It is time to raise my rates. The stakes are higher, the work is harder–Krispy Kreme is coming to town.
Looking back I can see that the signs were there, the portents. A few weeks ago, the lab technicians in the medical office where I work, hid a photo behind a cabinet door. The photo portrayed four very naked women standing in chorus line formation, clad only in sashes emblazoned with the words Krispy Kreme Donuts. The jolly foursome cumulatively weighed about twelve hundred pounds. The lab techs led me to their surreptitious closet and awaited my reaction. Oh, did we guffaw. But then I went back to my desk and stared out the window, contemplating the meaning of my life as a nutritionist.
It was only a matter of time then until my husband, aware of my prurient interest in all things fatty and sugary, sidled up next to me on the couch to announce the upcoming opening of the area’s first Krispy Kreme franchise.
I shouldn’t panic yet. The new store is to be located a good twenty miles from where I practice. Certainly, none of my client base would be able to procure any of these scrumptious confections. But, what was that? Local gas stations will also be carrying them? The story got worse. As my husband read to me from the article in the business section of the newspaper, the words and images were almost surreal.
According to the article, a “typical Krispy Kreme store opening will draw hundreds of customers who will wait several hours to buy hot doughnuts. In South Bend, Indiana, a customer camped outside of the store for seventeen days awaiting a store’s opening.” The statistics are baffling. Get this. Weekly sales for a Krispy Kreme franchise average about $58,000. This is up from $28,000 a mere four years ago. North American Krispy Kreme stores produce five million doughnuts daily. Daily! The little devils are even making their way into wedding receptions. Probably as invited guests-dear friends of the family.
Apparently, business experts credit this boom to “one of the most effective marketing strategies in the history of the restaurant industry.” However, “both franchisers and company officials say the enthusiasm is the result of the quality of their product-it has such a magical quality about it.” Was it the same combination of commerce and magic that had enticed four very large women to stand in their own doughy glory singing the praises of Krispy Kreme?
I could stand no more. I have been rather accustomed to waging a pathetic fight against the big guys and their Madison Avenue associates, but now they were playing with magic and using stainless steel cauldrons. I have not a chance. In the match-up between the company’s ‘Hot Original Glazed’ and me, I have as much pull as a stale biscuit. As if they knew I’d be reading this, they threw one more punch–right to the gut. In response to concerns about the low-carbohydrate trend, a company official is quoted in the article as saying; “even people trying to avoid sugary baked goods will make an exception for a Krispy Kreme.”
The following day I headed back to my office. I dreamed that there would be lines of devotees waiting to see me. That people would now realize that they were being seduced by an evil pudgy ball of dough, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and would come in droves seeking my aid to protect them. I would be Super Nutritionist. But no one was there. Disheartened, I settled into my desk. I might just as well tell my clients to take two doughnuts and call me in the morning.
I guess I should just be patient. Eventually, the hoopla will have to die down and the magic will have to fade. The masses, those mere mortals, will be sorry then. Even the company officials and franchisers will have had one Krispy Kreme too many, and they will regret it. That is when they will come knocking on my door (or pulling up to my drive-thru window.) But, I don’t have any magic spells to undo the ravages of that enchanted edible. They will just have to work harder to lose that big doughnut they are now carrying around their middles and I will charge them more to do so, for I will have already raised my rates. I may even become the national spokesperson for Hole H.O.G. (Hot Original Glaze) – a doughnut victim compensation program. Well, we’ll see. They haven’t opened yet.
*Source-Sweet Smell of Success, Jeremy Boyer, Albany Times Union, Nov. 30, 2003