The Culture at Krispy Kreme

Published 13 Feb 2017

Robbins (2005) defined an organizational culture as “a system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes the organization from other organizations. He explained that this system is actually a collection of valued characteristics found prevalent in an organization. According to him, organizational culture has seven general characteristics, namely: innovation and risk taking, or how management allows their employees to introduce new approaches and in the process, take some risks; attention to detail here, Robbins referred to the extent to which management expects employees to show accuracy and give full attention to particulars or the fine points, so to speak; outcome orientation indicates that management is not very much into rules and procedures as long as the desired result is achieved; people orientation means that management is always concerned with how decisions affect their employees meaning that no matter how beneficial a decision might be for the organization if such a decision could prove harmful to its employees, it is most likely to be shelved; team orientation, or how the organization organizes activities around work teams instead of individual employees; aggressiveness, on the other hand, means that management wants its employees to be aggressive because it gives premium to competition; finally, the last characteristic is stability this refers to management’s preference to keep things as they are, thereby sustaining the existing state of affairs as long as the organization is profitable, instead of going all out for growth and expansion.

The most appealing culture in Krispy Kreme is the aggressiveness that is encouraged by management. This was declared in their statement:

“As we enter the 21st Century, Krispy Kreme is not slowing down.”

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This was shown to be true when after offering their common stock to the public in 2000, their first international store was immediately opened near Toronto, Canada in December 2001. For a growth-oriented individual, Krispy Kreme is an attractive company because it evidently values aggressiveness in its employees since it is a growth company. Innovation and risk taking, team orientation, and attention to detail are the other characteristics that make the company appealing. Krispy Kreme took a risk when it embarked on a process of improving the process of making doughnut through innovations. It actually decided to build its own doughnut-making equipment in 1950 through the team efforts of its equipment engineers who focused on “improving and automating the doughnut-making process.” Their engineers also kept on improving their hot doughnut technology to continue providing hot doughnuts to more people around the globe. (Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc., n.d.)

The culture at Krispy Kreme is customer-responsive. It has a crew composed of service-oriented and friendly employees who are not bound by rigid rules in their dealing with customers. The low level of formalization observed by the company allows its employees to adjust to different kinds of customers who come from all walks of life this is what is known as empowerment, permitting employees to do what they deem necessary in order to satisfy customer needs. In its customer-responsive culture, Krispy Kreme employees are clearly conscientious in pleasing their customers and are willing to go out of their way just to satisfy the needs of their customers. (Robbins, 2005)

Employees of Krispy Kreme know just what is expected of them to satisfy customer needs from the quality of its doughnuts and coffee to the services provided to customers. They are committed to this expectation and focus all their efforts in achieving it. This shows that the culture at Krispy Kreme is strong as it is characterized by a “high degree of sharedness and intensity creates an internal climate of high behavioral control.” This expectation, therefore, effectively shapes the behavior of employees of Krispy Kreme.

Krispy Kreme’s Customer Base

The customer base of Krispy Kreme could be described as people who eat outside their homes for different reasons. They could generally be classified into three categories: first, those who have their lunches, snacks, and evening meals out most of the time, those who go out to eat to celebrate occasions special to them, their families, and friends, and those who are forced to eat out by unavoidable circumstances. The first group is composed of those people who would rather eat out not only because they really enjoy doing so but also because they could afford the habit. Also included under this category are those who are forced to eat out either because they do not know how to prepare their own meals at home, or do not have the time to do so due to their very busy work schedules. In other words, they have to squeeze the expense into their budgets.

The second category consists of people who consider eating out expensive but sometimes necessary because they want to celebrate some special events like birthdays, anniversaries, or to reward children for good performance in school. Cost is not an issue for such people because they have prepared for these occasions. The third type includes people who are out on errands, personal or otherwise, and who find themselves too far away to return home for their meal. They have no other recourse but to have their meal out, expensive or not. However, given the choice, they would look for a place where the food is affordable. Notwithstanding their category, however, the customers of Krispy Kreme value their money and would want to have their money’s worth in terms of quality, cleanliness, and satisfactory customer service.

Set of Krispy Kreme’s Customer Service Standards

People who are dining out whether habitually or occasionally expect not only excellent food but commendable service in return for their money. For Krsipy Kreme, therefore, customer service starts with its product. For this reason, the first concern that should be addressed by the company is product quality, specifically of its doughnuts and coffee. It should therefore exert every effort to achieve the highest possible product quality at all times. Management could make this possible by exercising due diligence in ensuring that only excellent materials are used in producing their doughnuts and should obtain its coffee only from high quality coffee beans like what Starbucks is doing.

In aspiring for quality, the company should see to it that it employs only the most qualified chefs. However, it should not only maintain its complement of highly qualified chefs who are already employed in their present stores but should also develop new talents to comply with their expansion requirement. In addition, research and development programs should be undertaken with vigor in order to regularly come up with new ideas to ensure that customers are forever satisfied and would keep coming back for more.

After product quality, the company should take into account the issue involving cleanliness and sanitation. The dining room, rest rooms, and kitchen should be immaculately clean. Customers should be fully convinced that they are being served with clean food prepared in a sanitary manner and handled only by sterile workers. To this end, it would be very effective if the kitchen is constructed in such a way as to allow customers to observe how food is being prepared and handled by clean-cut kitchen staff. Customers also prefer to eat in clean surroundings. Krispy Kreme management should therefore see to it that every item in the dining room – from the furniture to the tableware and cutlery are spotlessly clean. There should also be no flies or other insects buzzing around in the dining area. The final customer service concern should be the quality of service. The sales staff, the food servers, and the maintenance people should be in clean uniform and should convey an image of clean living and over-all health. It would not be advisable for management to employ people who look as if they are indulging in substance abuse during their spare time. Customers also want to be served by polite and courteous employees. Employee selection should therefore be centered on service-oriented traits. In other words, management should select applicants who are perceived as inherently polite and courteous and who are personable, neat, and should radiate a general impression of health and cleanliness.

All of these are meant to acquire the confidence of customers and establish a management-customer relationship based on trust. If the customers are satisfied that the management of Krispy-Kreme is doing everything in order to safeguard their health and well-being by preparing the food carefully and in a sanitary manner, providing them with a sterile dining area, manned by neat and courteous employees who see to their every need while dining, then the company should have achieved a good foundation for a profitable business.


  • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Incorporated. (n.d.) Retrieved October 19, 2007 from
  • Robbins, S.P. (2005). Organizational Behavior, Eleventh Edition. Prentice-Hall.
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