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Two Dunkin’ Donuts coffee shops open in Tbilisi

Thursday, January 15
Tbilisi locals can now get their hands on some of the world's most famous donuts - Dunkin' Donuts, following the opening of two stores in Georgia's capital city.

Two Dunkin' Donuts stores opened on January 13 in Tbilisi's Vake and Saburtalo districts. An industry insider said in the next five to six years, there were plans to open 35 Dunkin' Donuts stores throughout Georgia.

Georgia is the second post-Soviet country where the popular American donut and coffee chain has opened its doors. The first was in Moscow, Russia.

United States Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland helped cut the ribbon to open Dunkin’ Donuts’ first coffee shop on Chavchavadze Ave with Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania and CEO of Wissol Group Soso Pkhakadze, who brought Dunkin' Donuts into the Georgian market.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ arrival in Tbilisi was an example of another successful US-Georgian joint partnership and a sign of increasing commercial ties, Norland said.

"Opening Dunkin’ Donuts in Georgia proves that there is an attractive business climate in this country and it is easy to do business here. I am really pleased with the fact that the Wissol Group is opening a new business through which it will create additional jobs,” Norland said.

"We can be proud that this brand is number one in our region. Many capital cities of different countries are not lucky enough to have Dunkin’ Donuts,” said Tbilisi Mayor.

Dunkin’ Donuts is the second American restaurant brand for the Wissol Group, who earlier successfully introduced Wendy’s fast food onto the Georgian market.

The Wissol Group said it had discussed the franchise opportunity with Dunkin’ Donuts for the past three years. Pkhakadze said this period had been relatively challenging, where Wissol Group had to convince Dunkin’ Donuts of the benefits of opening in Georgia.

Dunkin' Donuts was established in America in 1950. Today the company has nearly 11,000 restaurants in 33 countries worldwide. In 2014, Dunkin' Donuts expanded its business in three countries - Georgia, Austria and Sweden.

A Dunkin' Donuts official said the donut and coffee chain was looking to recruit highly qualified, well-capitalized multi-unit franchisee groups with deep food-service operating experience to develop the brand across the country.

The spokesperson said ideal franchisee candidates should have strong financial backgrounds, knowledge of their local consumers, a proven track record of success in the restaurant industry, and a desire to develop a minimum of 20-25 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in their market in the coming years.

"We are proud that Georgia became one of them, together with Austria and Sweden,” said Pkhakadze. "I honestly did not expect that we would reach an agreement in three years. There are many countries with larger populations and bigger economies that are waiting for the entrance of Dunkin’ Donuts. According to this criteria, Georgia is not even in the top ten. Finally, it was decided that Georgia is right.”

Vice president of Dunkin' Donuts in Europe Carlos Vidal said the Wissol Group had all the ingredients based on which we choose our partners.

"Wissol Group owns knowledge of the establishment of retail business and management. This group also has proper experience in operating restaurants as they won a very successful project Wendy’s in Georgia. Together with the Wissol Group, we have ambitious plans in Georgia because we know that the population of the country is ready to receive the unique experience of Dunkin Donuts and to become everyday customer of sandwiches, donuts, bakery and a variety coffee products."

Dunkin' Donuts offers a large selection of donuts, sandwiches, muffins a wide assortment of bakery items, hot and cold drinks including a comprehensive coffee selection. In the near future, Dunkin' Donuts said it would look into adding new items to the menu that accounted for the local taste. (