by country and/or region. Operations are primarily conducted through master franchise agreements with local operators. In certain instances, the master franchisee may have the right to sub-franchise. We utilize a multi-franchise system in certain markets, including Germany and China. In addition, we have a joint venture with a local, publicly-traded company for the Baskin-Robbins brand in Japan, and joint ventures with local companies in Australia for the Baskin-Robbins brand and in South Korea for both the Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins brands. By teaming with local operators, we believe we are better able to adapt our concepts to local business practices and consumer preferences. We have had an international presence since 1961. As of December 28, 2019, there were 5,636 Baskin-Robbins restaurants in 51 countries outside the U.S. and 3,507 Dunkin’ restaurants in 40 countries outside the U.S. Baskin-Robbins points of distribution represent the majority of our international presence and accounted for approximately 64% of international systemwide sales.
Our key markets for both brands are predominantly in Asia and the Middle East, which accounted for approximately 68% and 19%, respectively, of international systemwide sales for fiscal year 2019. For fiscal year 2019, $2.3 billion of total systemwide sales were generated by restaurants located in international markets, which represented approximately 19% of total systemwide sales, with the Dunkin’ brand accounting for $834.5 million and the Baskin-Robbins brand accounting for $1.5 billion of our international systemwide sales. For the same period, our revenues from international operations totaled $139.1 million, with the Baskin-Robbins brand generating approximately 81% of such revenues.
Overview of key markets
As of December 28, 2019, the top foreign countries and regions in which the Dunkin’ brand and/or the Baskin-Robbins brand operated were:
Country/Region
 
Type
 
Franchised brand(s)
 
Number of restaurants
South Korea
 
Joint Venture
 
Dunkin’
 
686

 
 
 
 
Baskin-Robbins
 
1,476

Japan
 
Joint Venture
 
Baskin-Robbins
 
1,174

Middle East
 
Master Franchise Agreements
 
Dunkin’
 
650

 
 
 
 
Baskin-Robbins
 
944

South Korea     
Restaurants in South Korea accounted for approximately 38% of total systemwide sales from international operations for fiscal year 2019. Baskin-Robbins accounted for 75% of such sales. In South Korea, we conduct business through a 33.3% ownership stake in a combination Dunkin’ brand/Baskin-Robbins brand joint venture, with South Korean shareholders owning the remaining 66.7% of the joint venture. The joint venture acts as the master franchisee for South Korea, sub-franchising the Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins brands to franchisees. The joint venture also manufactures and supplies restaurants located in South Korea with ice cream, donuts, and coffee products.
Japan
Restaurants in Japan accounted for approximately 17% of total systemwide sales from international operations for fiscal year 2019, 100% of which came from Baskin-Robbins. We conduct business in Japan through a 43.3% ownership stake in a Baskin-Robbins brand joint venture. Our partner also owns a 43.3% interest in the joint venture, with the remaining 13.4% owned by public shareholders. The joint venture primarily manufactures and sells ice cream to restaurants in Japan and acts as master franchisee for the country.


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Middle East
The Middle East represents another key region for us. Restaurants in the Middle East accounted for approximately 19% of total systemwide sales from international operations for fiscal year 2019. Baskin-Robbins accounted for approximately 57% of such sales. We conduct operations in the Middle East through master franchise arrangements.
Industry overview
According to The NPD Group/CREST® (“CREST®”), the QSR segment of the U.S. commercial foodservice industry accounted for approximately $332 billion of the total $501 billion commercial foodservice industry sales in the U.S. for the twelve months ended January 5, 2020. The U.S. commercial foodservice industry is generally categorized into segments by price point ranges, the types of food and beverages offered, and service available to consumers. QSR is a restaurant format characterized by limited, or no, table service. QSRs generally seek to capitalize on consumer desires for quality and convenient food at economical prices.
Our Dunkin’ brand competes in the QSR segment categories and subcategories that include coffee, donuts, muffins, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches. For the twelve months ended January 5, 2020, there were sales of nearly 12 billion commercial foodservice servings of coffee in the U.S., 91% of which were attributable to the QSR segment, according to CREST® data. According to CREST®, total coffee servings at QSRs have grown at a 1.4% compound annual growth rate for the five-year period ending January 5, 2020. Over the years, our Dunkin’ brand has evolved into a predominantly coffee-based concept, with approximately 58% of Dunkin’ U.S. systemwide sales for fiscal year 2019 generated from coffee and other beverages. We believe QSRs, including Dunkin’, are positioned to capture additional coffee market share through an increased focus on coffee offerings. In addition, in the U.S., our Dunkin’ brand has historically focused on the breakfast daypart, which we define to include the portion of each day from 5:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
Our Baskin-Robbins brand competes primarily in QSR segment categories and subcategories that include hard-serve ice cream as well as those that include soft serve ice cream, frozen yogurt, shakes, malts, floats, and cakes. While both of our brands compete internationally, approximately 69% of Baskin-Robbins restaurants are located outside of the U.S. and represent the majority of our total international sales and points of distribution.
Competition
We compete primarily in the QSR segment of the restaurant industry and face significant competition from a wide variety of restaurants, convenience stores, and other outlets that provide consumers with coffee, baked goods, sandwiches, and ice cream on an international, national, regional, and local level. We believe that we compete based on, among other things, product quality, restaurant concept, service, convenience, value perception, and price. Our competition continues to intensify as competitors increase the breadth and depth of their product offerings, particularly during the breakfast daypart, and open new units. Although new competitors may emerge at any time due to the low barriers to entry, our competitors include: 7-Eleven, Burger King, Cold Stone Creamery, Cumberland Farms, Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Panera Bread, Quick Trip, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell, Tim Hortons, WaWa, and Wendy’s, among others. Additionally, we compete with QSRs, specialty restaurants, and other retail concepts for prime restaurant locations and qualified franchisees.
Licensing
We derive licensing revenue from agreements with Dean Foods for domestic ice cream sales, with The J.M. Smucker Co. (“Smuckers”) for the sale of packaged coffee in certain retail outlets (primarily grocery retail), with Keurig Dr Pepper, Inc. (“KDP”) and Smuckers for sale of Dunkin’ K-Cup® pods in certain retail outlets (primarily grocery retail), and with The Coca-Cola Company for the sale of Dunkin’ branded ready-to-drink bottled iced coffee in certain retail outlets (primarily gas and convenience retail), as well as from other licensees. For the 52 weeks ending December 29, 2019, the Dunkin’ branded 12 oz. original blend coffee, which is distributed by Smuckers, was the #1 stock-keeping unit nationally in the premium coffee category. For the 52 weeks ending December 29, 2019, sales of our 12 oz. original blend, as expressed in total equivalent units and dollar sales, were double that of the next closest competitor. Additionally, for the 52 weeks ending December 29, 2019, the 10-count carton of our original blend K-Cup® pods, also distributed by Smuckers, was the #1 stock-keeping unit nationally in the K-Cup® pod category as expressed in total dollar sales. Retail sales of products sold in certain retail channels for the 52 weeks ending December 29, 2019 were approximately $939.3 million, a 4.1% increase over the prior year. During calendar year 2019, more than 3.2 billion cups of Dunkin’ coffee were sold through licensing arrangements.
Marketing
We coordinate domestic advertising and marketing at the national and local levels through our administration of brand specific advertising funds. The goals of our marketing strategy include driving comparable store sales and brand differentiation, increasing our total coffee and beverage sales, protecting and growing our morning daypart sales, and growing our afternoon


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daypart sales. Generally, our domestic franchisees contribute 5% of weekly gross retail sales to fund brand specific advertising funds. The funds are used for various national and local advertising campaigns including print, radio, television, online, mobile, billboards, and sponsorships. Over the past ten years, our U.S. franchisees have invested approximately $2.9 billion on advertising to increase brand awareness and restaurant performance across both brands. Additionally, we have various pricing strategies, so that our products appeal to a broad range of customers.
Digital and loyalty
In August 2012, we launched the Dunkin’ mobile application for payment and gifting, which built the foundation for one-to-one marketing with our customers. In January 2014, we launched a new DD Perks® Rewards loyalty program nationally, which is fully integrated with the Dunkin’ mobile application and allows us to engage our customers in these one-to-one marketing interactions. In June 2016, we continued to leverage digital technologies to drive customer loyalty and enhance the restaurant experience through the launch of On-the-Go mobile ordering for our DD Perks® members, which enables users to order ahead and speed to the front of the line in restaurants. In April 2018, we signed a multi-year agreement with a mobile wallet provider to secure a perpetual license to the software used to build and operate the mobile ordering and payment platform for Dunkin’, providing us greater control over the technology that enables our mobile payments and On-the-Go mobile ordering through the Dunkin’ mobile application. As of December 28, 2019 our DD Perks® Rewards loyalty program had approximately 13.6 million members.
The supply chain
Domestic
We do not typically supply products to our domestic franchisees. As a result, with the exception of licensing fees paid by Dean Foods on domestic ice cream sales, we do not typically derive revenues from product distribution. Our franchisees’ suppliers include Dean Foods, Rich Products Corp., The Coca-Cola Company, and KDP. In addition, our franchisees’ primary coffee roasters currently are Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA, Inc., Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee Inc., S&D Coffee, Inc., and Reily Foods Company, Inc., and their primary donut mix suppliers currently are Continental Mills and Pennant Ingredients Inc. We periodically review our relationships with licensees and approved suppliers and evaluate whether those relationships continue to be on competitive or advantageous terms for us and our franchisees.
Purchasing
Purchasing for the Dunkin’ brand is facilitated by National DCP, LLC (the “NDCP”), which is a Delaware limited liability company operated as a cooperative owned by its franchisee members. The NDCP is managed by a staff of supply chain professionals who report directly to the NDCP’s board of directors. The NDCP has approximately 1,700 employees including executive leadership, sourcing professionals, warehouse staff, and drivers. The NDCP board of directors has eight voting franchisee members, one NDCP non-voting member, and one independent non-voting member. In addition, our Vice President of Supply Chain is a voting member of the NDCP board. The NDCP engages in purchasing, warehousing, and distribution of food and supplies on behalf of participating restaurants and some international markets. The NDCP program provides franchisee members nationwide the benefits of scale while fostering consistent product quality across the Dunkin’ brand. We do not control the NDCP and have only limited contractual rights associated with managing that franchisee-owned purchasing and distribution cooperative.
Manufacturing of Dunkin bakery goods
Centralized production is another element of our supply chain that is designed to support growth for the Dunkin’ brand. Centralized manufacturing locations (“CMLs”) are franchisee-owned and -operated facilities for the centralized production of donuts and bakery goods. The CMLs deliver freshly baked products to Dunkin’ restaurants on a daily basis and are designed to provide consistent quality products while simplifying restaurant-level operations. As of December 28, 2019, there were 73 CMLs (of varying size and capacity) in the U.S. CMLs are an important part of franchise economics, and are supportive of profit building initiatives as well as protecting brand quality standards and consistency.
Certain of our Dunkin’ brand restaurants produce donuts and bakery goods on-site rather than sourcing from CMLs. Many of such restaurants, known as full producers, also supply other local Dunkin’ restaurants that do not have access to CMLs. In addition, in newer markets, Dunkin’ restaurants source donuts and bakery goods that are finished in restaurants. We believe that this “just baked on demand” donut manufacturing platform enables the Dunkin’ brand to more efficiently expand its restaurant base in newer markets where franchisees may not have access to a CML.


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Baskin-Robbins ice cream
We outsource the manufacturing and distribution of ice cream products for the domestic Baskin-Robbins brand franchisees to Dean Foods, which strengthens our relationships with franchisees and allows us to focus on our core franchising operations.
International
Dunkin
International Dunkin’ franchisees are responsible for sourcing their own supplies, subject to compliance with our standards. Most also produce their own donuts following the Dunkin’ brand’s approved processes. Franchisees in some markets source donuts produced by a brand approved third party supplier. Franchisees are permitted to source coffee from a number of coffee roasters approved by the brand, as well as certain approved regional and local roasters. In certain countries, our international franchisees source virtually everything locally within their market while in others our international franchisees source most of their supplies from the NDCP. Where supplies are sourced locally, we help identify and approve those suppliers. In addition, we assist our international franchisees in identifying regional and global suppliers with the goal of leveraging the purchasing volume for pricing and product continuity advantages.
Baskin-Robbins
The Baskin-Robbins manufacturing network is comprised of ten facilities, none of which are owned or operated by us, that supply our international markets with ice cream products. Dean Foods produces ice cream products which we purchase and distribute to many of our international markets. Certain international franchisees rely on third-party-owned facilities to supply ice cream products to them, including facilities in Ireland and Canada. The Baskin-Robbins brand restaurants in India and Russia are supported by master franchisee-owned facilities in those respective countries while the restaurants in Japan and South Korea are supported by the joint venture-owned facilities located within each country.
Research and development
New product innovation is a critical component of our success. We believe the development of successful new products for each brand attracts new customers, increases comparable store sales, and allows franchisees to expand into other dayparts. New product research and development is located in a state-of-the-art facility at our headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts. The facility includes a sensory lab, a quality assurance lab, and a demonstration test kitchen. We rely on our internal culinary team, which uses consumer research, to develop and test new products.
Operational support
Substantially all of our executive management, finance, marketing, legal, technology, human resources, and operations support functions are conducted from our global headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts. In the United States, our franchise operations for both brands are organized into regions, each of which is headed by a regional vice president and directors of operations supported by field personnel who interact directly with the franchisees. Our international businesses are organized by region and have dedicated marketing and restaurant operations support teams that work with our master licensees and joint venture partners to improve restaurant operations and restaurant-level economics. Management of a franchise restaurant is the responsibility of the franchisee, who is trained in our techniques and is responsible for ensuring that the day-to-day operations of the restaurant are in compliance with our operating standards. We have implemented a computer-based disaster recovery program to address the possibility that a natural (or other form of) disaster may impact the information technology systems located at our Canton, Massachusetts headquarters.
Regulatory matters
Domestic
We and our franchisees are subject to various federal, state, and local laws affecting the operation of our respective businesses, including various health, sanitation, fire, and safety standards. In some jurisdictions our restaurants are required by law to display nutritional information about our products. Each restaurant is subject to licensing and regulation by a number of governmental authorities, which include zoning, health, safety, sanitation, building, and fire agencies in the jurisdiction in which the restaurant is located. Franchisee-owned NDCP and CMLs are licensed and subject to similar regulations by federal, state, and local governments.
We and our franchisees are also subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act and various other laws governing such matters as minimum wage requirements, overtime and other working conditions, and citizenship requirements. A significant number of food-service personnel employed by franchisees are paid at rates related to the federal minimum wage.


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Our franchising activities are subject to the rules and regulations of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and various state laws regulating the offer and sale of franchises. The FTC’s franchise rule and various state laws require that we furnish a franchise disclosure document (“FDD”) containing certain information to prospective franchisees and a number of states require registration of the FDD with state authorities. We are operating under exemptions from registration in several states based on our experience and aggregate net worth. Substantive state laws that regulate the franchisor-franchisee relationship exist in a substantial number of states, and bills have been introduced in Congress from time to time that would provide for federal regulation of the franchisor-franchisee relationship. The state laws often limit, among other things, the duration and scope of non-competition provisions, the ability of a franchisor to terminate or refuse to renew a franchise and the ability of a franchisor to designate sources of supply. We believe that the FDD for each of our Dunkin’ brand and our Baskin-Robbins brand, together with any applicable state versions or supplements, and franchising procedures, comply in all material respects with both the FTC franchise rule and all applicable state laws regulating franchising in those states in which we have offered franchises.
International
Internationally, we and our franchisees are subject to national and local laws and regulations that often are similar to those affecting us and our franchisees in the U.S., including laws and regulations concerning franchises, labor, health, sanitation, and safety. International Baskin-Robbins brand and Dunkin’ brand restaurants are also often subject to tariffs and regulations on imported commodities and equipment, and laws regulating foreign investment. We believe that the international disclosure statements, franchise offering documents, and franchising procedures for our Baskin-Robbins brand and Dunkin’ brand comply in all material respects with the laws of the applicable countries.
Environmental
Our operations, including the selection and development of the properties we lease and sublease to our franchisees and any construction or improvements we make at those locations, are subject to a variety of federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including environmental, zoning, and land use requirements. Our properties are sometimes located in developed commercial or industrial areas and might previously have been occupied by more environmentally significant operations, such as gasoline stations and dry cleaners. Environmental laws sometimes require owners or operators of contaminated property to remediate that property, regardless of fault. While we have been required to, and are continuing to, clean up contamination at a limited number of our locations, we have no known material environmental liabilities.
Employees
As of December 28, 2019, we employed 1,114 people, 1,074 of whom were based in the U.S. and 40 of whom were based in other countries. Of our domestic employees, 410 worked in the field and 664 worked at our corporate headquarters. Of the total employees, 246, who are almost exclusively in marketing positions, were paid by certain of our advertising funds. None of our employees are represented by a labor union, and we believe our relationships with our employees are healthy.
Our franchisees are independent business owners, so they and their employees are not included in our employee count.
Intellectual property
We own many registered trademarks and service marks (“Marks”) in the U.S. and in other countries throughout the world. We believe that our Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins names and logos, in particular, have significant value and are important to our business. Our policy is to pursue registration of our Marks in the U.S. and selected international jurisdictions, monitor our Marks portfolio both internally and externally through external search agents and vigorously oppose the infringement of any of our Marks. We license the use of our registered Marks to franchisees and third parties through franchise arrangements and licenses. The franchise and license arrangements restrict franchisees’ and licensees’ activities with respect to the use of our Marks, and impose quality control standards in connection with goods and services offered in connection with the Marks and an affirmative obligation on the franchisees to notify us upon learning of potential infringement. In addition, we maintain a limited patent portfolio in the U.S. for bakery and serving-related methods, designs, and articles of manufacture. We generally rely on common law protection for our copyrighted works. Neither the patents nor the copyrighted works are material to the operation of our business. We also license some intellectual property from third parties for use in certain of our products. Such licenses are not individually, or in the aggregate, material to our business.
Seasonality
Our revenues are subject to fluctuations based on seasonality, primarily with respect to Baskin-Robbins. The ice cream industry generally experiences an increase during the spring and summer months, whereas Dunkin’ hot beverage sales generally increase during the fall and winter months and iced beverage sales generally increase during the spring and summer months.


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Additional Information
The Company makes available, free of charge, through its internet website www.dunkinbrands.com, its annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, as soon as reasonably practicable after electronically filing such material with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Materials filed with the SEC are available at www.sec.gov. The reference to these website addresses does not constitute incorporation by reference of the information contained on the websites and should not be considered part of this document.
Item 1A.
Risk Factors.
Risks related to our business and industry
Our financial results are affected by the operating results of our franchisees.
We receive a substantial majority of our revenues in the form of royalties, which are generally based on a percentage of gross sales at franchised restaurants, rent, and other fees from franchisees. Accordingly, our financial results are to a large extent dependent upon the operational and financial success of our franchisees. If sales trends or economic conditions worsen for franchisees, their financial results may deteriorate and our royalty, advertising, rent, and other revenues may decline and our accounts receivable and related allowance for doubtful accounts may increase. In addition, if our franchisees fail to renew their franchise agreements, our royalty revenues may decrease which in turn may materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
If we fail to successfully implement our growth strategy, which includes franchisees' opening of new domestic and international restaurants, our ability to increase our revenues and operating profits could be adversely affected.
Our growth strategy relies in part upon new restaurant development by existing and new franchisees, including restaurants in the NextGen design in Dunkin’ U.S. We and our franchisees face many challenges in opening new restaurants, including:
availability of financing;
selection and availability of suitable restaurant locations;
competition for restaurant sites;
availability and cost of labor for new restaurants;
negotiation of acceptable lease and financing terms;
securing required domestic or foreign governmental permits and approvals;
consumer tastes in new geographic regions and acceptance of our products;
employment and training of qualified personnel;
impact of inclement weather, natural disasters, and other acts of nature; and
general economic and business conditions.
In particular, because the majority of our new restaurant development is funded by franchisee investment, our growth strategy is dependent on our franchisees’ (or prospective franchisees’) ability to access funds to finance such development. We generally do not provide our franchisees with direct financing and therefore their ability to access borrowed funds generally depends on their independent relationships with various financial institutions. If our franchisees (or prospective franchisees) are not able to obtain financing at commercially reasonable rates, or at all, they may be unwilling or unable to invest in the development of new restaurants, and our future growth could be adversely affected.
If our franchisees are unable to open new restaurants as we anticipate, our revenue growth, if any, would come primarily from growth in comparable store sales. Our failure to add a significant number of new restaurants or grow comparable store sales would adversely affect our ability to increase our revenues and operating income and could materially and adversely harm our business and operating results. 
Our franchisees could take actions that could harm our business.
Our franchisees are contractually obligated to operate their restaurants in accordance with the operations, safety, and health standards set forth in our agreements with them. However, franchisees are independent third parties whom we do not control. The franchisees own, operate, and oversee the daily operations of their restaurants and have sole control over all employee and


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other workforce conduct and decisions. As a result, the ultimate success and quality of any franchised restaurant rests with the franchisee. If franchisees do not successfully operate restaurants in a manner consistent with required standards, franchise fees paid to us and royalty and advertising fee income will be adversely affected and brand image and reputation could be harmed, which in turn could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
Although we believe we generally enjoy a positive working relationship with the vast majority of our franchisees, active or potential disputes with franchisees could damage our brand reputation or our relationships with our broader franchisee group.
Our success depends substantially on the value of our brands.
Our success is dependent in large part upon our ability to maintain and enhance the value of our brands, our customers’ connection to our brands, and a positive relationship with our franchisees. Brand value can be severely damaged even by isolated incidents, particularly if the incidents receive considerable negative publicity or result in litigation. Some of these incidents may relate to the personal conduct of individuals associated with us, the way we manage our relationship with our franchisees, our growth or rebranding strategies, our development efforts in domestic and foreign markets, or the ordinary course of our, or our franchisees’, business. Other incidents may arise from events that are or may be beyond our ability to control and may damage our brands, such as actions taken (or not taken) by one or more franchisees or their employees relating to customer service, health, safety, welfare, or otherwise; litigation and claims; security breaches or other fraudulent activities associated with our electronic payment systems; and illegal activity targeted at us or others. Additionally, the ongoing relevance of our brands may depend on the success of our sustainability initiatives, which require coordination and alignment with our franchisees. If we are not effective in addressing social and environmental responsibility matters or achieving relevant sustainability goals, consumer trust in our brands may suffer. Consumer demand for our products and our brands’ value could diminish significantly if any such incidents or other matters erode consumer confidence in us or our products, which would likely result in lower sales and, ultimately, lower royalty income, which in turn could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
Incidents involving food-borne illnesses, food tampering, or food contamination involving our brands or our supply chain could create negative publicity and significantly harm our operating results.
While we and our franchisees dedicate substantial resources to food safety matters to enable customers to enjoy safe, quality food products, widespread food safety events, including instances of food-borne illness (such as salmonella or E. Coli), have occurred in the food industry in the past, and could occur in the future.
Instances or reports, whether true or not, of widespread food-safety issues, such as food-borne illnesses, food tampering, food contamination or mislabeling, either during the growing, manufacturing, packaging, storing, or preparation of products, have in the past severely injured the reputations of companies in the quick-service restaurant sectors and could affect us as well. Any report linking us, our franchisees, or our suppliers to food-borne illnesses or food tampering, contamination, mislabeling, or other food-safety issues could damage the value of our brands immediately and severely hurt sales of our products and possibly lead to product liability claims, litigation (including class actions), or other damages.
In addition, food safety incidents, whether or not involving our brands, could result in negative publicity for the industry or market segments in which we operate. Increased use of social media could create or amplify the effects of negative publicity. This negative publicity may reduce demand for our products and could result in a decrease in guest traffic to our restaurants as consumers shift their preferences to our competitors or to other products or food types. A decrease in traffic as a result of these health concerns or negative publicity could materially and adversely affect our brands, our business, and our operating results.
The quick service restaurant segment is highly competitive, and competition could lower our revenues.
The QSR segment of the restaurant industry is intensely competitive. The beverage and food products sold by our franchisees compete directly against products sold at other QSRs, local and regional beverage and food operations, specialty beverage and food retailers, supermarkets, and wholesale suppliers, many bearing recognized brand names and having significant customer loyalty. In addition to the prevailing baseline level of competition, major market players in noncompeting industries may choose to enter the restaurant industry. Key competitive factors include the number and location of restaurants, product development and menu innovation, quality and speed of service, attractiveness of facilities, effectiveness of advertising, marketing, and operational programs, price, demographic patterns and trends, consumer preferences and spending patterns, menu diversification, health or dietary preferences and perceptions. Some of our competitors have substantially greater financial and other resources than us, which may provide them with a competitive advantage. In addition, we compete within the restaurant industry and the QSR segment not only for customers but also for qualified franchisees. We cannot guarantee the retention of any, including our top-performing, franchisees in the future, or that we will maintain the ability to attract, retain, and motivate sufficient numbers of franchisees of the same caliber, which could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results. If we are unable to maintain our competitive position, we could experience lower demand for products,


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downward pressure on prices, the loss of market share, and the inability to attract, or loss of, qualified franchisees, which could result in lower franchise fees and royalty income, and materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
If we or our franchisees or licensees are unable to protect our customers payment card data and other regulated, protected or personally identifiable information, we or our franchisees could be exposed to data loss, litigation, and liability, and our reputation could be significantly harmed.
Cybersecurity and data protection are increasingly demanding, and the use of electronic payment methods and collection of other personal information exposes us and our franchisees to increased risk of privacy or security breaches as well as other risks. In connection with payment card transactions in-store and online, we and our franchisees collect and transmit confidential payment card information by way of retail networks. Additionally, we collect and store personal information from individuals, including our customers, franchisees, and employees, and collect and maintain confidential communications and information important to our business. We rely on commercially available systems, software, tools, and monitoring to provide security for processing, transmitting, and storing such information. The failure of these systems to operate effectively, problems with transitioning to upgraded or replacement systems, or a breach in security of these systems, including through hacking or cyber terrorism, could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
Further, the standards for systems currently used for transmission and approval of electronic payment transactions, and the technology utilized in electronic payment themselves, all of which can put electronic payment data at risk, are determined and controlled by the payment card industry, not by us. In addition, our employees, franchisees, contractors, or third parties with whom we do business or to whom we outsource business operations may attempt to circumvent our security measures in order to misappropriate regulated, protected, or personally identifiable information, and may purposefully or inadvertently cause a breach involving or compromise of such information. Third parties may have the technology or know-how to breach the security of the information collected, stored, or transmitted by us or our franchisees, and our respective security measures, as well as those of our technology vendors, may not effectively prohibit others from obtaining improper access to this information. Advances in computer and software capabilities and encryption technology, new tools, and other developments may increase the risk of such a breach or compromise.
If a person is able to circumvent our data security measures or that of third parties with whom we do business, including our franchisees, he or she could destroy, corrupt, or steal valuable information or disrupt our operations. We have experienced minor security incidents in the past in the form of credential stuffing attacks in which third parties used breached credentials obtained from unrelated online accounts to attempt to log in to accounts of DD Perks members. The impacts of these attacks have been mitigated and, when appropriate, affected customer passwords have been reset. In September 2019, the New York Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against us stemming from certain of these credential stuffing incidents that occurred in 2015 and 2018, claiming, among other things, a failure to properly notify our customers. At the time of each incident, we immediately conducted a thorough investigation and took appropriate actions based on the findings of each respective investigation. We are vigorously defending this lawsuit. Nevertheless, any security breach exposes us to risks of data loss, litigation, liability, and could seriously disrupt our operations. Any resulting negative publicity could significantly harm our reputation and could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
Sub-franchisees could take actions that could harm our business and that of our master franchisees.
In certain of our international markets, we enter into agreements with master franchisees that permit the master franchisee to develop and operate restaurants in defined geographic areas. As permitted by our master franchisee agreements, certain master franchisees elect to sub-franchise rights to develop and operate restaurants in the geographic area covered by the master franchisee agreement. Our master franchisee agreements contractually obligate our master franchisees to operate their restaurants in accordance with specified operations, safety, and health standards and also require that any sub-franchise agreement contain similar requirements. However, we are not party to the agreements with the sub-franchisees and, as a result, are dependent upon our master franchisees to enforce these standards with respect to sub-franchised restaurants. As a result, the ultimate success and quality of any sub-franchised restaurant rests with the master franchisee and the sub-franchisees. If sub-franchisees do not successfully operate their restaurants in a manner consistent with required standards, franchise fees and royalty income paid to the applicable master franchisee and, ultimately, to us could be adversely affected and our brand image and reputation may be harmed, which could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
We cannot predict the impact that the following may have on our business: (i) new or improved technologies, (ii) alternative methods of delivery, or (iii) changes in consumer behavior facilitated by these technologies and alternative methods of delivery.
Advances in technologies or alternative methods of delivery, including advances in vending machine technology, direct home delivery of on-line orders and home coffee makers, or certain changes in consumer behavior driven by these or other technologies and methods of delivery could have a negative effect on our business. Moreover, technology and consumer


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offerings continue to develop, and we expect that new or enhanced technologies and consumer offerings will be available in the future. We may pursue certain of those technologies and consumer offerings if we believe they offer a sustainable customer proposition and can be successfully integrated into our business model. However, we cannot predict consumer acceptance of these delivery channels or their impact on our business. In addition, our competitors, some of whom have greater resources than us, may be able to benefit from changes in technologies or consumer acceptance of alternative methods of delivery, which could harm our competitive position. There can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully respond to changing consumer preferences, including with respect to new technologies and alternative methods of delivery, or to effectively adjust our product mix, service offerings, and marketing and merchandising initiatives for products and services that address, and anticipate advances in, technology and market trends. If we are not able to successfully respond to these challenges, our business, market share, financial condition, and operating results could be harmed.
Economic conditions adversely affecting consumer discretionary spending may negatively impact our business and operating results.
We believe that our franchisees’ sales, customer traffic, and profitability are strongly correlated to consumer discretionary spending, which is influenced by general economic conditions, unemployment levels, and the availability of discretionary income. Our franchisees’ sales are dependent upon discretionary spending by consumers; any reduction in sales at franchised restaurants will result in lower royalty payments from franchisees to us and adversely impact our profitability. In an economic downturn, our business and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. In addition, the pace of new restaurant openings may be slowed, and restaurants may be forced to close, reducing the restaurant base from which we derive royalty income. 
Our substantial indebtedness could adversely affect our financial condition.
We have a significant amount of indebtedness. As of December 28, 2019, we had total indebtedness of approximately $3.1 billion under our securitized debt facility, excluding $33.1 million of undrawn letters of credit and $116.9 million of unused commitments.
Subject to the limits contained in the agreements governing our securitized debt facility, we may be able to incur substantial additional debt from time to time to finance capital expenditures, investments, acquisitions, or for other purposes. If we do incur substantial additional debt, the risks related to our high level of debt could intensify. Specifically, our high level of indebtedness could have important consequences, including:
limiting our ability to obtain additional financing to fund capital expenditures, investments, acquisitions, or other general corporate requirements;
requiring a substantial portion of our cash flow to be dedicated to service our indebtedness instead of other purposes, thereby reducing the amount of cash flow available for capital expenditures, investments, acquisitions, and other general corporate purposes;
increasing our vulnerability to and the potential impact of adverse changes in general economic, industry, and competitive conditions;
limiting our flexibility in planning for and reacting to changes in the industry in which we compete;
placing us at a disadvantage compared to other, less leveraged competitors or competitors with comparable debt at more favorable interest rates; and
increasing our costs of borrowing. 
In addition, the financial and other covenants we agreed to with our lenders may limit our ability to incur additional indebtedness, make investments, and engage in other transactions, and the leverage may cause other potential lenders to be less willing to loan funds to us in the future.
We may be unable to generate sufficient cash flow to satisfy our significant debt service obligations, which would adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Our ability to make principal and interest payments on and to refinance our indebtedness will depend on our ability to generate cash in the future, which is subject to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory, and other factors that are beyond our control. If our business does not generate sufficient cash flow from operations, or if future borrowings are not available to us under our variable funding notes in amounts sufficient to fund our other liquidity needs, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected. If we cannot generate sufficient cash flow from operations to make scheduled principal amortization and interest payments on our debt obligations in the future, we may need to refinance all or a


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portion of our indebtedness on or before maturity, sell assets, delay capital expenditures, or seek additional equity investments. If we are unable to refinance any of our indebtedness on commercially reasonable terms or at all or to effect any other action relating to our indebtedness on satisfactory terms or at all, our business may be harmed.
The terms of our securitized debt financing of certain of our wholly-owned subsidiaries have restrictive terms and our failure to comply with any of these terms could put us in default, which would have an adverse effect on our business and prospects.
Unless and until we repay all outstanding borrowings under our securitized debt facility, we will remain subject to the restrictive terms of these borrowings. The securitized debt facility, under which certain of our wholly-owned subsidiaries issued and guaranteed fixed rate notes and variable funding notes, contain a number of covenants, with the most significant financial covenant being a debt service coverage calculation. These covenants limit the ability of certain of our subsidiaries to, among other things:
sell assets;
alter the business we conduct;
engage in mergers, acquisitions, and other business combinations;
declare dividends or redeem or repurchase capital stock;
incur, assume, or permit to exist additional indebtedness or guarantees;
make loans and investments;
incur liens; and
enter into transactions with affiliates.
The securitized debt facility also requires us to maintain specified financial ratios. Our ability to meet these financial ratios can be affected by events beyond our control, and we may not satisfy such a test. A breach of these covenants could result in a rapid amortization event or default under the securitized debt facility. If amounts owed under the securitized debt facility are accelerated because of a default and we are unable to pay such amounts, the investors may have the right to assume control of substantially all of the securitized assets.
If we are unable to refinance or repay amounts under the securitized debt facility prior to the expiration of the applicable term, our cash flow would be directed to the repayment of the securitized debt and, other than management fees sufficient to cover minimal selling, general and administrative expenses, would not be available for operating our business.
No assurance can be given that any refinancing or additional financing will be possible when needed or that we will be able to negotiate acceptable terms. In addition, our access to capital is affected by prevailing conditions in the financial and capital markets and other factors beyond our control. There can be no assurance that market conditions will be favorable at the times that we require new or additional financing.
The indenture governing the securitized debt restricts the cash flow from the entities subject to the securitization to any of our other entities and upon the occurrence of certain events, cash flow would be further restricted.
In the event that a rapid amortization event occurs under the indenture governing the securitized debt (including, without limitation, upon an event of default under the indenture or the failure to repay the securitized debt at the end of the applicable term), the funds available to us would be reduced or eliminated, which would in turn reduce our ability to operate or grow our business.
Infringement, misappropriation, or dilution of our intellectual property could harm our business.
We regard our Dunkin’®, Dunkin’ Donuts®, and Baskin-Robbins® trademarks as having significant value and as being important factors in the marketing of our brands. We have also obtained trademark protection for the trademarks associated with several of our product offerings and advertising slogans, including “America Runs on Dunkin’®”. We believe that these and other intellectual property, including certain patents and trade secrets, are valuable assets that are critical to our success and that enable us to continue to capitalize on our name recognition, increase brand awareness, and further develop our products. We rely on a combination of protections provided by contracts, as well as copyright, patent, trademark, and other laws, such as trade secret and unfair competition laws, to protect our intellectual property from infringement, misappropriation, or dilution. We have registered certain trademarks and service marks and have other trademark and service mark registration applications pending in the United States and foreign jurisdictions. However, not all of the trademarks or service marks that we currently use have been registered in all of the countries in which we do business, and they may never be registered in all of those


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countries.
Although we monitor our intellectual property, especially our trademark portfolio, both internally and through external search agents and impose an obligation on franchisees to notify us upon learning of potential infringement of our intellectual property, there can be no assurance that we will be able to adequately maintain, enforce, and protect our trademarks or other intellectual property rights. We are aware of names and marks similar to our service marks being used by other persons. These or other unauthorized uses or other infringement of our trademarks or service marks could diminish the value of our brands, create consumer confusion, cause reputational harm, and may adversely affect our business. The same is true with regards to our intellectual property. Namely, that unauthorized uses of such intellectual property, including patents, trade secrets or proprietary software, or other infringement thereof, by third parties may adversely affect our business. Effective intellectual property protection may not be available in every country in which we have or intend to franchise a restaurant or license our intellectual property. Failure to adequately protect our intellectual property rights could damage our brands and impair our ability to compete effectively. Even where we have effectively secured statutory protection for our trade secrets and other intellectual property, our competitors may misappropriate our intellectual property and our employees, consultants, and suppliers may breach their contractual obligations not to reveal our confidential information, including trade secrets. Although we have taken measures to protect our intellectual property, there can be no assurance that these protections will be adequate or that third parties will not independently develop products or concepts that are substantially similar to ours. Despite our efforts, it may be possible for third parties to reverse engineer, otherwise obtain, copy, and use software or information that we regard as proprietary. Furthermore, defending or enforcing our trademark rights, branding practices, and other intellectual property, and seeking an injunction or compensation for misappropriation of trade secrets or confidential information, could result in the expenditure of significant resources and divert the attention of management, which in turn may materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
Our brands may be limited or diluted through franchisee and third-party activity.
Although we monitor and restrict franchisee activities through our franchise and license agreements, franchisees or third parties may refer to or make statements about our brands that do not make proper use of our trademarks or required designations, that improperly alter trademarks or branding, or that are critical of our brands or place our brands in a context that may tarnish their reputation. This may result in dilution or tarnishment of our intellectual property. It is not possible for us to obtain registrations for all possible variations of our branding in all territories where we operate. Franchisees, licensees, or third parties may seek to register or obtain registration for domain names and trademarks involving localizations, variations, and versions of certain branding tools, and these activities may limit our ability to obtain or use such rights in such territories. Franchisee noncompliance with the terms and conditions of our franchise or license agreements may reduce the overall goodwill of our brands, whether through the failure to meet health and safety standards, engage in quality control or maintain product consistency, or through the participation in improper or objectionable business practices.
Moreover, unauthorized third parties may conduct business using our intellectual property to take advantage of the goodwill of our brands, resulting in consumer confusion or dilution. Any reduction of our brands’ goodwill, consumer confusion, or dilution is likely to impact sales, and could materially and adversely impact our business and operating results.
We are and may become subject to third-party infringement claims or challenges to the validity of our intellectual property.
We are and may, in the future, become the subject of claims for infringement, misappropriation, or other violation of intellectual property rights, which may or may not be unfounded, from owners of intellectual property in areas where our franchisees operate or where we intend to conduct operations, including in foreign jurisdictions. Such claims, whether or not they have any merit, could be time-consuming, cause delays in introducing new menu items, harm our image, our brands, our competitive position, or our ability to expand our operations into other jurisdictions and cause us to incur significant costs related to defense or settlement. If such claims were decided against us, or a third party indemnified by us pursuant to license terms, we could be required to pay damages, develop or adopt non-infringing products or services, or acquire a license to the intellectual property that is the subject of the asserted claim, which license may not be available on acceptable terms or at all. The attendant expenses could require the expenditure of additional capital, and there would be expenses associated with the defense of any infringement, misappropriation, or other third-party claims, and there could be attendant negative publicity, even if ultimately decided in our favor. In addition, third parties may assert that our intellectual property rights are invalid or unenforceable. If our use of intellectual property were found to infringe third-party rights or if portions of our intellectual property were deemed invalid or unenforceable, such loss of rights could permit competing uses of our intellectual property, which could cause a decline in our results of operations and financial condition.
Growth into new territories or new product lines may be hindered or blocked by pre-existing third-party rights.
We act to obtain and protect our intellectual property rights we need to operate successfully with regards to our products and in those territories where we operate. Certain intellectual property rights including rights in trademarks are national in character


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and limited to the goods and services described in the registrations. This means that they are obtained on a country-by-country, product-by-product basis by the first person to obtain protection through use or registration in that country in connection with specified products and services. As our business grows, we continuously evaluate the potential for expansion into new territories and new products and services. There is a risk with each expansion that growth will be limited or unavailable due to blocking pre-existing third-party intellectual property rights.
The restaurant industry is affected by consumer preferences and perceptions. Changes in these preferences and perceptions may lessen the demand for our products, which could reduce sales by our franchisees and reduce our royalty revenues.
The restaurant industry is affected by changes in consumer tastes, national, regional, and local economic conditions, and demographic trends. For instance, if prevailing health or dietary preferences cause consumers to avoid donuts and other products we offer in favor of foods that are perceived as healthier, our franchisees’ sales would suffer, resulting in lower royalty payments to us, and our business and operating results would be harmed.
Increases in commodity prices may negatively affect payments from our franchisees and licensees.
Coffee and other commodity prices are subject to substantial price fluctuations, stemming from variations in weather patterns, shifting political or economic conditions in coffee-producing countries, potential taxes or fees on certain imported goods, and delays in the supply chain. If commodity prices rise, franchisees may experience reduced sales, due to decreased consumer demand at retail prices that have been raised to offset increased commodity prices, which may reduce franchisee profitability. Any such decline in franchisee sales will reduce our royalty income, which in turn may materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
Our joint ventures in Japan and South Korea, as well as our licensees in Russia and India, manufacture ice cream products independently. The joint ventures in Japan and South Korea each own manufacturing facilities in their countries of operation. The revenues derived from these joint ventures differ fundamentally from those of other types of franchise arrangements in the system because the income that we receive from the joint ventures in Japan and South Korea is based in part on the profitability, rather than the gross sales, of the restaurants operated by these joint ventures. Accordingly, in the event that the joint ventures in Japan or South Korea experience staple ingredient price increases that adversely affect the profitability of the restaurants operated by these joint ventures, that decrease in profitability would reduce distributions by these joint ventures to us, which in turn could materially and adversely impact our business and operating results.
Shortages of coffee or milk could adversely affect our revenues.
If coffee or milk consumption continues to increase worldwide or there is a disruption in the supply of coffee or milk due to natural disasters, political unrest, or other calamities, the global supply of these commodities may fail to meet demand. If coffee or milk demand is not met, franchisees may experience reduced sales which, in turn, would reduce our royalty income. Additionally, if milk demand is not met, we may not be able to purchase and distribute ice cream products to our international franchisees, which would reduce our sales of ice cream and other products. Such reductions in our royalty income and sales of ice cream and other products may materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
We and our franchisees rely on information technology and computer systems to process transactions and manage our business, and a disruption or a failure of such systems or technology could harm our reputation and our ability to effectively manage our business.
Network and information technology systems are integral to our business. We utilize various computer systems, including our FAST System and our EFTPay System, which are customized, web-based systems that require the use of third-party software licensed to us. The FAST System is the system by which our U.S. and Canadian franchisees report their weekly sales and pay their corresponding royalty fees and required advertising fund contributions. When sales are reported by a U.S. or Canadian franchisee, a withdrawal for the authorized amount is initiated from the franchisee’s bank after 12 days (from the week ending or month ending date). The FAST System is critical to our ability to accurately track sales and compute royalties due from our U.S. and Canadian franchisees. The EFTPay System is used by our U.S. and Canadian franchisees to make payments against open, non-fee invoices (i.e., all invoices except royalty and advertising funds). When a franchisee selects an invoice and submits the payment, on the following day a withdrawal for the selected amount is initiated from the franchisee’s bank. Additionally, an increasing number of transactions in our restaurants are processed through our mobile application. Despite the implementation of security measures, our systems are subject to damage or interruption as a result of power outages, computer and network failures, computer viruses and other disruptive software, security breaches, terrorist attacks, catastrophic events, and improper usage by employees, contractors, or other third parties. Such events could result in a material disruption in operations, a need for a costly repair, upgrade, or replacement of systems, or a decrease in, or in the collection of, royalties paid to us by our franchisees. To the extent that any disruption or security breach were to result in a loss of, or damage to, our data


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or applications, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we could incur reputational harm and a liability which could materially affect our results of operations.
Interruptions in the supply of product to franchisees and licensees could adversely affect our revenues.
In order to maintain quality-control standards and consistency among restaurants, we require through our franchise agreements that our franchisees obtain food and other supplies from preferred suppliers approved in advance. In this regard, we and our franchisees depend on a group of suppliers for ingredients, foodstuffs, beverages, and disposable serving instruments including, but not limited to, Rich Products Corp., Dean Foods Co., The Coca-Cola Company, and Silver Pail Dairy, Ltd. as well as four primary coffee roasters and two primary donut mix suppliers. In 2019, we and our franchisees purchased products from nearly 340 approved domestic suppliers, with approximately 14 of such suppliers providing half, based on dollar volume, of all products purchased domestically. We look to approve multiple suppliers for most products, and require any single sourced supplier, such as The Coca-Cola Company, to have contingency plans in place. In addition, we believe that, if necessary, we could promptly obtain alternative sources of supply for each product that we currently source through a single supplier. To facilitate the efficiency of our franchisees’ supply chain, we have historically entered into several preferred-supplier arrangements for particular food or beverage items.
In November 2019, Dean Foods, the exclusive supplier of ice cream to Baskin-Robbins restaurants in the United States, and a supplier of ice cream products to certain international markets, filed a voluntary petition for reorganization pursuant to chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. Dean Foods has continued to operate as normal during the pendency of the reorganization proceedings and there has been no material impact to the Baskin-Robbins system. Further disruption at Dean Foods could cause an interruption in the supply of product to our franchisees and licensees, which could adversely affect our operations.
The Dunkin’ system is supported domestically by the franchisee-owned purchasing and distribution cooperative known as the National DCP, LLC (the “NDCP”). We have a long-term agreement with the NDCP to provide substantially all of the goods needed to operate a Dunkin’ restaurant in the United States. The NDCP also supplies some international markets. The NDCP aggregates the franchisee demand, sends requests for proposals to approved suppliers, and negotiates contracts for approved items. The NDCP also inventories the items in its seven regional distribution centers and ships products to franchisees at least one time per week. We do not control the NDCP and have only limited contractual rights under our agreement with the NDCP associated with supplier certification and quality assurance and protection of our intellectual property. While the NDCP maintains contingency plans with its approved suppliers and has a contingency plan for its own distribution function to restaurants, our franchisees bear risks associated with the timeliness, solvency, reputation, labor relations, freight costs, price of raw materials, and compliance with health and safety standards of each supplier (including those of our international joint ventures) including, but not limited to, risks associated with contamination to food and beverage products. We have little control over such suppliers. Disruptions in these relationships may reduce franchisee sales and, in turn, our royalty income.
Overall difficulty of suppliers (including those of certain international joint ventures) meeting franchisee product demand, interruptions in the supply chain, obstacles or delays in the process of renegotiating or renewing agreements with preferred suppliers, financial difficulties experienced by suppliers, or the deficiency, lack, or poor quality of alternative suppliers could adversely impact franchisee sales which, in turn, would reduce our royalty income and could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
We may not be able to recoup our expenditures on properties we sublease to franchisees.
In some locations, we may pay more rent and other amounts to third-party landlords under a prime lease than we receive from the franchisee who subleases such property. Typically, our franchisees’ rent is based in part on a percentage of gross sales at the restaurant, so a downturn in gross sales would negatively affect the level of the payments we receive. Additionally, pursuant to the terms of certain prime leases we have entered into with third-party landlords, we may be required to construct or improve a property, pay taxes, maintain insurance, and comply with building codes and other applicable laws. The subleases we enter into with franchisees related to such properties typically pass through such obligations, but if a franchisee fails to perform the obligations passed through to them, we will be required to perform those obligations, resulting in an increase in our leasing and operational costs and expenses.
If the international markets in which we compete are affected by changes in political, social, legal, economic, or other factors, our business and operating results may be materially and adversely affected.
As of December 28, 2019, we had 9,143 international restaurants located in 67 foreign countries. The international operations of our franchisees may subject us to additional risks, which differ in each country in which our franchisees operate, and such risks may negatively affect our business or result in a delay in or loss of royalty income to us.
The factors impacting the international markets in which restaurants are located may include:


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recessionary or expansive trends in international markets;
changes in foreign currency exchange rates and hyperinflation or deflation in the foreign countries in which we or our international joint ventures operate;
the imposition of restrictions on currency conversion or the transfer of funds;
availability of credit for our franchisees, licensees, and our international joint ventures to finance the development of new restaurants;
increases in the taxes paid and other changes in applicable tax laws;
legal and regulatory changes and the burdens and costs of local operators’ compliance with a variety of laws, including trade restrictions, tariffs, and data protection requirements;
interruption of the supply of product;
anti-American sentiment and the identification of the Dunkin’ brand and Baskin-Robbins brand as American brands;
political and economic instability; and
natural disasters, terrorist threats or activities, and other calamities.
Any or all of these factors may reduce distributions from our international joint ventures or other international partners and royalty income, which in turn may materially and adversely impact our business and operating results.
Termination of an arrangement with a master franchisee could adversely impact our revenues.
Internationally, and in limited cases domestically, we enter into relationships with “master franchisees” to develop and operate restaurants in defined geographic areas. Master franchisees are granted limited exclusivity rights with respect to larger territories than typical franchisees, and in particular cases, expansion after minimum requirements are met is subject to the discretion of the master franchisee. In fiscal years 2019, 2018, and 2017, we derived approximately 8.5%, 8.7%, and 8.9%, respectively, of our total revenues from master franchisee arrangements. The termination of an arrangement with a master franchisee or a lack of expansion by certain master franchisees could result in the delay of the development of franchised restaurants, or an interruption in the operation of one of our brands in a particular market or markets. Any such delay or interruption would result in a delay in, or loss of, royalty income to us whether by way of delayed royalty income or delayed revenues from the sale of ice cream and other products by us to franchisees internationally, or reduced sales. Any interruption in operations due to the termination of an arrangement with a master franchisee similarly could result in lower revenues for us, particularly if we were to determine to close restaurants following the termination of an arrangement with a master franchisee.
Fluctuations in exchange rates affect our revenues.
We are subject to inherent risks attributed to operating in a global economy. Most of our revenues, costs, and debts are denominated in U.S. dollars. However, sales made by franchisees outside of the U.S. are denominated in the currency of the country in which the point of distribution is located, and this currency could become less valuable prior to calculation of our royalty payments in U.S. dollars as a result of exchange rate fluctuations. As a result, currency fluctuations could reduce our royalty income. Unfavorable currency fluctuations could result in a reduction in our revenues. Income we earn from our joint ventures is also subject to currency fluctuations. These currency fluctuations affecting our revenues and costs could adversely affect our business and operating results.
Adverse public or medical opinions about the health effects of consuming our products, whether or not accurate, could harm our brands and our business.
Some of our products contain caffeine, dairy products, sugar, other carbohydrates, fats, and other active compounds, the health effects of which are the subject of increasing public scrutiny, including the suggestion that excessive consumption of caffeine, dairy products, sugar, other carbohydrates, fats, and other active compounds can lead to a variety of adverse health effects. There has also been greater public awareness that sedentary lifestyles, combined with excessive consumption of high- carbohydrate, high-fat, or high-calorie foods, have led to a rapidly rising rate of obesity. In the United States and certain other countries, there is increasing consumer awareness of health risks, including obesity, as well as increased consumer litigation based on alleged adverse health impacts of consumption of various food products. While we offer some healthier beverage and food items, including reduced fat items and reduced sugar items, an unfavorable report on the health effects of caffeine or other compounds present in our products, or negative publicity or litigation arising from other health risks such as obesity, could significantly reduce the demand for our beverages and food products. A decrease in customer traffic as a result of these health concerns or negative publicity could materially and adversely affect our brands and our business.


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We may not be able to enforce payment of fees under certain of our franchise arrangements.
In certain limited instances, a franchisee may be operating a restaurant pursuant to an unwritten franchise arrangement. Such circumstances may arise where a franchisee arrangement has expired and new or renewal agreements have yet to be executed or where the franchisee has developed and opened a restaurant but has failed to memorialize the franchisor-franchisee relationship in an executed agreement. In certain other limited instances, we may allow a franchisee in good standing to operate domestically pursuant to franchise agreements that have expired in their normal course and have not yet been renewed. As of December 28, 2019, less than 1% of our restaurants were operating without a written agreement. There is a risk that either category of these franchise arrangements may not be enforceable under federal, state, or local laws and regulations prior to correction or if left uncorrected. In these instances, the franchise arrangements may be enforceable on the basis of custom and assent of performance. If the franchisee, however, were to neglect to remit royalty payments in a timely fashion, we may be unable to enforce the payment of such fees which, in turn, may materially and adversely affect our business and operating results. While we generally require franchise arrangements in foreign jurisdictions to be entered into pursuant to written franchise arrangements, subject to certain exceptions, some expired contracts, letters of intent, or oral agreements in existence may not be enforceable under local laws, which could impair our ability to collect royalty income, which in turn may materially and adversely impact our business and operating results.
Our business activities subject us to litigation risk that could affect us adversely by subjecting us to significant money damages and other remedies or by increasing our litigation expense.
In the ordinary course of business, we are the subject of complaints or litigation from franchisees, usually related to alleged breaches of contract or wrongful termination under the franchise arrangements. In addition, we are, from time to time, the subject of complaints or litigation from customers alleging illness, injury, or other food-quality, health, or operational concerns and from suppliers alleging breach of contract. We may also be subject to employee claims based on, among other things, discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination. Finally, litigation against a franchisee or its affiliates by third parties, whether in the ordinary course of business or otherwise, may include claims against us by virtue of our relationship with the defendant-franchisee. In addition to decreasing the ability of a defendant-franchisee to make royalty payments and diverting management resources, adverse publicity resulting from such allegations may materially and adversely affect us and our brands, regardless of whether such allegations are valid or whether we are liable. Our international operations may be subject to additional risks related to litigation, including difficulties in enforcement of contractual obligations governed by foreign law due to differing interpretations of rights and obligations, compliance with multiple and potentially conflicting laws, new and potentially untested laws and judicial systems, and reduced or diminished protection of intellectual property. A substantial unsatisfied judgment against us or one of our subsidiaries could result in bankruptcy, which could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results. 
Our business is subject to various laws and regulations and changes in such laws and regulations, and/or failure to comply with existing or future laws and regulations, could adversely affect us.
We are subject to state franchise registration requirements, the rules and regulations of the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”), various state laws regulating the offer and sale of franchises in the United States through the provision of franchise disclosure documents containing certain mandatory disclosures, and certain rules and requirements regulating franchising arrangements in foreign countries. Failure to comply with FTC guidelines or any applicable state laws regulating franchising could reduce anticipated royalty income, which in turn may materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
Our franchisees are subject to various existing U.S. federal, state, local, and foreign laws affecting the operation of the restaurants including various health, sanitation, fire, and safety standards. Franchisees may in the future become subject to regulation (or further regulation) seeking to tax or regulate high-fat foods, to limit the serving size of beverages containing sugar, to ban the use of certain packaging materials, or requiring the display of detailed nutrition information. Certain of these regulations have already been adopted and further adoption of any of these regulations would be costly to comply with and could result in reduced demand for our products.
Additionally, we are working to manage the risks and costs to us, our franchisees, and our supply chain of the effects of climate change, greenhouse gases, and diminishing energy and water resources. These risks include the increased public focus, including by governmental and nongovernmental organizations, on these and other environmental sustainability matters, such as packaging and waste, animal health and welfare, deforestation, and land use. These risks also include the increased pressure to make commitments, set targets, or establish additional goals and take actions to meet them. These risks could expose us to market, operational, and execution costs or risks. If we are unable to effectively manage the risks associated with our complex regulatory environment, it could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.
In connection with the continued operation or remodeling of certain restaurants, franchisees may be required to expend funds to meet U.S. federal, state, local and foreign regulations. Difficulties in obtaining, or the failure to obtain, required licenses or


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approvals could delay or prevent the opening of a new restaurant in a particular area or cause an existing restaurant to cease operations. All of these situations would decrease sales of an affected restaurant and reduce royalty payments to us with respect to such restaurant.
The franchisees are also subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, and various other laws in the United States and in foreign countries governing such matters as minimum-wage requirements, overtime and other working conditions, and citizenship requirements. A significant number of our franchisees’ food-service employees are paid at rates related to the U.S. federal minimum wage and applicable minimum wages in foreign jurisdictions and past increases in the U.S. federal minimum wage and foreign jurisdiction minimum wage have increased labor costs, as would future such increases. Any increases in labor costs might result in franchisees inadequately staffing restaurants. Understaffed restaurants could reduce sales at such restaurants, decrease royalty payments, and adversely affect our brands. Evolving labor and employment laws, rules, and regulations could also result in increased exposure on the part of Dunkin’ Brands’ for labor and employment related liabilities that have historically been borne by franchisees.
In 2015, the National Labor Relations Board adopted a new and broader standard for determining when two or more otherwise unrelated employers may be found to be a joint employer of the same employees under the National Labor Relations Act. If this joint employer liability standard is upheld or adopted by other government agencies such as the Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or applied generally to franchise relationships, it could cause us to be liable or held responsible for unfair labor practices and other violations of our franchisees and subject us to other liabilities, and require us to conduct collective bargaining negotiations, regarding employees of totally separate, independent employers, most notably our franchisees. In such event, our operating expenses may increase as a result of required modifications to our business practices, increased litigation, governmental investigations or proceedings, administrative enforcement actions, fines and civil liability.
Our and our franchisees’ operations and properties are subject to extensive U.S. federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including those relating to environmental, building, and zoning requirements. Our development of properties for leasing or subleasing to franchisees depends to a significant extent on the selection and acquisition of suitable sites, which are subject to zoning, land use, environmental, traffic, and other regulations and requirements. Failure to comply with legal requirements could result in, among other things, revocation of required licenses, administrative enforcement actions, fines, and civil and criminal liability. We may incur investigation, remediation, or other costs related to releases of hazardous materials or other environmental conditions at our properties, regardless of whether such environmental conditions were created by us or a third party, such as a prior owner or tenant. We have incurred costs to address soil and groundwater contamination at some sites and continue to incur nominal remediation costs at some of our other locations. If such issues become more expensive to address, or if new issues arise, they could increase our expenses, generate negative publicity, or otherwise adversely affect us.
We and our franchisees are or may be subject to U.S. and international privacy, data protection, and information security laws and regulations. Such laws and regulations, including the European Union General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act, may require companies to give specific types of notice and in some cases seek consent from consumers before collecting or using their data for certain purposes, including some marketing activities, to provide certain consumers with information about our data collection processes and practices, the information we possess about them, and to permit certain consumers to require that we delete information about them or restrict our use of such information. Various federal, state, and international legislative and regulatory bodies may expand current laws or regulations, enact new laws or regulations, or issue revised rules or guidance regarding privacy, data protection, and information security. In response to such changing laws and regulations, we and our franchisees may need to change or limit the way we use information in operating our businesses, which may result in significant costs, and could compromise our or our franchisees’ marketing or growth strategies, any of which may materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
We are subject to a variety of additional risks associated with our franchisees.
Our franchise system subjects us to a number of additional risks, any one of which may impact our ability to collect royalty payments from our franchisees, may harm the goodwill associated with our brands, or may materially and adversely impact our business and results of operations.
Bankruptcy of U.S. Franchisees. A franchisee bankruptcy could have a substantial negative impact on our ability to collect payments due under such franchisee’s franchise arrangements and, to the extent such franchisee is a lessee pursuant to a franchisee lease/sublease with us, payments due under such franchisee lease/sublease. In a franchisee bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee may reject its franchise arrangements and franchisee lease/sublease pursuant to Section 365 under the United States bankruptcy code, in which case there would be no further royalty payments or franchisee lease/sublease payments from such franchisee, and there can be no assurance as to the proceeds, if any, that may ultimately be recovered in a bankruptcy proceeding of such franchisee in connection with a damage claim resulting from such rejection.


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Franchisee Changes in Control. The franchise arrangements prohibit “changes in control” of a franchisee without our consent as the franchisor, except in the event of the death or disability of a franchisee (if a natural person) or a principal of a franchisee entity. In such event, the executors and representatives of the franchisee are required to transfer the relevant franchise arrangements to a successor franchisee approved by the franchisor. There can be, however, no assurance that any such successor would be found or, if found, would be able to perform the former franchisee’s obligations under such franchise arrangements or successfully operate the restaurant. If a successor franchisee is not found, or if the successor franchisee that is found is not as successful in operating the restaurant as the then-deceased or disabled franchisee or franchisee principal, the sales of the restaurant and accordingly, the royalty payments from the restaurant could be adversely affected.
Franchisee Insurance. The franchise arrangements require each franchisee to maintain certain insurance types and levels. Certain extraordinary hazards, however, may not be covered, and insurance may not be available (or may be available only at prohibitively expensive rates) with respect to many other risks. Moreover, any loss incurred could exceed policy limits and policy payments made to franchisees may not be made on a timely basis. Any such loss or delay in payment could have a material and adverse effect on a franchisee’s ability to satisfy its obligations under its franchise arrangement, including its ability to make royalty payments.
Some of Our Franchisees are Operating Entities. Franchisees may be natural persons or legal entities. Our franchisees that are operating companies (as opposed to limited purpose entities) are subject to business, credit, financial, and other risks, which may be unrelated to the operations of the restaurants. These unrelated risks could materially and adversely affect a franchisee that is an operating company and its ability to make its royalty payments in full or on a timely basis, which in turn could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
Franchise Arrangement Termination; Nonrenewal. Each franchise arrangement is subject to termination by us as the franchisor in the event of a default, generally after expiration of applicable cure periods, although under certain circumstances a franchise arrangement may be terminated by us upon notice without an opportunity to cure. The default provisions under the franchise arrangements are drafted broadly and include, among other things, any failure to meet operating standards and actions that may threaten our licensed intellectual property.
In addition, each franchise agreement has an expiration date. Upon the expiration of the franchise agreement, we or the franchisee (if the franchisee has contractual renewal rights) may, or may not, elect to renew the franchise agreement. If the franchisee agreement is renewed, the franchisee will receive a “successor” franchise agreement for an additional term. Such option, however, is contingent on the franchisee’s execution of the then-current form of franchise agreement (which may include increased royalty payments, advertising fees, and other costs), the satisfaction of certain conditions (including modernization of the restaurant and related operations), and the payment of a renewal fee. If we terminate a franchise agreement or a franchisee is unable or unwilling to satisfy any of the foregoing renewal conditions and, as a result, the franchise agreement expires, our royalty payments could be adversely effected.
Product Liability Exposure. We require franchisees to maintain general liability insurance coverage to protect against the risk of product liability and other risks and demand strict franchisee compliance with health and safety regulations. However, franchisees may receive through the supply chain (from central manufacturing locations (“CMLs”), NDCP, or otherwise), or produce defective food or beverage products, and insurance may not be sufficient to cover their exposure. Regardless, such exposures may adversely impact our brands’ goodwill.
Americans with Disabilities Act. Restaurants located in the United States must comply with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (the “ADA”). Although we believe newer restaurants meet the ADA construction standards and, further, that franchisees have historically been diligent in the remodeling of older restaurants, a finding of noncompliance with the ADA could result in the imposition of injunctive relief, fines, an award of damages to private litigants, or additional capital expenditures to remedy such noncompliance. Any imposition of injunctive relief, fines, damage awards, or capital expenditures could adversely affect the ability of a franchisee to make royalty payments, or could generate negative publicity, or otherwise adversely affect us.
Franchisee Litigation. Franchisees are subject to a variety of litigation risks, including, but not limited to, customer claims, personal-injury claims, environmental claims, employee allegations of improper termination and discrimination, claims related to violations of the ADA, religious freedom, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”) or data protection laws, and intellectual-property claims. Each of these claims may increase costs and limit the funds available to make royalty payments and reduce the execution of new franchise arrangements.
Potential Conflicts with Franchisee Organizations. Although we believe our relationship with our franchisees is open and strong, the nature of the franchisor-franchisee relationship can give rise to conflict. In the U.S., our approach is collaborative in that we have established district advisory councils, regional advisory councils, and a national brand advisory council for each of the Dunkin’ brand and the Baskin-Robbins brand. The councils are comprised of franchisees, brand employees, and executives, and they meet to discuss the strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities facing the brands as well as the


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rollout of new products and projects. Internationally, our operations are primarily conducted through joint ventures with local licensees, so our relationships are conducted directly with our licensees rather than separate advisory committees. If material disputes with franchisee organizations were to develop in the United States or internationally, it could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
Failure to retain our existing senior management team or the inability to attract and retain new qualified personnel could hurt our business and inhibit our ability to operate and grow successfully.
Our success will continue to depend to a significant extent on our executive management team and the ability of other key management personnel to replace departing executives. We may not be able to retain our executive officers and key personnel or attract additional qualified management personnel to replace departing executives. Failure to retain our leadership team and attract and retain other important personnel could lead to ineffective management and operations, which could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
Unforeseen weather or other events, including terrorist threats or activities, may disrupt our business.
Unforeseen events, including war, terrorism, and other international, regional, or local instability or conflicts (including labor issues), embargos, public health issues (including tainted food, food-borne illnesses, food tampering, tampering with or failure of water supply or widespread/pandemic illness such as coronavirus, ebola, the avian or H1N1 flu, MERS), and natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, or other adverse weather and climate conditions, whether occurring in the U.S. or abroad, could disrupt our operations or that of our franchisees or suppliers; or result in political or economic instability. These events could reduce traffic in our restaurants and demand for our products; make it difficult or impossible for our franchisees to receive products from their suppliers; disrupt or prevent our ability to perform functions at the corporate level; and otherwise impede our or our franchisees’ ability to continue business operations in a continuous manner consistent with the level and extent of business activities prior to the occurrence of the unexpected event or events, which in turn may materially and adversely impact our business and operating results.
Risks related to our common stock
Our stock price could be extremely volatile and, as a result, you may not be able to resell your shares at or above the price you paid for them.
Since our initial public offering in July 2011, the closing price of our common stock, as reported by NASDAQ, has ranged from a low of $23.24 on December 15, 2011 to a high of $83.80 on September 4, 2019. The market price of our common stock is likely to continue to be volatile, and investors in our common stock may experience a decrease, which could be substantial, in the value of their stock, including decreases unrelated to our operating performance or prospects, and could lose part or all of their investment. The price of our common stock could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to a number of factors, including those described elsewhere in this report and others such as:
variations in our operating performance and the performance of our competitors;
actual or anticipated fluctuations in our quarterly or annual operating results;
publication of research reports by securities analysts about us, our competitors, or our industry;
negative social media stories about our franchisees' restaurants;
our failure or the failure of our competitors to meet analysts’ projections or guidance that we or our competitors may give to the market;
additions and departures of key personnel;
strategic decisions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, joint ventures, strategic investments, or changes in business strategy;
the passage of legislation or other regulatory developments affecting us or our industry;
speculation in the press or investment community;
changes in accounting principles;
terrorist acts, acts of war, or periods of widespread civil unrest;
natural disasters and other calamities; and
changes in general market and economic conditions.


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As we operate in a single industry, we are especially vulnerable to these factors to the extent that they affect our industry, our products, or to a lesser extent our markets. In the past, securities class action litigation has often been initiated against companies following periods of volatility in their stock price. This type of litigation could result in substantial costs and divert our management’s attention and resources, and could also require us to make substantial payments to satisfy judgments or to settle litigation.
Provisions in our charter documents and Delaware law may deter takeover efforts that you feel would be beneficial to stockholder value.
Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and Delaware law contain provisions which could make it harder for a third party to acquire us, even if doing so might be beneficial to our stockholders. These provisions include a classified board of directors and limitations on actions by our stockholders. In addition, our board of directors has the right to issue preferred stock without stockholder approval that could be used to dilute a potential hostile acquirer. Our certificate of incorporation also imposes some restrictions on mergers and other business combinations between us and a holder of 15% or more of our outstanding common stock. As a result, you may lose your ability to sell your stock for a price in excess of the prevailing market price due to these protective measures, and efforts by stockholders to change the direction or management of the company may be unsuccessful.
Item 1B.
Unresolved Staff Comments.
None.


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Item 2.
Properties.
Our corporate headquarters, located in Canton, Massachusetts, house substantially all of our executive management and employees who provide our primary corporate support functions: legal, marketing, technology, human resources, public relations, finance, and research and development.
As of December 28, 2019, we owned 103 properties and leased 943 locations across the U.S. and Canada, substantially all of which we leased or subleased to franchisees. For fiscal year 2019, we generated 9.0%, or $122.7 million, of our total revenue from rental fees from franchisees who lease or sublease their properties from us.
The remaining balance of restaurants selling our products are situated on real property owned by franchisees or leased directly by franchisees from third-party landlords. All international restaurants (other than 13 located in Canada) are situated on real property owned by licensees and their sub-franchisees or leased by licensees and their sub-franchisees directly from a third-party landlord.
As of December 28, 2019, 100% of Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins restaurants were owned and operated by franchisees. We have construction and site management personnel who oversee the construction of restaurants by outside contractors. The restaurants are built to our specifications as to exterior style and interior decor. As of December 28, 2019, there were 13,137 Dunkin’ points of distribution, operating in 43 states and the District of Columbia in the U.S. and 40 foreign countries. Baskin-Robbins points of distribution totaled 8,160, operating in 44 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 51 foreign countries. The following table illustrates domestic and international points of distribution by brand as of December 28, 2019.
 
Franchised points of distribution
Dunkin’—US*
9,630

Dunkin’—International
3,507

Total Dunkin’*
13,137

Baskin-Robbins—US*
2,524

Baskin-Robbins—International
5,636

Total Baskin-Robbins*
8,160

Total US
12,154

Total International
9,143

*
Combination restaurants, as more fully described below, are considered both a Dunkin’ and a Baskin-Robbins point of distribution.
Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins restaurants operate in a variety of formats. Dunkin’ traditional restaurant formats include free standing restaurants, end-caps (i.e., end location of a larger multi-store building), and gas and convenience locations. A free-standing building typically ranges in size from 1,200 to 2,500 square feet, and may include a drive-thru window. An end-cap typically ranges in size from 1,000 to 2,000 square feet and may include a drive-thru window. Dunkin’ also has other restaurants designed to fit anywhere, consisting of small full-service restaurants and/or self-serve kiosks in offices, hospitals, colleges, airports, grocery stores, wholesale clubs, and drive-thru-only units on smaller pieces of property (collectively referred to as special distribution opportunities or “SDOs”). SDOs typically range in size between 400 to 1,800 square feet. The majority of our Dunkin’ restaurants have their fresh baked goods delivered to them from franchisee-owned and -operated CMLs.
Baskin-Robbins traditional restaurant formats include free standing restaurants and end-caps. A free-standing building typically ranges in size from 600 to 1,200 square feet, and may include a drive-thru window. An end-cap typically ranges in size from 800 to 1,200 square feet and may include a drive-thru window. We also have other restaurants, consisting of small full-service restaurants and/or self-serve kiosks (collectively referred to as SDOs). SDOs typically range in size between 400 to 1,000 square feet.
In the U.S., Baskin-Robbins can also be found in 1,348 combination restaurants (“combos”) that also include a Dunkin’ restaurant, and are typically either free-standing or an end-cap. These combos, which we consider both a Dunkin’ and a Baskin-Robbins point of distribution, typically range from 1,400 to 3,500 square feet.
Of the 12,154 U.S. locations, 99 were sites owned by the Company and leased to franchisees, 908 were leased by us, and in turn, subleased to franchisees, with the remainder either owned or leased directly by the franchisee. Our land or land and building leases are generally for terms of ten years to twenty years, and often have one or more five-year or ten-year renewal


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options. In certain lease agreements, we have the option to purchase, or the right of first refusal to purchase, the real estate. Certain leases require the payment of additional rent equal to a percentage of annual sales in excess of specified amounts.
Of the sites owned or leased by the Company in the U.S., 21 are locations that no longer have a Dunkin’ or Baskin-Robbins restaurant (“surplus properties”). Some of these surplus properties have been sublet to other parties while the remaining are currently vacant.
We also have leased office space in China, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
The following table sets forth the Company’s owned and leased office and training facilities, including the approximate square footage of each facility. None of these owned properties, or the Company’s leasehold interest in leased property, is encumbered by a mortgage.
Location
Type
 
Owned/Leased
 
Approximate Sq. Ft.
Canton, MA
Office
 
Leased
 
175,000

Braintree, MA (training facility)
Office
 
Owned
 
15,000

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (regional office space)
Office
 
Leased
 
3,200

Shanghai, China (regional office spaces)
Office
 
Leased
 
2,975

Various (regional sales offices)
Office
 
Leased
 
Range of 150 to 300

Item 3.
Legal Proceedings.
We are engaged in several matters of litigation arising in the ordinary course of our business as a franchisor. Such matters include disputes related to compliance with the terms of franchise and development agreements, including claims or threats of claims of breach of contract, negligence, and other alleged violations by us.
Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures.
Not applicable.


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PART II
Item 5.
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Our common stock has been listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “DNKN” since July 27, 2011. Prior to that time, there was no public market for our common stock.
On February 20, 2020, we had 1,068 holders of record of our common stock.
Dividend policy
We currently anticipate continuing the payment of quarterly cash dividends. The actual amount of such dividends will depend upon future earnings, results of operations, capital requirements, our financial condition, and certain other factors. There can be no assurance as to the amount of cash flow that we will generate in future years and, accordingly, dividends will be considered after reviewing returns to shareholders, profitability expectations, and financing needs and will be declared at the discretion of our board of directors.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following table contains information regarding purchases of our common stock made during the quarter ended December 28, 2019 by or on behalf of Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. or any “affiliated purchaser,” as defined by Rule 10b-18(a)(3) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934:
 
 
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Period
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased
 
Average Price Paid Per Share
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
 
Approximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs(1)
09/29/19 - 10/26/19
 

 
$

 

 
$
195,195,400

10/27/19 - 11/30/19
 
65,212

 
75.33

 
65,212

 
190,283,000

12/01/19 - 12/28/19
 

 

 

 
190,283,000

Total
 
65,212

 
$
75.33

 
65,212

 
 

(1)
On February 5, 2020, our board of directors authorized a new share repurchase program for up to an aggregate of $250.0 million of our outstanding common stock. This repurchase authorization is valid for a period of two years. Under the program, purchases may be made in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions from time to time subject to market conditions. The new share repurchase program replaces the existing program adopted in May 2018.







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Performance Graph
The following graph depicts the total return to shareholders for the five-year period ended December 28, 2019, relative to the performance of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Consumer Discretionary Sector, a peer group. The graph assumes an investment of $100 in our common stock and each index on December 27, 2014 and the reinvestment of dividends paid since that date. The stock price performance shown in the graph is not necessarily indicative of future price performance.

https://cdn.kscope.io/e3639db0d59333c19622a9168deeb82c-chart-c691ff406c7e50afb81.jpg

 
12/27/2014
12/26/2015
12/31/2016
12/30/2017
12/29/2018
12/28/2019
Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (DNKN)
$
100.00

$
102.22

$
129.70

$
163.12

$
163.75

$
195.90

S&P 500
$
100.00

$
98.88

$
107.41

$
128.27

$
119.26

$
155.45

S&P Consumer Discretionary
$
100.00

$
108.77

$
113.04

$
137.03

$
134.89

$
173.08



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Item 6.
Selected Financial Data.
The following table sets forth our selected historical consolidated financial and other data, and should be read in conjunction with “Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations” and the consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The selected historical financial data has been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements. Historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for future periods. The data in the following table related to adjusted operating income, adjusted net income, points of distribution, comparable store sales growth, systemwide sales, and systemwide sales growth are unaudited for all periods presented. The data for fiscal year 2016 reflects the results of operations for a 53-week period. All other periods presented reflect the results of operations for 52-week periods. As a result of the adoption of guidance related to revenue recognition during fiscal year 2018, prior period information for fiscal years 2017 and 2016 included below has been restated to reflect the new guidance. Prior period information for fiscal year 2015 has not been restated and is, therefore, not comparable to the fiscal year 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016 information. The Company adopted new guidance for lease accounting in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 on a modified retrospective transition method and elected the option to not restate comparative periods. See note 2(v) of the notes to the consolidated financial statements included in Item 8 of Part II of this Form 10-K for further disclosure of the impact of the new guidance.
 
Fiscal year
 
2019
 
2018(1)
 
2017(1)
 
2016(1)
 
2015(1)
 
($ in thousands, except per share data)
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Franchise fees and royalty income
$
604,431

 
578,342

 
555,206

 
536,396

 
513,222

Advertising fees and related income
499,303

 
493,590

 
470,984

 
453,553

 

Rental income
122,671

 
104,413

 
104,643

 
101,020

 
100,422

Sales of ice cream and other products
91,362

 
95,197

 
96,388

 
100,542

 
115,252

Sales at company-operated restaurants

 

 

 
11,975

 
28,340

Other revenues
52,460

 
50,075

 
48,330

 
44,869

 
53,697

Total revenues
1,370,227

 
1,321,617

 
1,275,551

 
1,248,355

 
810,933

Amortization of intangible assets
18,454

 
21,113

 
21,335

 
22,079

 
24,688

Other operating costs and expenses
919,428

 
901,905

 
878,999

 
869,607

 
426,363

Total operating costs and expenses
937,882

 
923,018

 
900,334

 
891,686

 
451,051

Net income (loss) of equity method investments(2)
17,517

 
14,903

 
15,198

 
14,552

 
(41,745
)
Other operating income (loss), net
1,188

 
(1,670
)
 
627

 
9,381

 
1,430

Operating income
451,050

 
411,832

 
391,042

 
380,602

 
319,567

Interest expense, net
(118,477
)
 
(121,548
)
 
(101,110
)
 
(100,270
)
 
(96,341
)
Loss on debt extinguishment and refinancing transactions
(13,076
)
 

 
(6,996
)
 

 
(20,554
)
Other income (loss), net
(235
)
 
(1,083
)
 
391

 
(1,195
)
 
(1,084
)
Income before income taxes
319,262

 
289,201

 
283,327

 
279,137

 
201,588

Net income attributable to Dunkin’ Brands
$
242,024

 
229,906

 
271,209

 
175,289

 
105,227

Earnings per share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Common—basic
$
2.92

 
2.75

 
2.99

 
1.91

 
1.10

Common—diluted
2.89

 
2.71

 
2.94

 
1.89

 
1.08





- 28-



 
Fiscal year
 
2019
 
2018(1)
 
2017(1)
 
2016(1)
 
2015(1)
 
($ in thousands, except per share data or as otherwise noted)
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash
$
707,977

 
598,321

 
1,114,099

 
431,832

 
333,115

Total assets
3,920,024

 
3,456,581

 
3,937,433

 
3,227,419

 
3,197,119

Total debt(3)
3,043,105

 
3,049,750

 
3,075,133

 
2,435,137

 
2,453,643

Total liabilities
4,508,034

 
4,169,378

 
4,191,972

 
3,574,007

 
3,417,862

Total stockholders’ deficit
(588,010
)
 
(712,797
)
 
(254,539
)
 
(346,588
)
 
(220,743
)
Other Financial Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Capital expend