Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Dunkin’ Hawaii

Restaurant Insider

June 2, 2019

Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Marketing manager Casie Bui, left, with Anne Lee who holds a tray of Chocolate Frosted with Sprinkles donuts and franchise area manager Michelle Yoshimura are ready for National Donut Day on Friday, June 7.

ANNE LEE speaks with marketing manager CASIE BUI

Approaching its two-year anniversary, Dunkin’ Hawaii (formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts) has provided kamaaina of the islands with a different way to experience everyone’s favorite breakfast dessert and more. Plus with a rebranding underway, customers are sure to expect new, delicious things on the horizon.

Casie Bui, marketing manager for Dunkin Hawaii — as well as Aloha Petroleum, the exclusive franchisee for Dunkin’ Hawaii — divulged why the shop took on a new name.

“We were originally called Dunkin’ Donuts, but are rebranding to Dunkin’. The reason is because we are much more than just donuts. Breakfast sandwiches and an expanded coffee line, from espresso and different kinds of coffee beverages, have added to our brand.”

Dunkin’ has local-style breakfast sandwiches such as Portuguese sausage, left, and Spam. PHOTO COURTESY DUNKIN’

So sit back, relax and grab a donut to enjoy — specifically Dunkin’s top seller, the Boston Kreme Donut filled with sweet custard filling and chocolate topping— as Bui shares more on what to expect at Dunkin’.

AL: What makes Hawaii’s Dunkin’ different from that on the mainland?

CB: The brand was here before, and we were able to bring it back, based on our knowledge of the culture here.

When we came back, we had a mindset where you have to be careful when bringing a national brand to the Islands, as you want to make sure to understand the culture as it would apply to the menu items. We try to do that by offering the Portuguese Sausage Breakfast Sandwich and the Spam Egg and Cheese Croissant. Also some of the things you see, such as at our airport Paiea location, the artwork is relevant to its locale with a photo of planes going over Diamond Head.

We did a lot of research before bringing Dunkin’ back the islands, the research showed that the locals did actually love the brand and there were lines for months when we first re-opened our doors. Feedback from our guests have been great, positive responses.

Manager Robert Sambrano with the Salvation Army National Donut Day display kettle.

The aforementioned cultural aspects are what sets us apart from the Dunkin’s on the mainland, our brand is unique. Lastly we also do a lot of limited time offers, so items are seasonal such as our drinks.

AL: Are there any specials for National Donut Day on June 7?

CB: We are offering our customers a free classic donut with any beverage purchase. So, if you buy three drinks in one transaction, then you can get three classic donuts at no charge. There is no limit and this deal is available at all five of our Hawaii locations.

AL: Any fun facts most people wouldn’t know about Dunkin’?

CB: The exclamation point on the end of the espresso drinks on our menu represent the portafilter on the espresso machine.

One thing that is also very important to our brand is being involved in the community, and so we like to give back to nonprofits and schools surrounding our Dunkin’ locations.


Since Dunkin’ loves giving back to the community, the restaurant is doing something special on National Donut Day. For every dozen donuts sold on June 7, Dunkin’ is donating $1 to the Salvation Army. Additionally, Salvation Army’s iconic red kettles will be at each of Dunkin’s five locations — so if you want to give back and donate also, the famous red kettles will be there.

Aiea, HI 96701

Pearl City, HI 96782

Kapolei, HI 96707

Honolulu, HI 96822

Honolulu, HI 96819

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