PITTSFIELD — A new design, faster drive-thru service, a new tap system, a mobile pickup area for those who order online. Dunkin is bringing all those services to Berkshire County in one store for the first time.
The Massachusetts-based national coffee and baked goods chain, which officially changed its name to Dunkin from Dunkin' Donuts at the beginning of the year, is providing all those services at its newly renovated store at 18 First St. in Pittsfield.
After closing this fall for renovations, the store recently re-opened, and company officials will host a grand opening celebration to highlight those changes at 10 a.m. Thursday.
Dunkin has opened similar stores in major metro areas, but this is the first time these services have been available at a single store in the Berkshires, where the chain operates 12 outlets, including six in Pittsfield. The chain's other Berkshire stores will undergo similar renovations, although the time frame is unclear.
"They're all contracturally remodeled at different times," said Eric Stensland, the integrated marketing manager for Dunkin Brands in upstate New York. "Every restaurant in the system will eventually be done.
"We had over 150 new locations that we rolled out nationally (with the new concept) in 2018 with plans to renovate hundreds more in 2019," he said.
Dunkin remodels its stores every 10 years, according to Stensland. The First Street store was chosen to be the first Berkshire outlet with the new concept because it was already scheduled to be renovated.
The newly renovated store has 25 employees, according to the company. The new features include an exclusive on-the-go drive thru lane that lets members of the company's rewards program bypass the ordering lane and head straight for the pick-up window. Dunkin is the first national brand to offer this service, according to the company.
The mobile pickup area allows rewards program members who order ahead on the company's mobile app to get in and out of the restaurant faster than before.
Dunkin had originally considered shuttering its location at 18 First St. in favor of another location at the corner of First and Fenn streets that used to house the former Plunkett School. But after the developer who bought that parcel tore down the school building in 2014, the City Council in 2016 denied a special permit for a drive-thru location at that site. That property is currently vacant and for sale.
Dunkin' Donuts changed its name to Dunkin to reflect a continued emphasis on coffee and other drinks, according to the company. The firm is still owned by Dunkin Brands, a publicly traded company that hasn't changed its name.