Dunkin’ Donuts executives have hinted that the company is looking into home delivery as it develops a mobile app for orders. Taco Bell, McDonald’s and Starbucks have all recently taken steps toward delivery to consumers’ front doors.
Dunkin’ Brands CEO Nigel Travis told CNBC that the company is testing software privately and would launch a mobile ordering system sometime next year.
Starbucks is testing a phone delivery app in the Northwest, and McDonald’s and Chipotle have launched pilot programs in New York City.
Health advocates are concerned about the effect of increasing access to junk food. Michele Simon, public health lawyer and president of Eat Drink Politics, said fast-food delivery makes it that much harder for consumers to peruse healthy choices.
“Parents have a hard enough time as it is. Say, a tired parent driving home, and the kid’s nagging in the back seat for stopping at McDonald’s. Well now, that same child can simply nag to pull up an app to get Dunkin’ Donuts delivered at the door. Parents don’t need one more reason to say no.”
Simon said the companies’ push for more convenience is an act of desperation against droopy sales and growing desire for better food.
“To me what it shows is that these companies are hurting. And the analysis — the trade papers tell us everyday that there are companies like McDonald’s and Campbell’s Soup and all the conventional junk food companies are really losing market share.”
Dunkin’ Brands, which includes Baskin-Robbins, reported slow fourth-quarter sales last year at 1.4 percent, compared to 3.5 percent growth the year before.