Dunkin’ Donuts undergoing complete makeover

P1 52 dunkin 1By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

When the Bridgton Dunkin Donuts opened seven years ago on the Portland Road, someone told owner Brian Fram it was going to turn out to be too small.

That somebody was right.

“Right off the bat, I outgrew that spot,” said Fram, owner of four other Dunkin Donuts franchises in Conway, North Conway, East Conway and Bartlett, N.H.

So even though the every-10-years renovations required of every franchise owner was still three years away, Fram decided this fall to get busy making his Bridgton franchise more customer-friendly. Work began a few weeks ago by Thompson Building Services of Gardiner on a complete remodel of the interior and exterior of the building, along with an expansion that adds eight feet to the south side of the building.

The Gardiner firm is familiar with Dunkin Donuts’ requirements, said Fram, so he expects the work to be done within weeks. “If all goes well, I’d like to be open hopefully Nov. 14 or 16,” he said. A grand reopening will be planned a few weeks after that, he added.

Fram is especially happy that the remodel will allow him to move his drive-through window to the rear of the building, instead of being on the north side as it is now. Having the window in back will allow him to better meet demand during busy times, without having a line of cars backed up near the entrance from Portland Road.

The increased footprint will add four more parking spaces, for a total of 21 spaces. There’ll also be a complete remodel on the inside of the restaurant.

“It will be totally new,” said Fram, “with a semi-retro, semi-modern look to it, a little bit of a throwback to the old Dunkin’ days, blended in with a modern look.”

Fram said his decision to upgrade the business this fall was not influenced by competition from the nearby McDonald’s restaurant that opened just down the highway last year.

“There was a novelty effect (of customers lost to McDonald’s) at first, but I’ve gained them all back. We have such a powerful loyal brand, that in the end, not many of them leave us,” said Fram. He heard similar chatter when Starbucks opened in North Conway three or four years ago.

“My sales (in the New Hampshire restaurants) are stronger than ever,” he said. Once he’s back up and running in Bridgton, he said, he expects the same.

“I highly enjoy working with the Bridgton people,” said Fram.

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