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Mister Donut

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Mister Donut
Company typeWholly owned subsidiary
IndustryFood and beverage
Founded1956; 68 years ago (1956)
FounderHarry Winokur
Area served
United States, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, El Salvador, Middle East
ProductsDoughnuts, coffee, bagels

Mister Donut is an international chain of doughnut stores. It was founded in the United States in 1956 by Harry Winokur. Primary offerings include doughnuts, coffee, muffins and pastries. After being acquired by Allied Domecq in 1990, most of the North American stores became Dunkin' Donuts. Outside of the United States, Mister Donut maintains a presence in Japan, El Salvador, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Singapore.[1][2][3]


In 1955, Harry Winokur worked with brother-in-law William Rosenberg, the founder of Dunkin' Donuts. After Winokur broke his partnership with Rosenberg, he went on to create Mister Donut with his son-in-law David Slater[4] that same year, with stores in most of North America.[5] The Mister Donut business became so popular that Winokur and Slater decided to go into franchising.[5] As a result, Mister Donut began a rapid expansion that resulted in the opening of 275 stores in the U.S. and Canada.[6] In 1970, Minneapolis-based International Multifoods Corporation, one of the world's largest and most successful food companies, acquired Mister Donut and its franchising concept from Winokur.[5]

A honey-glazed churro from a Japanese Mister Donut shop in 2006

The first Mister Donut outlet in Japan opened in Minoh, Osaka in 1971. Also in the same year, a Mister Donut training center was constructed in Japan. In 1973, the French cruller became available in Japan stores.[1] In 1978, brothers Sutthichai and Sutthikiat Chirathiwat, on the behalf of Thai Franchise Co., Ltd, opened the first Mister Donut store in Siam Square, Bangkok. The two would come to pioneer the donut market within Thailand. In 2003, Mister Donut in Thailand came under the management CRG. Donut Thailand (Central Restaurants Group) which continues to manage the company in Thailand.[7] In 1983, Duskin Co., Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, acquired the rights to franchise Mister Donut throughout Japan and Asia.[5]

In the 1980s,[8] Mister Donut was the largest competitor to Dunkin' Donuts.[5] On March 31, 1987, Elie G. Saheb and his business associates acquired the trademark rights for Mister Donut in the United Kingdom and afterwards opened a Mister Donut pilot store and bakery in Fulham, London. On May 2, 1988, the Mister Donut franchise sold the trademark rights for the European market at large.[9]

By the 1980s, Mister Donut had over 550 stores in the United States and Canada. In 1989, the British corporate giant Allied-Lyons plc acquired Dunkin' Donuts from Rosenberg for a reported £196 million. After becoming a subsidiary of Allied-Lyons, Dunkin' Donuts immediately acquired Mister Donut from International Multifoods. Mister Donut stores were offered the option to convert to Dunkin' Donuts.[citation needed] Mister Donut was acquired by Dunkin' Donuts' then-parent company, Allied Lyons, in February 1990. After the acquisition of Mister Donut by Allied-Lyons, all Mister Donut stores in North America were offered the chance to change their name to Dunkin' Donuts while all remaining Mister Donut franchises in the rest of the world started being operated on their own such as in Japan and El Salvador.[5] Mister Donut sold its Middle East trademarks on October 14, 1995.[9]

In July 2005, Allied-Lyons was acquired by Pernod Ricard SA.[10] On 12 December 2005, Pernod Ricard announced that it had agreed to sell Dunkin' Brands, which owned Dunkin' Donuts and Mister Donut, to a consortium of three US private equity firms (Thomas H. Lee Partners, the Carlyle Group and Bain Capital LLP) for US$2.43 billion. The closing of the sale occurred on 1 March 2006.[11] In August 2012, Dunkin' Brands became completely independent of the private equity firms.[12]

As of 2017, only one Mister Donut store remains in the United States, in Godfrey, Illinois (outside of St. Louis), while there were 10,000 stores worldwide.[8] As of 2016, Mister Donut Japan had over "1,300 stores, making it the largest donut chain in the country."[13] and as of June 2016, Duskin Co., Ltd. was also operating Mister Donut stores in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, and Malaysia.[14]

In 2020, Dunkin' Brands was purchased by Sandy Springs-based Inspire Brands, and Mister Donut's trademark management became part of Inspire.[15]

Marketing presence[edit]

Mister Donut has an orange and white logo in the likeness of a moustachioed chef. More recently, the chain developed a set of mascot characters based on its donuts. One character, "Pon de Lion" (ポン・デ・ライオン, Pon De Raion), a lion with a mane shaped like its "pon de ring" (ポン・デ・リング, Pon De Ringu) donut line, is used in Japan.[16][17]

In El Salvador, the mascots are five anthropomorphic doughnuts and a rooster that is used for the breakfast menu. The company uses the same logo as Japan and the slogan is "La gran variedad" (The great variety).[citation needed]

Global stores[edit]


The Mister Donut brand operates in Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Singapore.[18]


In Japan, the Mister Donut franchise is owned by Duskin Co., Ltd., a part of the Mitsui conglomerate. Mister Donut is the largest donut franchise chain in Japan, with a total of 961 retails shops operating as of March 2021.[19] Keiji Chiba, who was Duskin Company's general manager and director of food industries, adjusted the recipes and gave a higher class image so the company would be successful in the Japanese market. Prior to the introduction of Mister Donut, Japanese perceived doughnuts as being snacks for children.[20]

The Star wrote in 2007 that "Mister Donut has gained a following among mostly younger Japanese for its American-style doughnuts, decor and music, becoming the country's biggest donut chain."[21] On September 13, 2013, a survey by the Japanese retail research company, Softbrain Field, surveyed close to 6000 Japanese citizens of all ages on their favorite fast food restaurant. Mister Donut came in third, at 17%, behind McDonald's at 33% and MOS Burger at 25%.[22]


In the Philippines, the first Mister Donut store opened in 1982 in Manila and has become the country's second largest doughnut chain, with Dunkin' Donuts as its main competitor.[23] In 1995, the Ramcar Group took over the Philippine franchise of Mister Donut through its subsidiary, Food Fest, Inc. In 1997, Mister Donut helped finance the country's first ever feature-length animated film, Adarna: The Mythical Bird.[24]

Of its 1,800 outlets, majority are stalls, often located inside shopping malls, while 200 are full-scale stores. Mister Donut products are also sold in 7-Eleven stores and KFC restaurants. Some locations sell coffee but mostly it focuses on doughnuts including as pasalubong, gifts by visitors to friends and family. The doughnuts sold are adjusted to suit the local market with smaller sizes, therefore cheaper, and different flavors.[citation needed]


In 2004, the Uni-President Group introduced Mister Donut in Taiwan through the newly established joint-venture Mister Donut Taiwan Corp., announcing a goal to open 100 outlets in Taiwan in three years.[25]


In Thailand, Mister Donut has been a leader in the Thai donut market since 1978 and uses the slogan "Donut for Fun". As of December 2011, Thailand was the "largest market outside Japan for Mister Donut in terms of sales volume."[26] Mister Donut has more than 320 branches across Thailand with more opening yearly. They include stand-alone stores as well as branches at shopping malls and supermarkets.[citation needed] In 2014, donut consumption increased 10 and 15 per cent in Thailand, with Mister Donut accounting for half of that increase. In 2015, Thailand's Central Restaurants Group announced plans to open 30 new outlets in 2015, bringing its store number to 350. The company stated that it would be able to sell "it's doughnuts in all 77 provinces by year end." Central has also stated it is considering expanding Mister Donut in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.[27]


In May 2016, plans were announced for Mister Donut stores to open in Vietnam through Central Restaurants Group (CRG).[28]


In Indonesia, Mister Donut is operated under management of Indomaret, a subsidiary of Salim Group. First store was opened in 2015, with 7 standalone outlets and 1,350 stand inside Indomaret outlets, mostly located in city center, malls, airport, rail station or shop-in-shop at every Indomaret outlets.[citation needed]


In May 2023, Mister Donut opened its first outlet at Junction 8 in Singapore after a successful market test in August 2022.[3]


In China, Mister Donut closed down in 2019 after nearly 20 years of operations due to high operational cost and high labor cost.[29] 10 outlets in Shanghai closed in April 2019.[30]

Europe and Middle East[edit]

On 31 March 1987, Elie G. Saheb and associates acquired the Mister Donut trademark rights for the United Kingdom and opened the first Mister Donut bakery and pilot shop in Fulham, London. The trademark rights for the European markets were acquired on May 2, 1988, and for the Middle East region on October 14, 1995.[citation needed]

The Americas[edit]

United States

After Mister Donut was acquired by Dunkin' Donuts in 1990, most either closed or became Dunkins.

There were nine outlets in the Pennsylvania and Ohio region that remained Mister Donut, mostly due to being close to existing Dunkin' Donuts stores. Their owners formed a cooperative to continue receiving bulk pricing on materials. As of May 2006, these stores rebranded as Donut Connection, serving the same items as Mister Donut.[31] Some locations of the Donut Connection partnership have retained the original fixtures of the original Mister Donut location, such as the outlet in Shakopee, Minnesota, which still has the orange motif and original Mister Donut price board.[citation needed]

Only one store located in 2720 Grovelin Street, Godfrey, Illinois continues to operate as Mister Donut.[32]


Mister Donut operations downsized in the late 1990s and the final surviving three in the Toronto, Ontario area closed quietly around or prior to June 2006.[citation needed]

El Salvador

In El Salvador, the menu includes some Salvadoran cuisine. As of 2014, there were 30 Mister Donut stores in the country,[33] with a few offering 24-hour service.[34] The rights are held by Adolfo Salume.[35]


Mister Donut specializes in coffee and doughnuts.[36]

As of 2004, the first Mister Donut shop opened in Taiwan featured "doughnuts in 50 different flavors every day. Each flavor comes with a label indicating the level of sweetness." The store also sold around 15 kinds of drinks and beverages.[25]

In 2007, Mister Donut attracted media attention in Japan, when it admitted it had used out-of-dated syrups in some of its drinks earlier that year.[21]

The company has created special donut lines for various events, for example creating soldier-themed doughnuts for National Doughnut Day on June 1 in Thailand, with funds benefitting military personnel in the country.[37]

In June 2013, Mister Donut in Thailand debuted the SushiDo, sushi-themed donuts created as a part of "a special sushi-themed menu." At the time, they had not been added to the menu in Japan or other countries.[38] Options included "sweet donut versions of ebi, tamago, maguro, salmon, with sugary frosting replacing raw fish."[39] For Halloween, in October 2013, Mister Donut debuted Hello Kitty jack-o’-lantern doughnuts in pumpkin or strawberry flavor, as well as other seasonal pumpkin flavored items, including pumpkin versions of their regular donut.[40]

As of 2014, the stores in El Salvador focused on a menu described as more "homey than foreign, offering national staples like pupusas and tamales alongside giant cream-filled doughnuts."[33]

There have also been items such as strawberry-glaze donuts.[8]

In April 2014, the company launched a croissant-style doughnut, which proved popular.[41]

On May 27, 2014, Mister Donut collaborated with the Japanese fast food franchise Mos Burger on the MOSDO!, a burger using "a spiral-shaped chorizo, lettuce and spicy chili sauce sandwiched between Mister Donut's French Cruller donut as the buns." The menu item was released at Mos Burger stores, while Mister Donut stores at the time were selling "Mos Burger's famous rice burger with sweet bean paste, sweet potato paste, and custard cream stuffing."[42]

In April 2015, Mister Donut released new items such as the "Brooklyn Merry-Go-Round, which uses both cookie and bagel dough." At the time, the company announced that it will "launch new key products quarterly while maintaining its standard menu."[41]

In 2015, Japan revealed a summer doughnut menu themed to Brooklyn, New York. Japan Times explained that the menu was "'Brooklyn themed' in the sense it combines several foodstuffs together into one, in the style of New York-born fusion treats such as the Cronut." Items included "berry or lemon doughnuts cut in half, with a layer of yogurt added to the middle, or a chocolate option with sugary cream in the center."[43]

As of May 2016, "some 80% of the menu at Mister Donut bakery and cafe is made up of coffee drinks and the rest is doughnuts."[28]

In Japan, current items as of July 2016 may include the old-fashioned doughnuts covered in chocolate or cinnamon flavored. There is also a "chocolate almond croissant muffin," a salty donut, a chocolate-covered churro, a financier donut," and "Japanese-style matcha kuromitsu stick."[44]

In Japan, Mister Donut's "signature" is the "Pon de Ringu, with its cartoon lion mascot."[8] The Japanese stores also sell the "pon de ring, Mister Donut’s signature item that’s made of a connected circle of dough balls." Pon de ring varieties include the pon de angel, which is cream-filled, and the pon de kokuto, or a pon de ring with brown sugar.[44]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "History of Mister Donut". misterdonut.jp. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  2. ^ "J. Lyons & Co". Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "How Mister Donut's new employees are trained at 'doughnut college' in Osaka". CNA Lifestyle. May 8, 2023. Retrieved June 5, 2023.
  4. ^ "Franchises to Add 200,000 Jobs to Economy in 2014". 24-7 Press Release Newswire.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Sauter, Michael B. and Alexander E. M. Hess. Famous Restaurant Chains That Are Hard to Find. Page 2. 247wallst.com
  6. ^ 80 Years of Grain-based Foods. Sosland Publishing Company. 2002.
  7. ^ DONUT, MISTER. "เกี่ยวกับมิสเตอร์ โดนัท ประเทศไทย". www.misterdonut.co.th. Retrieved May 19, 2023.
  8. ^ a b c d Milian, Mark (February 13, 2014). "Mister Donut, Pan Am and Friendster Found Alive and Well". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Our Story". Mister Donut. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  10. ^ Pernod Ricard successfully completes acquisition of Allied Domecq Archived June 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, from the Pernod Ricard website
  11. ^ Pernod Ricard sells Dunkin' Brands to Bain Capital
  12. ^ "As Private Equity Cashes Out, What's Next for DNKN?". September 5, 2012. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  13. ^ "Mister Donut – Chains We Wish Were in Florida". Orlando Sentinel. 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  14. ^ "Big Apple bought over by Japan's Mister Donut franchisee". The Rakyat Post. Osaka. June 10, 2016. Archived from the original on July 21, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  15. ^ "Inspire Brands Completes Acquisition of Dunkin' Brands". www.businesswire.com. December 15, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  16. ^ Shimbun, Yomiuri (August 28, 2010). "[ONタイム・仕事師たち]ポン・デ・リング もちもち食感再開発" [[ON Time / Workers] Pon de Ring Redevelopment of Mochimochi Texture]. Osaka Evening Edition (in Japanese). p. 6.
  17. ^ "(ヒットの秘ミツ)発売以来一番人気のポン・デ・リング ミスタードーナツ 【大阪】" [(Hit's Secret Mitsu) The most popular Pon de Ring Mr. Donut [Osaka]]. The Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese) (Tokyo evening ed.). May 21, 2007. p. 2.
  18. ^ Kay, Enze (May 19, 2023). "Mister Donut Review: Famous Mochi Doughnuts At Junction 8 | Eatbook.sg". EatBook.sg - Local Singapore Food Guide And Review Site. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  19. ^ "During recent years, the number of shops of Mister Donuts continued to decrease four years in a row". June 24, 2021. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  20. ^ Trucco, Terry (December 26, 1982). "SERVING MR. DONUT AND THE COMMUNITY". The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  21. ^ a b "Mister Donut in Japan food safety". The Star. Toronto. October 31, 2007. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  22. ^ Lynn Dinh, Michelle (September 17, 2013). "The top 8 fast food chains in Japan". Japan Today. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  23. ^ "How Mister Donut built 2,200 stores in the Philippines". Manila Standard. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  24. ^ Red, Isah V. (June 9, 1997). "Domestic problem". Manila Standard. Kamahalan Publishing Corp. p. 19. Retrieved July 20, 2023.
  25. ^ a b Ho, Yingrid (October 4, 2004). "Chain store Mister Donut comes to town". www.chinapost.com.tw. The China Post. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  26. ^ Rungfapaisarn, Kwanchai (December 5, 2011). "Plan to double Mister Donut stores in the next five years". www.nationmultimedia.com. Thailand: The Nation. Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  27. ^ "Mister Donut Thailand plans 30 new stores". insideretail.asia/. May 27, 2015. May 27, 2015. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  28. ^ a b "Mister Donut bakes up plan to open outlets in Vietnam". Malaysian Marketing. May 31, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ "Mister Donut exits China as profits crumble". Nikkei Asia. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  30. ^ Asia, Inside Retail (March 28, 2019). "Mister Donut China to close as trading sours". Inside Retail. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  31. ^ "Donut Connection Store Locations". Archived from the original on June 7, 2008. Retrieved June 23, 2008.
  32. ^ 38°55′25″N 90°11′20″W / 38.923519°N 90.188823°W / 38.923519; -90.188823; see "Google street view". Retrieved July 20, 2012..
  33. ^ a b Smith, Jennie Erin (November 21, 2014). "Mister Donut for Mayor". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  34. ^ "Mister Donut Inauguro Sucursal Platillo Merliot". www.sanmiguel.com.sv. San Miguel. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015.
  35. ^ Smith, Jennie Erin (November 21, 2014). "Mister Donut for mayor". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  36. ^ Cardoza, Riley (October 18, 2017). "We compared Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts to find out which is really best — and the winner was clear". Business Insider. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  37. ^ "Sweet, Fat, but it's Okay, Sir, Send our love to the Deep South". mThai. Archived from the original on June 9, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  38. ^ Lynn Dinh, Michelle (June 27, 2013). "Enjoy sushi doughnuts at Mister Donut in Thailand". Rocket News 24. Archived from the original on February 2, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  39. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (June 26, 2013). "Sushi Donuts! Yes, Sushi...Donuts!". kotaku.com. Kotaku. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  40. ^ Lynn Dinh, Michelle (October 5, 2013). "Hello Kitty gets a jack-o'-lantern grin at Mister Donut Japan". Japan Today. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  41. ^ a b Nagata, Mami (April 7, 2015). "Mister Donut betting on novel treats to please snackers". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  42. ^ Takahashi, Yoriko (May 28, 2014). "MOSDO! – Donut burger & rice burger dessert?". Akihabara News. Archived from the original on October 2, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  43. ^ St. Michel, Patrick (July 17, 2015). "Mister Donut is building a pastry bridge to Brooklyn". The Japan Times. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  44. ^ a b Baseel, Casey (July 4, 2016). "Mister Donut is offering all-you-can-eat donuts in Tokyo!". en.rocketnews24.com. Rocket News 24. Retrieved September 27, 2016.

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