Battle of the Baristas: Dunkin Donuts v. Starbucks

dunkin starbucks Battle of the Baristas: Dunkin Donuts v. StarbucksThe Center for an Urban Future released its third annual New York City retail survey yesterday, and yet again Dunkin Donuts tops the list, with 466 stores across the five boroughs. That’s almost double the number of outlets as third-place Starbucks, which has 256 stores. (Subway came in second, with 389 stores.)

This got The Observer wondering: Why is Starbucks the butt of so many jokes in town while its Boston-based competitior gets a free pass in New York, of all places? Some possible theories about the Dunkin dominance:

It appears the issue may simply be no more exciting than demographics, though. The reason it may feel like you can’t cross the street without running into another Starbucks is because, at least in Manhattan, that’s true. Starbucks far outstrips Dunkin Donuts on this little island of ours, with more than three-quarters its locations, 194, in Manhattan. That is compared to only 115 Dunkin Donuts. (It is the fourth most prevalent chain store in Manhattan, behind Subway and Duane Reade.)

So, like all great debates in this city, this is yet another fight between Manhattan and the outer boroughs.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @mc_nyo