Krispy Kreme debuted its first store redesign in over a decade this week, and it’s all about digital enhancements to speed up ordering, payments, pickup, and delivery for the doughnut-centric business.
According to a press release, the first of these locations opened on Tuesday in Concord, N.C., appropriately just a stone’s throw away from the company’s Global Product & Innovation Center.
Besides an expanded menu and something called “an enhanced doughnut theater experience,” where you can watch the goods being made step by step, the new store design features a number of tech-forward initiatives. Online ordering is integrated into the overall format, as is delivery. In terms of physical layout, the store has a dedicated area for self-service mobile order pickup for customers and/or delivery drivers. Krispy Kreme has also expanded the store’s drive-thru to two lanes — much like Dunkin’ did in 2018 when it opened its next-generation concept store.
The similarities between Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ shouldn’t be taken as a doughnut to donut comparison, though. Rather, Krispy Kreme is merely following the direction most QSRs are traveling these days, which is all about becoming digital-first restaurants that can accommodate the growing number of sales channels (in-store, delivery, mobile app, drive-thru) customers want as options for ordering, as well as growing demand for better personalization. The news comes just days after KFC announced its digitally focused drive-thru of the future, Starbucks opened an express store concept in China, and, here in the U.S., Brightloom (formerly Eatsa) upped the ante on restaurant-tech in general by partnering with Starbucks to license the latter’s tech. Among many other developments.
According to the press release, the Concord, N.C. store is the first of 45 planned Krispy Kreme locations, new and existing, that will get the digital makeover throughout 2020.