The comparison between Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts is not a new occurrence. As the two most prominent national coffee chains, there is constant debate regarding which takes the prize of being the best. Any true New England resident would be expected to opt for Dunkin; It is the chain’s birthplace, with Starbucks hailing from the west coast. However, in this New Englander’s opinion, Starbucks consistently comes out on top. But for a fair test, let’s take an objective look at both chains.
Pre-pandemic, sitting down in a local coffee shop to study, meet up with a friend, or complete work was a common activity. Starbucks is known for having a more upscale vibe, typically with lots of seating and reliable wifi. Dunkin, however, is a far less ideal place to sit down, which is widely agreed upon. It is thought of far more as a place suited for pick-up rather than dine-in. So in this category, Starbucks is the clear winner.
In terms of saving money, Dunkin’ Donuts is your best bet. A large-sized latte would cost just about $2.49 at this chain compared to the same item costing about $4.15 at Starbucks. Added on to this, Dunkin’ Donuts also has larger portions, with a medium DD drink coming in at 24 oz and a medium Starbucks drink coming in at 16 oz. So, customers are truly getting the “bang for their buck” at Dunkin’ Donuts.
Over the past couple of years, Starbucks has made a conscious effort to be more environmentally friendly. This has been seen in the complete elimination of plastic straws in their stores, along with a drink discount for those who bring their own reusable cups. Dunkin’ Donuts, however, has taken no such steps toward eco-friendliness, allowing Starbucks to come out on top.
Dunkin’ Donuts has a clear advantage in this category due to its iconic selection of widely loved donuts. It also provides customers with a wide variety of breakfast options, such as breakfast sandwiches that are made on-site, muffins, bagels, etc. Starbucks also offers plenty of food options, though there are not as many. To make up for this though, the majority of their food options cater towards a healthier diet. So, the winner of this category depends on what you prioritize.
Starbucks is widely known for selling drinks with a much stronger coffee taste than Dunkin Donuts’, where customers often complain about their drink having a slightly watered-down taste. This does not go to say that some do not enjoy the less strong coffee taste, however. Another common complaint about Dunkin’ Donuts’ drinks is their inconsistency, as they often taste good one day and unsatisfactory the next. Starbucks also offers more commonly liked tea, proven by their use of the Teavana, which is widely regarded as a quality tea brand. Still, taste is the most subjective category of all and is primarily up to personal preference.
After a quick analysis of both chains, I will still side with Starbucks in this heated debate. What about you?