When Melissa and Enes Seker decided to open a donuts shop in German city of Cologne about a year ago, it did not immediately sound like the best idea to challenge the multi-billion dollar US-based company Dunkin’ Donuts which has three stores in the city. As of January 23rd, the young couple opened three more stores in Germany surpassing the number of Dunkin’ Donuts franchises in Germany in just one year.
Dunkin’ Donuts has over 13 thousand franchises globally and 60 of them are in Germany. The company has been struggling to grow in the passed few years as the industry has faced several challenges over the years. Eating habits of people have changed dramatically during the past decade, most people staying away from carbs to lead a healthier life. Businesses have also suffered dramatically in 2020 as the novel coronavirus infections hit the 100 million mark. However, biggest challenge in Germany for the US-based donuts giant came from an unknown brand, Royal Donuts.
Still in their 20s, Seker family’s Royal Donuts brand became an instant hit as it uniquely offered to prepare custom-made donuts. The couple then opened a few more stores in nearby cities like Aachen and Dormagen. Each store brought in huge business which made the young Turkish-German couple to realize that challenging the American donuts giant was the best idea of their lives. Then novel coronavirus arrived in Germany in late February. Several businesses in gastronomy sector faced big challenges during the strict rules to stem the virus but Royal Donuts just kept growing reaching 60 stores in Germany and opening up 22 more in other European countries like Luxembourg and Belgium.
Every new Royal Donuts store witnessed hundreds of meters long queues as its American rival have been looking into simplifying its menu to overcome financial challenges. Their success has caught the eye of the German media as well.
“I could not possibly imagine to grow this much at the beginning. I just went after my passion,” said Enes Seker during an interview. His brand is about to enter Dubai market and Seker says he will soon be appearing in his homeland, Turkey