Hot Chocolate from Dunkin Donuts

No matter how much Americans love coffee, hot chocolate is always going to be everyone’s favorite winter drink.

A mug of frothy hot chocolate with smores floating and caramel drizzle is unbeatable!

You might wonder just how many calories are in the hot chocolate drinks from your go-to Dunkin Donuts joint?

There are 460 calories in one serving of a Large Dunkin’ Donuts hot chocolate drink, 320 in the medium, and 210 in the small.

These are broken down in terms of fat, carbs, and protein. You can alter these calories if you ever decide to make a copycat version of the Dunkin’ Donuts hot chocolate at home. 


How Much Do the Dunkin’ Donuts Hot Chocolate Drinks Cost?

Hot chocolate

Quick-service restaurants often have affordable menu items. Dunkin’ is no different.

The price range for the different-sized and uniquely-flavored hot chocolate is between $1.55 and $5. Dunkin’ also does deliveries.

These prices are exclusive of other fees associated with your order. 

What Does Dunkin’ Donuts Do with Their Leftovers?

Like most restaurants, unsold food will get discarded on the same day to prepare and create space for fresh food the next day.

Dunkin' Donuts also disposes of any donuts, muffins, bagels, and all other baked goods that weren’t sold. Unfortunately, the employees aren’t allowed to take them home. 

Considering the number of Dunkin’ outlets in existence, if each establishment threw away only 100 baked items a day, cumulatively, they would be discarding over one million food items daily.

This number is overwhelming when so many go hungry. 

How to Make a Decadent Dunkin’ Donut Hot Chocolate at Home

Hot Chocolate at home

You can make your own version of the Dunkin’ Donuts Hot Chocolate at home. All you need is a few key ingredients, and some time on your hands.

You need milk for the base, semi-sweet chocolate chips or cocoa powder + sugar, caramel syrup (optional but highly recommended), whipped cream (optional), and some smores.

For an extra creamy result, substitute part of the milk with heavy cream. 

To begin, add your milk to a saucepan and throw in your chocolate chips. Stir over medium-high heat.

You may choose to simmer the mixture a little, but be careful to avoid burning your milk.

Once the chocolate chips are completely melted, add your caramel syrup and allow it to dissolve. Pout this mixture into a mug.

Add some smores, drizzle with chocolate or caramel syrup, then top it with some whipped cream and drizzle some more chocolate or caramel syrup.

Enjoy your chocolate sitting on a cozy chair while reading a book or watching a movie.

The Top Most Bought Items at Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin Donuts Establishment

DD has an extensive menu featuring America’s most loved snacks and food items. Some are more loved than others. Here are the top eight most purchased.  

  • Sandwiches: bacon, egg & cheese, and egg and cheese sandwich.

  • The warm omelet bites come in two variations; bacon & cheddar and egg white & veggie. 

  • The two flavored refreshers are Strawberry Dragonfruit Dunkin' refreshers and the Peach Passion Dunkin’ refresher. These are fortified with various B vitamins and green tea. 

  • Stuffed Bagel Minis.

  • Muffins. 

  • Glazed Donuts. Dunkin’ donuts come in 22 flavors.

  • Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese. 

  • Hot chocolate comes in unique flavors.

Is Dunkin’ Donuts Food Healthy?

Yes, depending on what you select from their menu. Dunkin’ has a versatile menu that serves both healthy and unhealthy options.

Some of your healthy pics would be the veggie egg white sandwich or the multigrain bagel. 

The unhealthy choices would be sausages, which are high in sodium and non-food components, hot chocolate drinks which can have up to 5 spoons of sugar per serving, and high levels of fat due to the whipped cream.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. 

5 Easy Ways to Make Healthy Drink Alternatives 

Enjoying a warm cup of Dunkin’s Hot Chocolate is a necessary vice once in a while, but it is important to choose the healthier options more often than not. Here is a list to help you get on track with your drink options.  

  • Fresh ginger tea. This spicy, antioxidant-rich tea has a long history of medicinal value. It is great for nausea for women experiencing morning sickness and relieving tummy issues. Grate a small amount of it (peeled and cleaned prior) into boiled water and let it seep for some minutes. Next, stir briskly and enjoy. Ginger tea bags are also available in supermarkets. 

  • Fruit teas. This is a great choice if you are up for something flavorful and low-calorie. On your next supermarket run, check for fruit tea. Read the labels and avoid any that contain inordinate amounts of sugar or licorice, which has the potential to increase your blood pressure. 

  • Fresh mint tea. Herbs have become a thing in the recent past, and many millennials are growing their own little herb gardens on their porches or window panes. Mint tea is a great palate cleanser that also aids digestion. Wash and chop a handful of mint leaves and use them to brew tea. Be wary of mint teas offered in restaurants as they can contain excessive amounts of added sugar. 

  • Hot chocolate. While hot chocolate from coffee shops tends to contain too much sugar, you can make your own at home with less sugar and use healthier alternatives such as real cocoa powder and honey for sweetening instead of processed chocolate chips and caramel syrup.  

  • Hot lemon. This is such an easy go-to drink. Simply cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a mug of hot water. Add honey for a bit of sweetness. Note that the acids in lemon can be bad for teeth sensitivity, so, ensure you gargle with pure water or drink the hot lemon with a meal. 

Who Owns Dunkin’ Donuts?

Dunkin' Donuts, which is also famously known as DD because of its logo, is a US-founded turned multinational coffee and donut shop as well as a fast-food restaurant.

Bill Rosenberg began the first DD in 1960, in Quincy, Massachusetts.

He owned and ran it until 1990 when Allied Lyons acquired it. Before the acquisition, DD was called Mister Donut. Allied Lyons later rebranded it to Dunkin’ Donuts. 

Currently, it is owned by Inspire Brands, which bought it on December 15, 2020. Before that, in 2019, DD had begun a second major rebranding exercise and wanted to be newly known as a beverage-led company.

They also ditched the word donut and retained only Dunkin’. The rebranding is still being rolled out and will eventually reach all their international locations. 

How Many Dunkin’ Donuts Are there?

Dunkin Donuts inside the mall

As of May 2022, there were over 11,250 Dunkin' Donut restaurants globally. Around 9,000 of these are situated in the US, spread across 41 states.

The rest are spread outside the US across some 37 countries. A significant percentage of all these establishments are franchisee-run. 

Based on statistics, 200 million Americans eat donuts repeatedly on an annual basis; and let's not even talk about coffee.

So, if you have the capacity, a Dunkin’ franchise might be something you’d want to consider doing. It’s good business. 

Benefits of Running a Dunkin’ Donut Franchise

Dunkin’ Donuts is a growing business. It has stayed afloat for over half a century, weathering economic challenges such as recessions and pandemics. The franchise model offers good benefits to entrepreneurs, including the following:

  • Because Dunkin’ Donut already has a strong brand within the quick-serve restaurant business, you will be miles ahead in terms of marketing, market segmentation, branding, and customer loyalty. These are significant enough to serve you internationally. 

  • Despite the fact that you have to replicate Dunkin’s service model and menu, the rest of the operations are up to you, allowing you a sense of autonomy and creativity. You get to be your own boss in a multinational corporation.

  • Personal development is important. Dunkin’ runs an online university and offers numerous courses on running and managing a business. You get access to all these. 

  • Support is everything when you are venturing out into the depths of business. The new franchisee gets support and assistance on the important stuff, such as site selection, contracting, training staff, and launching. 

  • Besides the Dunkin’ Donut Online University, once your franchise application has been reviewed and approved, you will go through an intensive 3-day business course in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Disadvantages of Running a Dunkin’ Donut Franchise

Franchises are great, especially if the company is already established and thriving in the industry. However, there are always a few disadvantages to consider:

  • It is a capital-intensive venture. From application fees to set up and running costs, the financial intensity and associated risks of a franchise are a real barrier to entry. 

  • Bad press because of occurrences in a different establishment squarely affects you. In the recent past, there were reports about the hacking of customer accounts. This caused a temporary reduction in sales in almost all Dunkin’ establishments in the US. 

  • Due to strict franchise branding requirements, your ideas on how to ‘improve’ Dunkin' Donuts may not be entertained. Limiting one’s creativity tends to be frustrating for most people who enjoy creating and building on fresh ideas. 

  • Dunkin’ does not offer any financing options to its franchisees. They, however, would recommend to you a bank that gives SBA-Backed loan facilities.  

  • Anonymity. Because Dunkin’ already has a face, you, as a franchise owner, cannot really ‘own’ the business or become the face of your branch. 

How Much is a Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise?

This is the million-dollar question for anyone interested in owning and running a Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise. The associated costs vary depending on location, how many establishments you want to open, the size of the establishment, and so forth. 

There are several fees that are applicable at each stage. Here is an estimated breakdown of the costs you may incur in your Dunkin’ franchise quest. 

  • Initial franchise fees: $39,000 to $91,000 (depending on the selected location)

  • Net worth: $600,000 minimum

  • Total investment estimate: $96,900 to $1.9 million

  • Liquid Capital: A minimum of $255,000

Interestingly, Dunkin’s initial fees are lower than what you’d have to pay for its competitors. For instance, Krispy Kreme’s fees are as high as $1.85 million, while McDonald’s will charge up to $2.3 million in initial fees. One might argue that Dunkin’ isn’t as big as McDonald's, yet. However, their revenues per outlet per annum are almost at par. To McDonald's credit, however, it has more branches and franchises. So, cumulatively, it makes way more in revenue.

How Much Can a Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise Owner Make?

A lot! Up to 125,000 annually in profits. This figure translates to roughly $62 per hour and is deliriously 70% higher in comparison to the current national average for all franchisees, who average about $59,000 annually.  


Hot chocolate from Dunkin' Donuts may contain high-calorie levels, but that doesn’t mean you have to give it up altogether. The trick is moderation and the beauty of variety. Mix up your drink choices, maintaining the delicate balance between healthy and simply delicious.