Presque Isle is getting its 3rd Dunkin’

11 months ago

Coffee lovers frustrated with waiting in long lines will have another option when Dunkin’ opens a new Presque Isle store this fall.

Construction is underway on property located near KeyBank and the Hampton Inn on north Main Street. 

In an area lucky to see any nationally known businesses, the store will be the coffee-and-doughnut chain’s third Presque Isle location. The company operates a drive-thru and counter store at 281 Main St. and a dine-in area at Walmart. 

Dunkin’ is building a new drive-thru-only site because business at its other stores is through the roof, according to the company’s regional leader.

“Our other two Dunkin’s are so busy, and we wanted to do a better job of serving customers in a timely manner,” said Tanya Lyons, director of operations for the Connecticut-based Ouimet Resources. “We needed to expand in order to do that.”

The two Presque Isle stores see an average of 4,200 customers a week, or 600 a day, she said. Lines at both locations are long, and when traffic through the store is high, a customer can spend more than 20 minutes in line. 

Having a staff member serve as a “line buster” has helped, Lyons said. One employee will walk among the line of cars and take orders on a tablet, transmitting them inside for staff to prepare. 

But it hasn’t been enough. The new store should help meet the demand, she said. 

Crews work at the site of a new Dunkin’ location in Presque Isle, located near KeyBank and the Hampton Inn. (Paula Brewer | The Star-Herald)

Like many other area businesses, staff shortages and turnover have affected the coffee chain. The 281 Main St. site has reduced its hours due to lack of staff, according to a sign posted at the location. 

Dunkin’ expects to hire 15 to 20 new employees to staff the new store, around 10 full-time staff and the rest part time, Lyons said. She thinks the store’s single focus will allow easier hiring.

“Our staff will be able to focus on just the drive-thru, and we’re hoping that’ll make it a little bit easier to staff,” she said. “They won’t have to focus on delivery and counter, also.”

Ouimet owns Dunkin’ stores in Damariscotta, Millinocket, Houlton, Presque Isle and Caribou, and several in Connecticut, Lyons said. The company also owns truck stops, including Houlton’s Irving Big Stop. 

The company bought the land at an undisclosed price, and franchisee Drewco LLC will operate the store, as it does other local Dunkin’ sites, Lyons said.

The new location will have a small indoor space to pick up mobile orders, but will do most of its business at the double-lane drive-thru.

Crews from Soderberg Construction of Caribou were working on site Monday.

“We hope to be open by the second week in October, barring complications,” Lyons said. “We’re happy with the timeline.”