Is Dunkin Cheaper than Starbucks? Side by Side Comparison

You might find yourself wondering if Dunkin’ is really cheaper than Starbucks.

With an established name such as these two large coffee chains, you’d expect them to have the same prices. But, Dunkin’ is cheaper than Starbucks.

Several factors like the store locations, offerings, and even franchise owners can affect the pricing strategy of these two well-known coffee chains.

In this article, I will talk about these key factors that affect the pricing of both Starbucks and Dunkin’. 

In this article:

  • Dunkin’ and Starbucks: Overview
  • Menu Comparison: Hot, Ieed, Specialty Drinks
  • Factors That Affect the Pricing of Starbucks and Dunkin’

Dunkin’ and Starbucks: Overview

Photo by Isabella Fischer on Unsplash

Starbucks and Dunkin’ are two of the most popular chains when it comes to coffee. However, if I ask you which one is more popular, you might think of Starbucks first.

Starbucks has more of a coffee shop feeling where you can spend hours at a Starbucks location just chilling or working while sipping your favorite drink. Dunkin’, on the other hand, has more of an on-the-go feeling for people who need coffee to go.

At least, that’s my perception when it comes to the two popular coffee chains.

Starbucks also has a more extensive product offering when it comes to coffee and food items compared to Dunkin’. But, with Dunkin’ rebranding to become a beverage-focused brand, Dunkin’ also has expanded its menu to add more drinks.

Related: How to Order Coffee at Dunkin Donuts – A Guide to Dunkin' Lingo

Menu Comparison

Hot Drinks

Photo by Aldrin Rachman Pradana on Unsplash

When comparing the prices between Dunkin’ and Starbucks, you have to keep in mind that both coffee chains have different sizes when it comes to their drinks. 

When it comes to hot coffee, Dunkin’ has smaller cup sizes compared to Starbucks. Dunkin’ hot drinks come in 4 sizes – small (10 oz), medium (14 oz), large (20 oz), and extra large (24 oz).

Starbucks, on the other hand, has 6 cup sizes. Although, you’ll only probably know 4 of those sizes as these sizes are the ones on Starbucks’ menu board. These 6 sizes are demi (3 oz), short (8 oz), tall (12 oz), grande (16 oz), venti (20 to 24 oz), and trenta (31 oz).

A Starbucks tall can be priced anywhere between $2 to 3$ and that will depend if you order brewed coffee or other hot drinks like tea. Dunkin typically has the same price point but is much cheaper by a couple of cents for its hot drinks.

For example, a small latte at Starbucks is usually $2.95 but it is only $2.69 at Dunkin’. With the cup size difference, although not that large, it is understandable that Starbucks is more expensive. 

Starbucks also has a selection of premium blends and this can come at a higher price tag.

Iced Drinks

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

When it comes to iced drinks, Starbucks is still more expensive even if Dunkin has different sizes for its iced drinks. 

For iced drinks, Dunkin’ has 3 different sizes – small (16 oz), medium (24 0z), and large (32 oz). With Starbucks, you get the same sizes except for the venti which offers 24 ounces for cold drinks.

Starbucks is known for its variety of blends which they also use for hot drinks. These premium blends that Starbucks uses can be more expensive which is also used in the iced drinks.

Specialty Drinks

Photo by AIRIZ on Unsplash

When it comes to specialty drinks, Starbucks has more than Dunkin’. With Frappuccinos and Teavanas, you can expect the price point of Starbucks to be more expensive than Dunkin’.

This is because of the ingredients and the way these drinks are prepared. Starbucks is also known for having very customizable drinks and this can add to the cost of having a drink you specifically want made for you.

Related: How to Order Coffee at Starbucks – A Guide to Starbucks Lingo

Factors That Affect the Pricing of Starbucks and Dunkin’

Photo by Samuele Macauda on Unsplash

Several factors can affect the pricing strategy of both Starbucks and Dunkin’ whether it be your favorite drink or food item. Dunkin’ may be cheaper than Starbucks in most parts of the world but the pricing can still vary.

Seasonal Offerings

We all know that Starbucks is known for its seasonal offerings with the Pumpkin Spice Latte being a popular one. Dunkin’ also has seasonal drinks such as the Pink Velvet Machiatto which is on its winter menu.

Starbucks and Dunkin’ can both raise their prices on seasonal drinks because the demand is high. Also, take into consideration that the flavors are limited and the ingredients used can be seasonal as well.

This means that the ingredients can also be priced higher which results in a more expensive drink. Starbucks and Dunkin’ are both businesses and they typically pass the cost of the goods sold on to you as a loyal customer of either Dunkin', Starbucks, or both.


One of the biggest factors in the pricing strategy of businesses is their physical location. The more premium the location is, the higher the businesses pay rent or lease for that building.

As I mentioned earlier, businesses usually transfer these costs to the customers by raising their prices. If you live in an area with a higher cost of living, prices will definitely be higher.

We all know there is literally a Starbucks location everywhere so you might find a Starbucks at a more premium location with higher prices. On the other hand, you might find a Dunkin’ a couple of miles away that has cheaper rent or lease.

Franchise Owners

Now, you might find some Dunkin’ locations to be a little more expensive than Starbucks. If you do find one, this might be because of the franchise owners.

Starbucks does not do franchising which is why you’ll likely find the the prices to be more or less similar unless it is in a premium location.

With Dunkin’, franchise owners can have a say about what goes on the menu or how the products are priced.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to pricing, Dunkin’ is cheaper than Starbucks. This is largely in part because Starbucks uses premium blends and single-origin coffees.

That does not mean Dunkin’ does not use premium blends as well. In fact, they do. 

But, as I mentioned in this article, several factors can affect Dunkin’ and Starbucks’ pricing Strategy.

Both Starbucks and Dunkin’ are known names when it comes to the coffee industry and they can provide you your daily caffeine fix. Whether you go to Starbucks or Dunkin’, the important thing is you enjoy the drinks and food they offer. 

Related: Is Dutch Bros Cheaper Than Starbucks?


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *