Here's What Makes Krispy Kreme's Upcoming 'Dark Shop' Locations Different

Krispy Kreme has found some clever ways to get its signature donuts into the hands of customers over the years. Back in 2019, the company notoriously made headlines after a Minnesotan college student drove outside the state line to pick up Krispy Kreme donuts to resell in Minnesota after the chain shuttered its last location in the state in 2008, per CNN. Krispy Kreme told the student to stop selling their product without a license, but did end up agreeing to help the individual open up his own Krispy Kreme shop after he graduated, promising 500 dozen donuts to the student to help him build a business.

Krispy Kreme has now made the news again thanks to their edgy-sounding dark shops that are set to pop up across America and Mexico, per Food Business News. These locations operate as delivery points that simply hand off Krispy Kreme products, rather than making them in house, so don't expect any neon signs advertising fresh baked donuts. Instead, bakers plan to ship donuts and other pastries to these "dark shops" as a way to decrease overhead and bring in more profits. Thanks to this streamlining effort, Krispy Kreme intends to get donuts into the hands of even more customers.

How dark shops will help Krispy Kreme

Don't expect to simply walk into one of these dark shops. According to Food Business News, these shops will only service delivery drivers. This business model proved particularly effective in UK test markets, and the donut brand plans to roll out similar hubs in the coming year in North America. The brand also promises that these dark shops should ensure donut freshness during deliveries, and took inspiration from Insomnia Cookies' business model, after Krispy Kreme acquired the brand back in 2018.

According to Restaurant Dive, the dark shops should expand Krispy Kreme's reach to over 50,000 access points throughout the world and represent a major push into digital marketing for the donut giant.The brand made a name for itself thanks to its brick-and-mortar locations emblazoned with a hot light neon sign that lit up when fresh donuts came out of the oven, but with this market shift, the future of Krispy Kreme may look starkly different, per Food & Wine.