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Dunkin’ Director of Construction Shares How She Built Her Career

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By Jessica Shock

When Patty Hacker first started working for a Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins network in Northern Illinois in 2004, she had two little boys, who were four and six. “They thought I was the coolest mom on the planet when I took the job – probably thinking I’d bring home endless donuts and ice cream,” Patty laughed. As the brand rolled out in Chicago, her sons had seen lots of bright and bold advertising and were excited for their mother to be a part of it.

“Personally, I have so many happy memories as a kid enjoying a Double Chocolate donut at Dunkin’ – which is still my favorite – and going for a Baskin-Robbins ice cream cone with my parents, so I jumped at the chance to work for these iconic brands,” said Patty. “I saw it as an opportunity to share them with the next generation, and I knew I had the right skillset and work ethic to help.”

Before Dunkin’, Patty had been a restaurant manager for 25 years when a friend referred her to franchisees who were new to the brand and interested in building new stores. In this new role, Patty became the first District Manager in the market; her restaurant exposure went from zero to 60 during twelve-and-a-half years with the franchisee.

“To get the chance to be a part of something from soup to nuts is amazing,” shared Patty. “I learned a lot about real estate, construction, operations, training, technology – all the puzzle pieces that add up to a restaurant’s success.”

In 2017, the franchisee Patty had worked for sold his restaurants to Rishad Rajabali, President and CEO of The Rajabali Group. Rishad has been a Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins franchisee since 2003 and believed in Patty from day one, promoting her to Director of Construction as he opened locations in the San Antonio market.

“I had never considered moving out of state, but I truly live for the rush of building restaurants and was thrilled to try my hand in a new market,” Patty says. “I love being a part of every new restaurant opening team and watching each location grow to become a part of each community.”

Patty was instrumental in growing Rishad’s network from three to fifteen restaurants in just four years and contributing to the brand experience in the market. For Patty, her favorite part of working with Dunkin’ is the same reason she joined all those years ago: building relationships through the brand. “I have made great friendships over the years, from co-workers in Illinois and Texas to many folks on the corporate side,” she said. “I love that the franchise community has such strong relationships with the brand teams. I truly feel that we are partners in everything, which is special.”

As for the communities in which the restaurants operate, Patty notes that she is inspired by Dunkin’s Joy in Childhood Foundation, which helps bring joy to children battling hunger and illness. “I am very proud of the work the brand does to help children’s hospitals and food banks that have a direct impact on local kids in need,” she shared. “Franchisee networks are very involved in volunteerism in our neighborhoods, which builds a meaningful connection and real impact for all.”

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