The Donut and the Hole…in Krispy Kreme’s System

As folks line up, vaccinated card in hand, to get a free donut at Krispy Kreme, a few words about my experience. . . and my shock at what I learned there.

The decision to get, or personally eat, a free item, would seem to be a personal decision. Ideally informed by one’s awareness of your own health, and the impact of eating- a donut.

And yet, as I was shocked to learn when I visited the nearest Krispy Kreme to my home last Friday, there is a far bigger and more serious problem happening there.

On entering the store, I got in the masked and distanced limited occupancy line along a series of cases displaying literally hundreds of donuts, in dozens of varieties. In addition to my free glazed donut, I wanted a blueberry donut- of which at least two dozen were in the case on display.

But at the register when I ordered, I was told “sorry, we don’t have any blueberry donuts.” I was surprised, and frankly certain the clerk didn’t know so many were literally two steps away to her right. I gestured and said, “excuse me, but there are lots of blueberry donuts right here in the case.” With no tone of apology or regret, the clerk said “those are not for sale. They are for display only.”

What‽ I asked with incredulity what she meant. Why were the literally hundreds of donuts displayed in cases right in front of the customers NOT available? And if they were not for sale, what was to be done with them?

The clerk replied – again, with a tone of both certainty and correctness- that these were simply for show, and that after a certain number of hours. . . they were. . . thrown away.

I was shocked and appalled. “What do you mean? Why can’t you sell these? And why would you throw them out? Why can’t you donate them to a local organization to feed those in need?”

The further reply only amplified my shock and disdain. The clerk said that it was policy. That the manager decided when the display donuts were no longer useful, and needed to be thrown out. That they could not be given away, because after a certain number of hours, they might (emphasis in my mind on “might”) be bad, and might make someone sick. A risk Krispy Kreme just could not and would not take.

To this, I replied that Krispy Kreme needed to change their system. Either sell the display case donuts, or give them away when it was safe enough to feed those in need. Of course, the clerk had no answer for my concern and complaint.

After leaving, I checked on the web and learned that Krispy Kreme has been faulted for this practice before.

Why, I wondered as I drove away, could Krispy Kreme not put up high-definition tv’s with beautiful bright images of their donuts, as Dunkin and other chains do nowadays? Why literally waste hundreds of perfectly fine donuts every day?

And so, for those bringing vaccination cards for freebies… why not coordinate with a local foodbank or similar charity to have a van outside each KK so we can immediately give away our free donuts and food to those who both need something to eat. . . and who likely have not yet been vaccinated?

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