Take a First Look at This “Next Gen” Dunkin' Concept Store in Hartsdale

Eschewing “Donuts” from its name, the concept shop is touting new looks, new tech, and major green initiatives as drawing points.

It’s not often we’ll consider a national chain for Eat. Drink. Post. coverage. An industry leader opening a brand new concept location in the heart of Westchester, however, is something worth taking note of.

Just opened this past weekend in a prime location next to the Hartsdale Metro-North station, Dunkin’ Donuts’ latest “NextGen” shop — branded simply “Dunkin’” — isn’t just shiny and new, it’s designed with long-term sustainability and economy in mind, as well as some solid improvements to the customer experience.

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“This is my first NextGen store and Westchester’s first NextGen store,” says franchise owner and Westchesterite Paul Santoro, who owns four other Westchester Dunkin’ Donuts locations: one in Ossining, one more in Hartsdale, and two in Greenburgh proper.

“From a sustainability point, we’re composting,” he says, “which is ahead of the curve.” Other eco-friendly improvements to the shop and operation are energy-efficient LED lighting and a switch to 100 percent paper cups. All told, the goal is to run on 25 percent less energy than a typical, current Dunkin’ Donuts location.

Customers however are more likely to notice some major aesthetic changes, though they’re more functional than they might realize. Bake cases front and center make it far easier to make a pastry selection while waiting online, thus decreasing wait time behind more, let’s say, ‘indecisive’ customers.

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The new tap system may be reminiscent of the local brew hall, but it actually allows the Dunkin’ crew to dispense seven different coffee, tea, and cold brew blends (plus nitro-infused coffee!) at precisely 38º. By switching to taps, new espresso equipment, and an all-digital soft heat brewing system, the process allows for the shop to do away with glass carafes while freshly brewing more varieties each day.

Guests will also be relieved to see the new pick-up station for On-the-Go Mobile Ordering, allowing coffee and donut lovers to place and pay for their orders and pick them up without ever having to fuss with lines or awkward human interaction.

Asked if opening directly across from a Starbucks was a show of confidence, Santoro just laughs. “The goal is … I want this to be a food court atmosphere,” he says. “Someone wants Starbucks, I want Dunkin’, we’ve got Enrico’s [Pastry Shop] and The Irish Bank. We want this to be a good destination for people.”

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