CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Krispy Kreme announced that it will price a dozen Original Glazed doughnuts at the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline on Wednesdays, according to a news release.
“While Americans deal with the rising PPG—price per gallon—of gasoline, we’re lowering our PPOG—price per Original Glaze,” said Chief Marketing Officer Dave Skena. “Inflation and high gasoline prices are serious and forcing families to make tough tradeoffs. We know that despite the high gas prices people have to be out and about anyway. So, for the next several Wednesdays, we hope providing a little doughnut deflation will allow them to share some smiles during a difficult time.”
Krispy Kreme will set the price for an Original Glazed dozen each Wednesday through May 4, based on the national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States on the Monday at the beginning of the week. Krispy Kreme will alert fans to the price by posting it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as at www.krispykreme.com/offers/beatthepump.
Customers can purchase up to two dozen Original Glazed Doughnuts, each for the price of a gallon of gas, in participating shops, via drive-thru and for pickup by ordering online and through the Krispy Kreme app.
Meanwhile, Panera Bread is testing an automated coffee machine by Miso Robotics in two locations, reports CNBC. The coffee system uses artificial intelligence to monitor coffee volume and temperature, and it also houses data, so Panera can analyze what kind of coffee its customers enjoy and when.
Panera says that the robotic coffee maker will allow employees to focus on customer service.
“We never saw this as cost savings or a defense against the labor market at all,” said George Hanson, Panera’s chief digital officer, told CNBC.
The company will decide if it wants to bring the makers to other stores and how quickly.
“Opportunistically, if we see things like this that will help our associates, we’ll look at them,” Hanson told CNBC. “I do see the industry very curious about this, but maybe in some areas, I’ve seen that curiosity come from the cost of labor, and that’s just not our filter.”
Panera Bread may be one of few companies in the U.S. not impacted by the labor issue, and automation is becoming a way for businesses to navigate the labor shortage, with McDonald’s testing automated drive-thru orders and California Pizza Kitchen using a robot to clean tables. Miso Robotics recently partnered with Chipotle to automate tortilla chip making.
“We’ve seen an ever-increasing tidal wave of demand,” Miso Robotics CEO Mike Bell said in an interview. Bell says that labor shortage is the restaurant industry’s biggest problem, “and it’s not going away,” he said.
NACS Magazine explored automation, and how retailers can benefit by lean in machine learning and embracing its present-day uses.
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