In Focus
FRANCHISING | Staff Reporter, Australia

Under new ownership, Doughnut Time seeks to find sweet redemption

Find out how the once-troubled doughnut chain plans to re-establish its then-leading brand position.

From announcing liquidation earlier in 2018 and being forced to shut down its stores around the country, Doughnut Time has come back and looks to become “bigger and better than ever”, this time under new ownership and management.

The dessert chain has garnered a cult following for its trendy offerings of sweet treats and a significant presence on social media platforms like Instagram. Doughnut Time also nurtured positive consumer sentiment with an inclusive menu featuring vegan, gluten free, high protein and keto options, fueling the brand’s rise to fame in just three years of operations.

But things took an unexpected downturn when the brand was forced to close its empire of 30 stores, costing workers hundreds of jobs. Only seven stores remained after the closures. Disgruntled workers have since complained to the Fair Work Ombudsman about unpaid wages in the order of $70,000.

QSR Media spoke to Peter Andros, the new owner of Doughnut Time, to ask about the challenges of revitalizing a tarnished image, and how they plan to ensure the organic growth of the once-iconic brand.

QSR Media: First of all, what made you decide to bring the brand back?
I saw an opportunity to save a great Brisbane born brand. Australians genuinely miss Doughnut Time, and we’ve been overwhelmed with the warm public response since announcing the brand is coming back.

QSR Media: Why do you think the brand is so beloved across Australia?
Doughnut Time is unique – it plays on pop culture and has a fun variety of flavours to suit everyone. We’re introducing more vegan options, and we’re looking at exciting new products like high-protein, keto-friendly and even hemp doughnuts.

QSR Media: Can you tell us about your expansion plans? How do you ensure that the brand grows at a sustainable pace?
We intend launching with a few core stores and focusing on making those a success. Initially, we will be opening 8 stores across Queensland and Victoria. From late August, we’ll be opening stores in the Myer Centre and South Bank in Brisbane; Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast; plus Degraves St, Fitzroy and Brunswick in Melbourne.

After this initial round of openings, we’ll focus on 4 stores in Sydney, but we’re pacing ourselves and will launch those early 2019.

Doughnut Time's new owner Peter Andros, known for his Keto King blog. Photo: Supplied

QSR Media: What are the challenges, if any, of reviving the Doughnut Time brand? Do you suffer from any negative publicity due to its liquidation earlier this year?
In any business, there’s always bound to be challenges, but we’re looking at these as opportunities to reinvigorate and enhance the Doughnut Time brand. We’ve been receiving mostly positive feedback, and so many Aussies are genuinely excited to be able to buy their favourite flavours again. I think everyone has recognised that we have good intentions, we’re brand new owners, and we’re just as excited to open Doughnut Time as the customers are.

QSR Media: What are the opportunities you see for the brand? How do you see the brand five years from now?
Doughnut Time was once a front-runner in the industry, and with stable growth, a commitment to our teams and our customers, we’re confident we can re-establish this leading brand position.

Doughnut Time is coming back better than ever, and we’ll continue our commitment to quality doughnuts, exciting new ingredients and making customers happy – whether that’s one year or five years from now!

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