Tuesday, April 7, 2009

William Rosenberg

Following World War II, William Rosenberg put his money together to found Industrial Luncheon Services (ILS) - a small business serving coffee, sandwiches, and pastries to factory workers. The ILS soon morphed into a mobile catering business. In a short time, Rosenberg had over 100 trucks, 25 in-plant outlets, and a vending operation. Being the bright entrepreneur, Rosenberg realized that over 40% of ILS revenue came from donut and coffee sales. So in 1948, on the heels of the success of the ILS, Rosenberg opened another business, The Open Kettle, serving coffee and donuts. In 1950 he changed the company's name to Dunkin' Donuts.

Rosenberg discovered a nearly untapped market and decided to expand variety. Instead of the "typical practice of selling four varieties of donuts [he] sold 52 kinds." Dunkin' Donuts was an instant hit. By 1954, Rosenberg owned and operated 5 Dunkin' Donuts locations. Upon opening the sixth location the following year he decided to sell the newest store as the first franchise.

Today, Dunkin' Donuts is the leading retailer of coffee, donuts, and bagels with over 6000 Dunkin' Donuts stores across 37 countries.

A description of Rosenberg from the company website sums up today's Hero of Capitalism:

Mr. Rosenberg embodied the American spirit of hard work and passion. He came of age during the depression and despite a limited education, his hard work and spirit brought wealth and fame enabling him to become a philanthropist in his senior years.


The New York Times
the Let's Talk Business Network

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