WINTER GARDEN While many West Orange residents enjoyed a holiday off of work, one Dunkin’ Donuts was just getting started.
Dunkin’ Donuts at 4020 Winter Garden Vineland Road opened right in the middle of the holidays — on Dec. 26.
At opening, the store was busy — so busy that keeping doughnuts stocked was a challenge.
“We opened up and tripled our expectations on doughnut quantities,” said John Sloan, director of operations. “Our doughnuts were 300% over projection.”
The location of the store drew in West Orange residents who live nearby.
Claudia Myers lives five minutes away from the new location and works out at the gym next door with her friend Michele Coppola. They stop by to spend time with one another and enjoy doughnuts after workouts.
Previously, the friends traveled to Clermont regularly to enjoy post-workout doughnuts, so they watched with anticipation as a location was built next door to their gym.
“We don’t have anything really over in this direction,” said Coppola. “Everything is farther.”
Sloan, who is involved with more than 15 Dunkin’ Donuts locations, also thinks the spot is ideal for the store.
“Traffic counts kind of dictates a lot of what you want to be,” he said. “Also, you want to look and see how many other people are selling coffee in your market. I don’t think there’s a great deal of coffee in this market. I think the traffic counts outside are very heavy.”
The mix of opening during the holidays and the popularity of the location provided an extra challenge for the location. Staffing was the biggest concern for the location.
“A lot of people during the holidays aren’t thinking about going out and trying to find a job,” Sloan said.
The location needs about 35 employees. When it opened, there were about four employees, but it was able to borrow help from other stores Sloan said. The location still needs to hire more employees.
“HAVE A DUNKERIFIC DAY”
“Hey sir, how was everything today?” Sloan asks a customer.
His friendliness with customers is the model he wants to set for the rest of the store. As more places that sell coffee come to the area, Sloan believes it’s the customer service and the kindness of the employees of the store that will set Dunkin’ Donuts apart.
“You (have) to give people a reason to come to your place,” said Sloan, who likes to tell his customers to “have a Dunkerific day.” “I think friendly service beats everybody out. That’s just critical to me because it’s a fierce competition.”
Sloan also plans for the location to give back to the community. He hopes Dunkin’ Donuts can participate in children’s events — birthday parties, church and school events and fundraisers.
“It’s goodwill,” Sloan said. “I have a philosophy of friends doing business with friends.”
Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected].