Mister Donut

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Mister Donut
Wholly owned subsidiary
Industry Food and Beverage
Founded 1956
Founder Harry Winokur
Headquarters Japan
Area served
United States, Canada, Middle East, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, China, Philippines, Thailand, El Salvador and Malaysia
Products Doughnuts • Coffee • Bagels
Parent Independent (1956–1970)
International Multifoods Corporation (1970–1990)
Allied Lyons (1990–2008) Dunkin' Brands (2008-present)
Website mister-donut.com

Mister Donut (ミスタードーナツ Misutā Dōnatsu?) is a fast food franchise founded in the United States in 1956, now headquartered in Japan, where it has more than 1,300 stores. The primary offerings include doughnuts, coffee, muffins and pastries. After being acquired by Allied Lyons in 1990, most North American stores became Dunkin' Donuts. Mister Donut also maintains a presence in Taiwan, South Korea, Mainland China, Philippines, Thailand, and El Salvador.[1][2]

Corporate history[edit]

A honey-glazed churro from a Japanese Mister Donut shop
"Mister Croissant Donut", a cronut-inspired donuts available at Mister Donut stores throughout Japan

North America[edit]

Harry Winokur worked with William Rosenberg, future 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[citation needed] in 1955, with stores in most of North America.[3]

The Mister Donut business became so popular that Winokur and Slater decided to go into franchising.[3] As a result, Mister Donut began a rapid expansion that resulted in the opening of 275 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

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.[3]

It was the largest competitor to Dunkin' Donuts, which was founded in 1950, before being acquired by Dunkin' Donuts' then-parent company, Allied-Lyons, in February 1990.[3]

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.[3]

Japan and Asia[edit]

The first Mister Donut outlet in Japan opened in Osaka in 1971.[1] In 1983, Duskin Co., Ltd. of Osaka, Japan acquired the rights to franchise Mister Donut throughout Japan and Asia. Mister Donut is the largest donut chain operating in Japan.[3]

Marketing presence[edit]

Mister Donut's Japanese mascot Pon de Lion

Mister Donut has a distinctive 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 in particular, "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) has become equally recognizable (if not more so) to customers in Japan.

One popular Mister Donut advertising jingle featured a song sung by two people in various settings:

Hey, Mister, that's a doughnut!
Hey, Mister, that's a Mister Donut doughnut!

Global stores[edit]


Mister Donut in Shanghai, China
Mister Donut in Taipei, Taiwan

Today, the Mister Donut brand survives in Japan, Thailand, China, and the Philippines, and the company is expanding into other areas of Asia such as Taiwan and South Korea. In Taiwan, the chain is owned by a joint venture between Duskin and the Uni-President Enterprises Corporation, which also operates 7-11 and Starbucks stores in Taiwan.


In Japan, Mister Donut is owned by Duskin Co., Ltd., a part of the Mitsui Keiretsu. Mister Donut is the largest Donut franchise chain in Japan. Many Mister Donut stores in Japan house Yamucha sub-stores that serve a small variety of dim sum. These sub-stores are usually advertised with the phrase "San Francisco Chinatown", reinforcing the chain's American image even while selling Chinese food.


A Mister Donut stand in Angeles, Philippines

In the Philippines, Mister Donut is the second largest doughnut chain, with Dunkin' Donuts as its main competitor.[citation needed] Mister Donut outlets are mostly stands, most often located inside shopping malls or other stores but sometimes in stand-alone stands along the street. Doughnuts from Mister Donut are also sold in 7-Eleven stores and KFC restaurants. Some locations sell coffee but mostly it focuses on donuts including as pasalubong, gifts by visitors to friends and family. The doughnuts sold are adjusted to the local market with smaller and therefore cheaper sizes and different flavors.


In Thailand, Mister Donut has been a leader in the Thai donut market since 1978. It is known for its concept "Donut for Fun". Mister Donut has more than 250 branches across Thailand with more opening yearly. They include stand-alone stores as well as branches at shopping malls and supermarkets.

Europe, Middle East & Africa[edit]

On 31 March 1987, Elie G. Saheb and associates acquired the Mister Donut Trade Mark rights for the United Kingdom and opened the first Mister Donut bakery and pilot shop in Fulham, London. Saheb was credited for introducing the American Donut culture in Europe, and on May 2, 1988 The Trade Marks rights for the European markets were acquired followed on 14 October 1995 by the Middle East, and Africa region as well as some countries in South East Asia.

Central America[edit]

El Salvador[edit]

There are numerous Mister Donut stores in El Salvador. These Mister Donuts also offer El Salvador's dishes such as pupusas. The franchise now counts with a few stores with 24 hours service[4]

Mister Donut in San Salvador

North America[edit]


Mister Donut operations downsized in the late 1990s; the final surviving three in the Toronto, Ontario area closed quietly around or prior to 2010.

United States[edit]

A former Mister Donut in New Castle, Pennsylvania, which became Dunkin' Donuts in 1994. The store was rebuilt in 2003, with a Baskin-Robbins and a drive-thru added.

There were many stores in the Pennsylvania and Ohio region that remained Mister Donuts, mostly due to being close to then-existing Dunkin' Donuts stores. Nine Mister Donut owners formed a cooperative to continue to receive bulk pricing on materials. These stores are now known as Donut Connection, serving the same items as Mister Donut stores. Hundreds of Donut Connection franchises are in the eastern U.S.[5] Some businesses retained the Mister Donut name; fewer than 10 stores continue using Mister Donut; most folded while others are now Dunkin' Donuts. Only one business still uses the Mister Donut name; it is in Godfrey, Illinois.[6]

Mister Donut in Godfrey, Illinois

Some locations of the Donut Connection partnership have retained the original fixtures of the original Mister Donut location. The Donut Connection store in Shakopee, Minnesota still has the orange motif and an original Mister Donut price board.

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 c d e f Sauter, Michael B. and Alexander E. M. Hess. Famous Restaurant Chains That Are Hard to Find. Page 2. 247wallst.com
  4. ^ http://www.sanmiguel.com.sv/mister-donut-inauguro-sucursal-platillo-merliot
  5. ^ "Donut Connection Store Locations". Retrieved June 23, 2008. 
  6. ^ 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. .

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