The economic outlook for 2009 may be sour, but Dunkin’ Donuts thinks its prospects are sweet.

The coffee and food chain expects to weather 2009 and keep the heat on rivals such as McDonalds and Starbucks. Coming are a new CEO, more value offerings, more stores and more marketing, with spending up more than 5 percent, led by a $100 million ad campaign starting Monday.

“It will be a difficult year economically but I think we’re well-positioned,” says Will Kussell, president and chief brand officer. The chain has 5,769 U.S. stores.

Dunkin’ recently scored a symbolic win in Congress against Starbucks, which is undergoing a $400 million revitalization plan.

As of Dec. 18, thanks to a concession change, Dunkin’ bumped Starbucks as the official coffee of the Senate restaurant.

Dunkin’ spent much of 2008 re-emphasizing the basics, such as service speed, after seeing a dip in sales. ”We started to see a little bit of a downturn in the early part of ’08, particularly in Florida. That was the leading indicator for us,” says Kussell.