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Dunkin’ Donuts, a well-known brand of Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. (DNKN - Snapshot Report), recently unveiled an outlet in Charlottesville, Virginia in association with its franchise partner, Norson Inc.

The new outlet also boasts a “drive-thru” facility to cater to busy customers travelling by road. The strategic positioning of the restaurant at the 305 Rivanna Plaza Drive near the Kegler's bowling alley coupled with its contemporary ambience will likely drive sales.

Focus on expansion being very important with Dunkin', management finds the fast-growing markets in Virginia to be particularly attractive. Currently, the company operates 11 locations under the Dunkin’ Donuts brand in the state.

The restaurant industry in Virginia acts as a driving force for the U.S. economy. Per the National Restaurant Association, the state’s emerging restaurant industry will generate total revenue of nearly $13.9 billion in 2013 which justifies the company’s decision to expand in the state.

The restaurateur has been actively expanding its domestic portfolio and intends to double it in the next 20 years. In the past few years, the restaurateur has signed several single and multi-unit development agreements with franchisees in order to seize growth opportunities and cater to consumer needs in individual markets. In the last month, the company penned a multi-unit deal with a new franchisee — JP Foods, LLC — to open 12 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in Memphis, Tennessee over the next seven years.

To cater to the various market-specific needs, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company has undertaken a series of initiatives such as flexible concepts for any real estate format including free-standing restaurants, end-caps and in-line sites, menu innovation and improvements in food presentation.

Investors interested in the restaurant industry may consider stocks like Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (BWLD - Analyst Report), DineEquity, Inc. (DIN - Snapshot Report) and Darden Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBRL - Snapshot Report). All these companies hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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