Donut Forget the Experience

By Mike Johnson

100 years ago I managed a donut shop. Two days per week, I was the overnight baker. Frying a batch of yeast donuts (not me in photo) was the culmination of three hours work.

First I mixed the dough. Cut it into loaves. Let it rise. Then cut the dough into rings or bismarks. Then placed it in a proof box, adjusting heat & humidity just right.

After an hour, if nothing fell or sagged I'd fry off the batch & hand them over for glazing, decorating or filling.

Customers could watch the process through a big window.

But estimating the inventory needed to get through the day was a crap shoot. If you made too few, you lost sales. If you made too many, you lost profit.

We tended to overdue it on the yeast products because nobody wanted to spend another three hours on a new batch.

The cake donuts could be mixed, fried & decorated in about 20 minutes. These staples represented about 60% of sales.

But the yeast products offered the pizzazz. Nothing beats a hot, glazed, raised donut. Krispy Kreme anyone?

I later applied that same mix in business. Offer basic staples for basic income, but always offer something upscale with fun pizzazz.

It turns out that people buy the experience just as much as they buy the product.


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