Workers Reveal What It's Really Like To Work At Krispy Kreme

With more than 350 locations across 42 states and territories in the United States alone, Krispy Kreme advertises happiness through doughnuts at its doughnut and coffee shops nationwide. While most of those seeking fluffy baked goods are likely to leave satisfied, have you ever stopped to wonder if that happiness also extends to the employees who make it all happen for us?

Krispy Kreme claims to have the sweetest family of employees, beckoning potential applicants with promises of a workplace where everyone is smiling and where teamwork, respect, and inclusion are fostered. The chain also tries to entice new employees with the allure of a fun atmosphere, and who isn't looking for that? A delightful job surrounded by doughnuts sounds idyllic and maybe a little too good to be true. We decided to dig into the nitty-gritty of employee reviews to find the truth because only actual workers can ever truly reveal what it's really like to work at Krispy Kreme.

It's pretty calm, as far as retail goes

Sure, a mom-and-pop shop may have a few (or maybe even many) slow days on the calendar, but it's fairly rare to hear employees of national retail chains describing their workdays as calm, especially in the world of fast food. Despite holding all of these qualifications, Krispy Kreme appears to genuinely offer a reasonably low-key working environment, even for customer-facing employees.

Employees reviewing Krispy Kreme on Indeed have described the work as "relatively easy" and even "quite simple," describing straightforward tasks and a lowkey pace. One employee from a Lincoln, Nebraska, location even went so far as to describe the working environment at Krispy Kreme as "pretty peaceful" — a description almost unheard of in fast food retail! Surely some locations may be busier than others, and there must be some hours of the day when doughnuts are flying off the shelves, but the overall vibe of Krispy Kreme appears to be among the calmest in all of retail, fast food, or elsewhere. Unless you just can't stand downtime at work, like those who call this environment flat out boring, this appears to be a strong mark in the pro column for Krispy Kreme.

Responsibilities aren't clearly defined

Depending on your personality and work style, you could take this one as either a positive or a negative. But employee reviews suggest that work roles don't appear to be well defined at Krispy Kreme, and that means responsibilities can shift at random. If you're the type who prefers to know exactly what you'll do during every hour of every shift, this may not be the most suitable environment for you to earn your paycheck. But if you hate repetition and love to switch it up often, you could thrive here.

A former Krispy Kreme employee in New York, New York, found this disorganization meant no one was really an expert at any particular task, so everyone just did what they could to help the store get through the day but still rated the job as fun overall. A less satisfied former employee from Bronx, New York, wasn't as thrilled with the lack of clarity, lamenting that they had to fill in for roles whether they knew how to do them or not. Having to complete tasks without any instruction seems a little severe, and some may take advantage of the lack of structure by intentionally leaving others to pick up the slack. But every cloud has its silver lining, and a little freedom could work in anyone's favor if played correctly.

You'll have to make friends with new coworkers often

Whether it's school, work, or any other institution you're forced to attend to satisfy life's demands, one of the greatest joys of regularly showing up somewhere can be getting to meet new friends. If you're someone who adores meeting new people and forging new bonds, then Krispy Kreme may be the place for you. It appears the turnover there is quite high. That may imply that many employees find themselves unsatisfied with the working environment, but let's try to look at the bright side here. This is retail, after all. That means turnover is high across the board.

Still, we're not delusional. High turnover can be a major stressor for the employees who remain. One former employee from Jonesboro, Arkansas, who rated the location highly in an Indeed review and called it a fun place to work, did admit that the high turnover made it a stressful work environment at times. Another employee in Rancho Mirage, California, specified that heavy turnover left the store shorthanded, which makes any job a whole lot harder than it should be.

You might not leave when you think you will

Cooks and waitstaff in the restaurant industry are no strangers to unpredictable schedules. It can be rare for them to know exactly what time their managers will cut them as customer demand dies down after each meal. But this is less common in the retail world. Sure, you could argue that Krispy Kreme is a restaurant of sorts, serving food and beverages as its primary business. But fast-food, counter-style chains tend to have set schedules with managers adamantly adhering to them to keep labor costs low. Not so at Krispy Kreme, apparently.

While it's unclear exactly what keeps Krispy Kreme from releasing its staff on time with more regularity, employee reviews reveal that it's a real problem for the chain. One former employee from California complained they often failed to get staff out on time, leading to a paltry 2-star review of the work environment. Providing even greater insight into the problem, a former employee of McAllen, Texas, described being scheduled until 11 p.m. but not being released until as late as 3 a.m., which wasn't an isolated incident. You might expect to work an extra half-hour here or there at any job, but an extra four hours, especially in the middle of the night, does sound extreme.

You get free doughnuts and drinks

Freebies are a beloved perk at any job that offers them, and you might assume that you'd be able to score some free doughnuts by working at a doughnut shop. But you know what they say about assumptions. Just kidding. Krispy Kreme employees do receive plenty of free doughnuts and more.

Exactly how many free doughnuts you'll walk away with appears to depend on the store that employs you and how carefully the managers stick to corporate policy. One former employee in Bronx, New York, raved about scoring free doughnuts on every shift. Maybe that's why they loved the job enough to rate it a full five stars on Indeed. But that doesn't appear to be the norm. Another former employee from Memphis, Tennessee, noted receiving a free box of a dozen doughnuts every week. This was echoed by employees in Cedar Hill, Texas, and Toledo, Ohio, suggesting that this may be the actual policy for freebies. A former employee dishing the dirt on Reddit backed us up, so we're sticking with it. All of these employees noted that they received free drinks during their shifts too, so no one needs to go thirsty while serving the hungry public.

There doesn't seem to be any significant training

We've already learned that job roles and responsibilities don't seem to be well-defined at Krispy Kreme, and this may be explained by a lack of sufficient training from management, at least according to former employees. Poor training would certainly lead to a poor understanding of roles and tasks, so this one isn't too tough to believe.

A former doughnut maker from Queensland, Australia, described the training as minimal, calling it more of a "watch and learn" model. Another former employee from San Dimas, California, wasn't thrilled with the lack of training, which required employees to figure out the job on their own, often leading to disapproval from management. Worse still, a former customer-facing employee from Issaquah, Washington, claims that this location saw trainees being forced to train even newer trainees, perpetuating a cycle of no one receiving any legitimate training at all. Yikes. That said, if you're an eager beaver, anxious to learn the whole business, you might end up as grateful as the Glassdoor reviewer from New York, New York, who enjoyed all the responsibility handed down. 

Most employees find the stores understaffed

Ask any employee in any position at any company, and you're likely to hear the familiar complaint that the company is understaffed. No owner wants to spend more money than they need to on labor, and that often results in angling for the fewest number of employees to produce the maximum output. It's ideal for the owner, but not so great for the staff. According to employees of Krispy Kreme, this company is no exception. The chain is chronically understaffed, in their opinion.

While one employee in Clemson, South Carolina, noted that work at this location could be overwhelming because the store was sometimes understaffed, employees at other locations had harsher critiques. A former employee from Alexandria, Virginia, placed the blame on weak managers who refused to hire new employees because they didn't like the process. This left the store understaffed, even on holidays they knew would be busy. Because we couldn't be sure if this were a case of bosses versus employees, we found a general manager from Sandy, Utah, who admitted that the location was always short-staffed at the managerial level, leaving them too shorthanded to lend a hand to desperate employees. There doesn't seem to be any position at Krispy Kreme that doesn't suffer from a serious shortage of peers, leaving everyone a little bit worse for wear. The upside here is that it's also pretty hard to get fired.

Schedules are fairly flexible

Many of these observations have been on the critical side of the spectrum. Let's turn back to the sunnier side and consider a point that many employees report enjoying about employment with Krispy Kreme. Employees report the company advertises flexible scheduling and that they tend to deliver. For students, parents, or anyone with unpredictable schedules, this is a major perk. Krispy Kreme employees have left plenty of appreciation for this amenity in their reviews of the chain.

Finding positive comments in the most negative reviews can be very telling of how legitimate a perk is, and schedule flexibility appears in plenty of otherwise negative Krispy Kreme reviews. One former employee from Orlando, Florida, grew to hate working for the popular doughnut shop but still admitted in their two-star review that flexible scheduling was a plus. Another former employee from Pooler, Georgia, failed to elaborate much on why the experience of working for Krispy Kreme only warranted a one-star review. But they praised the very flexible schedule and ease of requesting days off. Finally, a former employee from Victorville, California, rejoiced that it was easy to arrange their work schedule around their school obligations. They also mentioned that their managers didn't give them a hard time when they needed to call out. For better or worse, that's some serious flexibility.

It's ideal as a first job

There's nothing wrong with making a career out of retail or food service, but fast food tends to be a younger person's gig. Whether because of the fast pace, physical strain, lower pay, or some combination of these and other considerations, we're rarely surprised to see teenagers and younger adults staffing the counters and kitchens of fast-food restaurants. Krispy Kreme doesn't break the mold here. Plenty of Krispy Kreme employees hail the company as a good fit for entry-level employees looking for their first job.

A former employee from Elk Grove Village, Illinois, says it's a good place for high school and college students to work when compared with other fast-food companies. A former employee from Rogers, Arkansas, agreed it was a simple enough first gig for anyone looking to learn about customer service. A former employee from New York, New York offers a bit more insight, explaining that a job at Krispy Kreme isn't difficult and is a great place for beginners. But there isn't significant room for growth, so it's better as a first job than as a career move. Another former employee from Glendale, Arizona, agreed that working at Krispy Kreme was the easiest job they ever had. They also said they believed the low pay is suitable only as a first job and not for anyone with significant expenses. Finally, a former employee confirmed that working at Krispy Kreme was, in fact, a healthy first job experience.

People love their coworkers

Money may be the reason most people choose to work at all, but if there's one thing that keeps employees returning to the same job day after day, it's their coworkers. Even in the harshest conditions, strong bonds with coworkers can be enough to get you out of bed in the morning and give you a little something to look forward to when you clock in. Krispy Kreme seems to excel at hiring fun, lovable people to staff its shops because many of them rave about how much they love working with each other.

One former employee from Sacramento, California, admitted to not really liking the job very much, leaving a disappointed two-star review. That same employee confessed that the only bright side was how awesome the staff was. A manager from Clarksville, Tennessee, left a generally favorable review of Krispy Kreme. But that employee also made a special point to mention that they loved all of their coworkers, which isn't something one often hears. And in Manassas, Virginia, a former cashier also seemed to universally love their coworkers, calling them "wonderful and very fun to work with." This same review mentioned disliking the job overall and left only a two-star review. The general consensus, from positive reviews to negative, seems to be that Krispy Kreme employees have a knack for getting along well together

Constant promotions can be hard to keep up with

Many employees we've read about have already informed us that Krispy Kreme positions are fairly easy to pick up — so much so that they're even great for first-time applicants. The atmosphere tends to be laid back and less stressful than many retail and restaurant jobs, but it does seem there's one exception that appears in multiple employee reviews: promotions. Sales and coupons mean a break from the norm, and if they come too frequently and with too many special conditions, it's not hard to imagine how they could make anyone's work life more difficult.

A former store manager from Smyrna, Georgia, claimed that Krispy Kreme released new coupons every two or three days, resulting in unusually long lines that were impossible to keep up with. Another manager from Menifee, California, concurred that the chain's incessant promotions and limited-edition doughnuts were too much for the understaffed store to handle. Another manager said that constant promotions could quickly lead to professional burnout. And while there's a good chance that this one is a bit of an exaggeration, the sentiment is loud and clear from a Charlotte, North Carolina employee who complained of almost daily promotions with unrealistic expectations from management. Learning a job is one thing, but when the rules change every day, it could be a little unfair to expect anyone to succeed without stumbling.

Breaks can be hard to come by

No matter how much you love your job, you'd probably be lying if you said you didn't look forward to your breaks now and then. Unfortunately for employees of Krispy Kreme, these don't appear to be a guarantee at many locations.

Things can go wrong at any company. If someone volunteers to pitch in and help out in a pinch, it could be understandable for a break to be missed in an extreme situation. But a former employee from Lone Tree, Colorado, noted that breaks were impossible to get when the store was understaffed, which is far from an unusual circumstance, as we have learned. Another employee from Kansas City, Kansas, indicated that the lack of breaks wasn't always unplanned. But managers didn't even schedule breaks for the staff sometimes, and there wasn't a break room. And, even though they rated their Krispy Kreme job as a four-star experience, a McAllen, Texas employee claimed that management never allowed them any breaks, even during 8-hour and 12-hour shifts.