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Krispy Kreme Enfield (which will be called just Krispy Kreme in this report) is a branch of Krispy Kreme UK with headquarters in Camberley, Surrey. Located on the northernmost part of London in Enfield, Krispy Kreme is a subsidiary of Krispy Kreme Doughnut, Inc has its headquarters in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States.
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Krispy Kreme started with an individual called Vernon Rudolph in the late 1930s. As the official story goes, a French chef from New Orleans had sold Vernon a yeast-raised dough recipe which he then used in making his doughnuts in a rented building in Winston-Salem. As people passed by the building, the nice and strong scent of hot doughnuts attracted them to buy doughnuts as they were being made (Krispy Kreme UK website)
With an annual turnover of £33 million, Krispy Kreme has very little market share in the Food manufacturing and retail industry in general in the UK since its presence in 2003 but over the years, it has found ways to increase the quality of products and services in order to increase that market share. With the departure of its major rival, Dunkin’ Donuts in the early 2000s, Krispy Kreme UK is ever so expanding with plans to enter the Scottish market in 2011 (British Baker, 2010)
Input, Transformation process and Output
Figure 1 – Production chain of original glaze
Mixing and extruding: The 3 main ingredients are mixed until it forms dough and then poured into a hopper. The hopper feeds into an extruder (machine that transforms dough into rings) which deposits the ring dough on a rack conveyor belt.
The proof box: The doughnut conveyor belt is mounted inside a tall box-like machine called the proof box or the proofer. Inside, the doughnuts on trays are carried in a two-fold motion of up and down and towards to exit of the proofer.
Frying: Exiting the proofer, dough rings are slowly deposited in the oil in parallel lines in order to be cooked.
Glazing: Coming out of the oil, dough rings pass under the glazing waterfall reservoir where the glaze falls on the dough rings as they pass under it.
Cooling: Glazed, doughnuts are carried on the belt for a few minutes the time which they are slightly cooled until they are collected at the end of the machine by production staff members.
Although Krispy Kreme sells other products such as drinks (hot beverages and cool drinks) and Krispy Kreme branded mugs, t-shirts and small paraphernalia, they are popularly known for doughnuts in general and their signature doughnut (figure 1) the original glaze in particular.
A friend worked as an intern for 6 months and the occasional visit to the store on the A10 motorway made me use it as the subject of this critique.
Quality is defined as consistent conformance with customers’ expectations (Slack et al, 2004). At Krispy Kreme, customers’ expectations are highly built on the foundation of Krispy Kreme’s historical excellence in the doughnut market throughout the world.
Depending on the business sector, quality could mean different things for different companies so there are different approaches of looking at quality as categorised by Professor David Garvin (Pycraft, 2000), “the manufacturing approach” and “the transcendent approach” are the two that apply to doughnuts at Krispy Kreme Enfield, and the former approach only to its service quality.
Managing quality in the food industry is centred on the understanding of what customers’ expectations are and manufacturing products with specifications based on those expectations and one of the main goals of manufacturing good quality product and providing excellent service at Krispy Kreme is to create “magic moments” (elaborated further later in this report) for customers.
Due to how well they are served and the satisfaction and quality of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, customers are completely happy and will possibly return for the same treat. The success of their original glazed doughnut lies in the fact that the nicely ring-shaped appearance of the doughnut must be standard and maintained; the right temperature and moisture of the doughnut and of course the taste of it must remain unique. On serving customers, speed is of the utmost important as waiting in line for a long time is of the main reasons customers will just turn away and leave without purchasing anything; together with speed is how the customers are approached by the retail staff and the cleanliness of the shop floor.
This dichotomy of product and service quality is recognised by management (figure 2) through various methods and programs for measuring quality. The shop is divided into two main parts: the retail side where goods are sold and the production side where goods are produced.
Figure 2 – Management structure
Quality of service
Mystery shopper and customer experience
As part of its quality management, Krispy Kreme has contracted independent individuals to pop in anonymously once a month, usually within the first week, in order to evaluate the service by its staff, the cleanliness of the shop floor as well as that of the immediate surroundings and certain procedural actions at certain times (See end of 7 steps of service below).
From the moment any customer enters the shop to when they leave, a certain number of their expectations have to be met and this is laid out on the questionnaire the mystery shopper fills in. Being a “special” customer themselves, a mystery shopper or a “Kreme of the crop”, as it is known and referred to only by staff members, will carefully but inconspicuously examines the shop to see if all the necessary requirements in order to score as much as 100% on the questionnaire are met.
All staff members must adopt the company dress code provided by management: a krispy kreme hat, t-shirt and trousers. This shows a certain level of professionalism and a good image for the company. Staff members are not allowed to wear any jewellery on them, t-shirts must be tucked in and simple black shoes must be worn. The mystery shopper will take note of the dress code in their report and if any of these rules are not met, it will be mentioned on the report and will mean that scoring points are lost.
The 7 steps of service
Cleanliness is paramount in the quality of service at Krispy Kreme but it is just the first stage of ensuring a satisfactory experience for the customer.
The customer must be acknowledged by a greeting (1) as soon as they approach the doughnut stand even though they may not be served immediately. This could mainly be due to the high number of customers present and the possibly low number of retail staff members. As long as customers feel that staff members are aware of their presence, they can show a little patience before being served as it is obvious that there is shortage of staff to deal with the volume of orders.
Once the customer is greeted and ready to order, the retail staff member must present the best offers and deals (2) to them by up selling. Deals could be seasonal such as during Christmas and summer holidays. Men and women in uniform (nurses, police officers and fire fighters) receive a special discount on the till under the supervision of a manager or a team leader only.
Once the customer has made their order, the staff member must ask whether it is a takeout or sit-in order (3) as this will allow the staff member to use trays or to pack the order in boxes. As the order is being processed, the customer is asked whether they would want a hot drink (4) (coffee, tea, hot chocolate etc) with their order of doughnut. This is due to the fact that sometimes customers aren’t totally sure what they want to get so it is the duty of the retail staff member to introduce various combinations the order as there are better deals consisting of a certain number of doughnuts and a regular size hot drink.
When the customer is satisfied with the order, the retail member will kindly ask them to move to the till area for payment, then the customer is asked, depending on whether the order is a takeout or a sit-in, if they would like a free Krispy Kreme branded carrier bag (5) then they are directed to the condiment area (6) roughly in the middle of the shop floor where they can help themselves with tissues, sugars and milk.
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Lastly, the retail staff member must say goodbye (7) to the customer in order to seal the best experience possible or as referred earlier, the magic moment. “Our vision: Share the magic of a Krispy Kreme moment”
An important part of Krispy Kreme sale is when the original glazed is being made. There are two main procedures that must always be followed:
Turning on the red light sign – this is the big Krispy Kreme sign on its windows and on a long pole outside the shop. The red flashy light is an indication of hotness, that is, something is being prepared and in this context, Krispy Kreme’s signature doughnut, the original glaze.
A complimentary doughnut – Giving one complimentary hot doughnut to a customer as long as they buy at least one product in the shop.
Although this method of mystery shopping is in place to ensure that any customer is treated according to quality standards of the shop, knowing roughly when they come defies the whole purpose as staff members are extra careful only during the first 15 days of the month, the rest of the month they couldn’t care less as they have scored good points already! Complacency is highly discouraged by managers but they are not always around in order to supervise retail staff members.
Staff members incentives
Krispy Kreme has put in places various incentives for its staff members that will give customers magic moments. Using this programme, staff members are encouraged to provide and keep providing good quality service to customers by following internal rules and regulations regarding behaviour and attitude towards customers.
Incentives include such actions a slight increase in wages or the provision of free tickets to the local cinema depending on which staff member has received a certain amount of good customer reviews through the website or on customer satisfaction cards. More often than not, the satisfaction of staff members can be easily reflected through their performance and this way not only customers are satisfied with their products and services, but so are staff members.
This method nevertheless, although effective at times, may make employees constantly dependent on incentives in order to work at their best.
Being the biggest Krispy Kreme shop in the UK in terms of production and shop floor sitting area, most customers sit in enjoying the nice background music and space as they eat their doughnuts so it is crucial to maintain the shop floor clean.
Every night, retail staff members clean the retail side (as opposed to the production side) of the shop before they close, empty all bins and make sure the see-through glasses are spotless. This is followed by a night cleaner who mops the whole shop floor. The next morning, the management examines the whole shop in anticipation of customers; once customers have arrived and have been served, retail team leaders ensure that retail staff members can quickly notice and clean leftovers as soon as customers leave by signalling them out to relatively less busy staff members. Toilets are constantly checked every hour and whoever did so signs their name on the staff list attached on the door.
Krispy Kreme has to balance between serving customers during very busy times and constantly maintaining a clean environment for new customers; there have been instances before where new customers walking in the shop fail to find a clean place and end up requesting such a service directly from the counter.
Total Quality Management
The staff structure at KK Enfield is such that everyone can participate in making the business a success as part of its total quality management. Quality in service is not just about the politeness of service to customers but also any innovative approaches to make customers want to come back more and more, and at Krispy Kreme, it could mean organising children events on the shop floor that would not only give children a good time, but also make parents happier to see their children have fun with music and games. Mostly female retail staff members organise parties on Sundays where they make children participants in the doughnut-making process. Other activities include dancing and singing, face-painting and games.
The Kaizen Principle
Krispy Kreme Enfield applies some aspect of Kaizen in its quality management because every employee is at least trained to help in all areas of the shop (serving customers at retail or food production) so they are aware of quality in both service and product. This way, everyone is involved in a way in the operation and running of the business. This can however lead to working beyond one’s job descriptions as retail or kitchen staff members have been, on occasions, cleaning outside the store. While this is done in the spirit of “chipping in” for the success of the business as Kaizen would encourage, it casts at least some doubts on Krispy Kreme’s employment policy – how come they do not have staff for such role? You wouldn’t expect an individual who serves you food also be the one who cleans outside the store or even the toilets!
KK Enfield uses check sheets every night before closing. Every trolley of doughnut is marked with the date and time of production which enable staff to keep record of the “age” of doughnut. Retail staff members will make sure no doughnut above a certain age remains on the tray for the following day sale. There is also a checklist for the coffee machine every morning to ensure that it was completely cleaned the previous night, it is working at the right temperature and all necessary accessories such as filters are replaced.
Service quality is not just about how it’s done, but also whether a customer is completely satisfied with what they are offered as service. There is wide shop floor with enough space to sit quietly in one corner but something was missing as far as customer service is concerned.
In the face of competition in the fast food industry and especially with a fast food giant, MacDonald’s, right a few yards away, Krispy Kreme had to plan for and introduce in 2009, free wifi service and free filter coffee refill. This was as a direct solution to customers asking whether is there free internet they can use on their laptop while they drink their coffee.
As a result of introducing free WiFi, more and more customers came during certain hours, usually from opening to around lunch time, of less busy days (week days) in order to work. This included university students and even business men.
Staff had to ensure that there were enough seats placed near wall sockets for laptop charging. These sockets were around corners for customer convenience – no one wants to work on their laptop in the middle of the shop floor.
Key Performance Indicators
In order to improve quality of product and service, it is crucial to a business to be able to track their record and progress. To this end, Krispy Kreme has published a list of Key Performance Indicators or KPIs:
Customer satisfaction: complaints per 1000 to be below 25 with response in less than 48 hours.
General: HR to carry out annual review of progress in achieving top 5 status – being recognised as a UK top 5 employer.
Overall, Krispy Kreme is constantly trying to meet its quality standards while constantly working towards reaching the 5 status as indicated in its KPI. In the face of such strong competitors as MacDonalds, Krispy Kreme has kept its head above water for the past 8 years in the UK and this is due to the constantly improving its service quality with introduction of wifi service and other special events provision for families and children.
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