Following in the footsteps of Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme has decided that the time has come for the popular doughnut brand to make its foray into the coffee world, perhaps in the hopes of giving Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts a run for their money.
In October, Krispy Kreme opened a new doughnut shop in Clemmons, North Carolina, and it happens to feel a lot more like a café than its previous stores.
It doesn’t take much to highlight how well coffee and doughnuts pair together, though Krispy Kreme made sure to add some important customer-retaining elements — like a nice seating area, mood-setting vintage signs and natural wood, and of course, free WiFi.
“We love to hear, ‘We used to go to Starbucks, but this is pretty cool too,’” CEO Tony Thompson admitted to Business Insider, though he denies that his company is “trying to go be a Starbucks.”
Rather, what Krispy Kreme wants is to ensure that “people are coming for the doughnut,” but staying for the coffee.
Already Krispy Kreme has begun retrofitting some of its existing shops with a new ordering system that is meant to modernize the brand — not entirely unlike what Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have been doing in the past several months, with enhanced mobile ordering options. Some locations will get their own barista and a manual espresso machine, while others will simply be reorganized to improve customer flow.
However, unlike Dunkin’ Donuts, which now calls itself a beverage company, Krispy Kreme’s ultimate goal is to make sure that doughnuts remain the company’s central focus. “You do not want [customers] to say ‘This is not the Krispy Kreme we grew up on,’” said Thompson.