Donuts and price reductions as start of a retail trend: Calling for vaccination creativity!
In some markets, people who have bravely submitted to vaccination are rewarded with a sticker, which I have noticed are being worn with pride. It was inevitable that retailers would follow and now Krispy Kreme has proved one of the first to reward inoculated customers. And of course it is with donuts.
Many operators believe that widespread vaccination of the population against COVID-19 will play a critical role in the recovery of the industry, and they are rewarding their customers who get the vaccine. Skating over the problem that obesity in the US is a major problem with a recent study found that two in five Americans have gained more weight than they intended over the past 12 months, packing on 29 pounds on average the promise of a free donut every day for a year is quite a loyalty offer.
“My industry will not survive if people don’t take the vaccine,” said Bill Stetson, owner of Rumbleseat Bar and Grille, a family dining restaurant in Chicopee, Mass. “Otherwise this [pandemic] will just never end and go on forever.”
Rumbleseat has been offering 20% off all orders every Monday for customers who get vaccinated, and so far the response has been positive, he told Nation’s Restaurant News.
On Monday, US based donut chain Krispy Kreme said it would give anyone who shows a valid vaccination card a free Original Glazed donut every time they visit a Krispy Kreme location throughout the rest of the year.
“We all want to get COVID-19 behind us as fast as possible, and we want to support everyone doing their part to make the country safe by getting vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available to them,” said Dave Skena, chief marketing officer, Krispy Kreme.
The chain also said it would support health care workers and volunteers who are helping administer vaccines by delivering free doughnuts to select vaccination centers throughout the country during the coming weeks.Krispy Kreme is also offering up to four hours of paid time off for its employees to encourage and enable them to get COVID-19 vaccinations, the company said.
“From the onset of COVID-19, Krispy Kreme has rolled out several ‘acts of joy’ acknowledging and aiding healthcare workers, students, teachers, coaches, neighbors and others with millions of free doughnuts for themselves and to share safely with others,” the company said in a statement to NRN. “Providing free Original Glazed doughnuts to those who get vaccinated is another gesture that we hope sweetens people’s lives as the country accelerates to put this virus behind us.”
Krispy Kreme has given away about 30 million doughnuts during the pandemic, the company said.
“We have no concerns about that number going up in order to show sweet support to those doing their part to make the country safe by getting vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available to them,” the company said.
“Most of the people who are coming in for the promotion are already customers,” he said. “The emergency room doctors and nurses at the start of this were there on the front lines taking care of this mysterious thing, and they were getting it themselves, and sometimes getting it again six months later. I want to thank those people.”
He said he plans to continue offering the promotion until the mask mandate has been lifted in Massachusetts.
Other restaurants around the country have been conducting similar promotions. Upscale Italian restaurant Oak & Reel in Detroit, for example, launched a 50% off promotion when it reopened last month.
There is a great deal further that this trend can go. For example, there would be a great feeling of security to know that all guests and staff in a hotel had been vaccinated. There could be vaccinated-only carriages on trains and subways. Restaurants could have vaccination only sections. Even retailers could have vaccination only days.
If there is incentivisation to be vaccinated, then take-up will improve, which will be helpful for everyone. Vaccination-only aeroplanes for example (apart from the under 16s) would be great news and even vaccination only sections of sports stadiums.
The downside is that this may be viewed as discrimination and an abuse of people’s basic human right to make a choice whether they are vaccinated or not. So incentive rather than loss of opportunity would be preferable. Vaccination could be treated in the same way as smoking. You can smoke, but only in certain places where it doesn’t harm others. This would be possible to achieve.
A system whereby people are encouraged to prove with credentials that they are vaccinated will open up life once again and remove the dreadful restrictions of the pandemic. This will be a very interesting trend to follow. Come on loyalty people, let’s see your creativity!