- McDonald’s is expanding its Krispy Kreme trial to more than 150 restaurants in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky.
- Last October, nine McDonald’s restaurants began selling Krispy Kreme donuts to test how the menu experiment affected their operations.
- The burger chain also leans toward coffee — a common pairing with donuts — to encourage diners to come more often.
In this photo illustration, a glazed Krispy Kreme donut is shown on May 12, 2022 in Daly City, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
McDonald’s will be selling Krispy Kreme donuts at more than 150 locations in Kentucky starting next month for a limited time.
It is an extension of the fast food giant’s first test with the sweet treats. In October, nine McDonald’s restaurants in Louisville began selling Krispy Kreme donuts. The larger test is designed to assess customer demand and understand how a larger-scale launch would impact restaurant operations.
Beginning March 21, McDonald’s customers will be able to purchase Krispy Kreme’s Glazed Chocolate Ice Cream Sprinkles and Chocolate Cream-Filled Donuts at select locations in the Louisville and Lexington areas. The treats are available all day and can be ordered in the drive-thru lane, in the restaurant, through the McDonald’s app, and for delivery.
McDonald’s has already made minor adjustments to the earlier test, preventing customers from ordering the donuts for delivery and including raspberry-filled donuts instead of the chocolate cream-filled donuts. But the expansion suggests that the first experiment was at least somewhat successful in boosting traffic despite macroeconomic challenges.
Consumers have cut back on restaurant spending as inflation puts pressure on their budgets. But both Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s have reported strong sales in recent quarters.
McDonald’s saw its traffic in the US increase in the second half of the year, bucking the industry trend thanks to its cheap deals. The burger chain also leans toward coffee — a common pairing with donuts — to encourage diners to come more often. And Krispy Kreme has managed to raise prices without hurting sales because consumers are willing to spend money on affordable treats, such as fresh doughnuts.
Krispy Kreme uses a “hub and spoke” model that allows it to efficiently create and distribute its treats. Manufacturing hubs, either stores or donut factories, send freshly made donuts to retail locations such as supermarkets and gas stations every day.
Krispy Kreme Chief Operating Officer Josh Charlesworth said at the ICR conference in January that McDonald’s test has shown the donut chain can make its daily fresh deliveries to restaurant locations. Aside from that, however, the company’s executives have declined to share more details about the progress of the test.