Dunkin' Donuts went public on Wednesday, and shares hit Nasdaq with more than 50 percent in early-afternoon trading says TheStreet.com  and Marketwatch.com.

"This is a big day for Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, as Dunkin' Brands officially goes public," CEO Nigel Travis said in a statement on DunkinDonuts.com. "Today, I'll have the honor of representing the company in New York City as 'DNKN' is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market for the very first time.

"As part of our celebration today, I am tremendously excited and a bit humbled that our brands' iconic images will appear high above Times Square on the NASDAQ MarketSite Tower," Travis added. "I'm honored that NASDAQ is unofficially changing its name for today only to 'NASDDAQ,' with a special new logo incorporating Dunkin' Donuts' famous pink and orange Ds on their electronic signage in Times Square and on the official NASDAQ Web site."

In other donut news, Dunkin' Donuts is giving away a free lunch this Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., an employee confirmed to IBTimes. 

At participating Dunkin' Donuts restaurants, the purchase of any beverage can get you a chicken salad or tuna sandwich on a croissant, bagel, or English muffin. The offer is only at participating stores in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Watch Chris Evans, star of "Captain America" give Dunkin' Donuts a shout-out: