Krispy Kreme has confidentially filed for an initial public offering

Krispy Kreme 83rd Birthday Celebration
Krispy Kreme recently offered a free doughnut to customers who receive their COVID-19 vaccine.

Doughnut chain Krispy Kreme said on Tuesday it had confidentially submitted paperwork for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Krispy Kreme was acquired in 2016 by JAB Holding, JAB Holding, the investment arm of the secretive billionaire Reimann family, in a deal valuing the company at $1.35 billion.

Last month, JAB Holding also completed an $800 million refinancing of another restaurant chain in its portfolio, Panera Bread, which could open its path to return to the public markets as well.

(Reuters reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Reuters editing by Aditya Soni)

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Panera Bread may go public again after the pandemic made it determine how to be ‘better and stronger’

Panera Bread.
Panera Bread. Scott Olson/Getty Images

  • JAB Holdings just completed an $800 million refinancing of restaurant chain Panera Bread: DealBook.
  • That may pave the way for Panera to return to the public market after going private in 2017.
  • Panera used the pandemic to become “better and stronger,” the chain’s CEO said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Panera Bread may be looking to go public – again.

Panera-owner JAB, the holding company with chains such as Krispy Kreme and Caribou Coffee in its portfolio, completed an $800 million refinancing deal of the restaurant this month, and that could open Panera’s path back to the public markets, The New York Times DealBook reported Wednesday.

JAB declined to comment on the matter. Panera, which has more than 2,000 locations in the US, went private in 2017 after 26 years as a publicly traded company, when JAB bought the business in a $7.5 billion deal.

If Panera were to go public, it may happen with or without an initial public offering, DealBook said, noting that JAB has taken its holdings public through both traditional IPOs and mergers.

SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, are one path private businesses can take to the public market, and restaurant SPACs have been booming so far this year, Insider reported previously.

Read more: These are the 9 new restaurant SPACs to know, as they raise millions to take restaurant chains and hospitality tech brands public

Panera did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on going public.

In an April 25 interview with the Associated Press, Panera Chief Executive Officer Niren Chaudhary said the pandemic forced the company to determine how to become “better and stronger.”

The company’s shift to e-commerce, and customer desire for convenience were “irreversible” trends that emerged during the pandemic, the CEO said. Now, 85% of customers opt for carryout or delivery options, compared to 40% pre-pandemic, the AP reported.

“It’s not that on-premise consumption would disappear, but delivery, rapid pickup, curbside pickup and drive-thru, those kinds of things are here to stay,” Chaudhary said to the AP.

Just this month, Panera announced a partnership with Adobe to help the chain improve its mobile-ordering and curbside pickup experience. Adobe will collect data from customer orders to help smooth out the ordering process and suggest re-ordering the same items.

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4 free perks you can get after getting vaccinated, from doughnuts to free CDC card lamination and beer

covid-19 vaccine card
Covid-19 vaccine cards help you remember when to get your second shot.

  • Some companies are giving customers free rewards for getting vaccinated.
  • Krispy Kreme and Staples have publicly promised doughnuts and laminated CDC cards.
  • Smaller businesses, like dispensaries, are also giving away local perks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

As more Americans become eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, some companies are offering perks for customers who can prove they’ve been inoculated.

Some employers are also offering incentives for employees to get vaccinated, as Insider has covered. These perks, though, are available to anyone.

Read more: Is it a crime to give away leftover COVID shots? Doctors and other healthcare workers fear legal consequences as they wait for Justice Department guidance.

Krispy Kreme

krispy kreme doughnuts
Krispy Kreme doughnuts go into production at the opening of the store at Harrods in London, October, 3, 2003.

Krispy Kreme will give away a free glazed doughnut to anyone who comes in with a COVID-19 vaccination card through the end of 2021, the company announced Monday.

“Whatever little things brands can do to help make it past the pandemic are good things,” Chief Marketing Office Dave Skena told Insider in a phone call. There are no limits on the free doughnuts, so a vaccinated person could potentially go every day.

Staples

staples
A family leaves the Staples store in Broomfield, Colorado Aug. 17, 2011 as the back-to-school shopping season begins.

Staples is offering free lamination of vaccine cards around the country to help with safekeeping.

Cards can be laminated after the holder receives the second dose, for vaccines that require two doses, Staples told Insider. The offer is valid through May 1, an extension from the earlier April 3 date.

Sam Adams

Sam Adams created craft beer craze

Samuel Adams says it will buy a beer for the first 10,000 people to share evidence of their COVID-19 vaccine on social media beginning April 12. Then the company will send $7 through Cash App to buy a beer. The promotion is called #ShotsforSam.

Drop Technologies

amazon gift card

E-commerce company Drop is giving $50 credits to people who take a vaccine selfie with #DropCovid and tag @JoinDrop on Instagram. The credits can be redeemed for gift cards to Amazon, Uber, Door Dash, and Sephora.

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.

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Krispy Kreme exec says the chain’s drive-thru was a ‘lifeline’ during the pandemic

Krispy Kreme drive thru
Krispy Kreme drive thru.

  • Krispy Kreme’s CMO says drive-thrus were a key to success during the last year.
  • Drive-thru sales have been up across fast-food chains as dining rooms closed.
  • New Krispy Kreme locations outside of urban areas will have drive-thrus.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Drive-thrus have been vital to the survival of fast food and quick-service restaurants over the past year, and for doughnut chain Krispy Kreme, they were key to keeping business going during the pandemic.

“Drive-thrus were a real lifeline,” Krispy Kreme Chief Marketing Officer Dave Skena told Insider in a phone interview. Through most of the pandemic, many locations were drive-thru only, with dining rooms closed. The locations that already had drive-thrus up and running had a “structural advantage,” Skena said, and they were “key to keeping team members safe.”

Read more: Chick-fil-A’s out-of-control drive-thru lines have it facing off against local businesses and battling lawsuits

Skena says drive-thrus are definitely part of the chain’s future. Most stores outside of urban environments have drive-thrus, Skena says,and new locations will continue to feature them. Krispy Kreme sells itself as an “experiential retailer,” where customers can see doughnuts being made and smell them. So right now the company is asking itself “how can we being that experience to the drive-thru?” Skena said.

Fast food and fast-casual brands across the country have optimized drive-thrus over the last year as they became crucial in the age of COVID-19. Drive-thru orders have grown across the fast-food industry since the pandemic closed many dining rooms.

Drive-thrus have been up industry-wide because they are perceived as a “safe way to use the brand” Kalinowski Equity Research founder Mark Kalinowski told Insider.

McDonald’s, already a drive-thru heavy hitter with 25,000 worldwide, says that 70% of sales in top markets are from drive-thru orders. Even salad chain Sweetgreen is jumping on the trend. Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell both notably slimmed down menus to make drive-thrus more efficient this year.

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.

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Krispy Kreme will give a free donut a day to anyone with a COVID-19 vaccination card

Krispy Kreme New York Flagship Store 26
  • Krispy Kreme is giving out free donuts to people with vaccine cards.
  • Employees will get four paid hours to get vaccinated if they choose.
  • Other retailers like Target and Dollar General are offering similar perks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Krispy Kreme will give away a free glazed donut to anyone who comes in with a COVID-19 vaccination card through the end of 2021, the company announced Monday.

“Whatever little things brands can do to help make it past the pandemic are good things,” Chief Marketing Office Dave Skena told Insider in a phone call. There are no limits on the free donuts, so a vaccinated person could potentially go every day.

The chain will also give employees up to four hours of paid time off to get both vaccine doses. “I hope that other brands will see and choose to do something similar,” Skena said.

While employees have the time to get vaccinated, Krispy Kreme will not require vaccinations. Getting vaccinated is a “personal choice,” Skena says that they “want to encourage and make sure nothing is standing in the way.”

Krispy Kreme isn’t the only company offering accommodations to help employees get vaccinated. Target and Dollar General are two of many offering vacation time for vaccine appointments. Kroger, Petco, and Publix are all offering cash or gift cards to employees who show proof of vaccinations.

Krispy Kreme says it will also support workers and volunteers at vaccination sites with free donuts at certain centers across the country in the next few weeks.

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Krispy Kreme launches a collection of St. Patrick’s Day-themed doughnuts to woo customers

Krispy Kreme New York Flagship Store 2
  • The Luck O’ The Doughnuts are available now through St. Patrick’s Day.
  • The four flavors include Lucky Unicorn, Lucky Leprechaun, Lucky Gold Coins, and Lucky Sprinkles.
  • Krispy Kreme will give away a free doughnut for those wearing green on March 16 and March 17.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Krispy Kreme has released St. Patrick’s Day-themed doughnuts, the company’s latest holiday-themed food product to attract customers.

The Luck O’ The Doughnuts offer includes four different filled doughnut icings, including Lucky Unicorn, Lucky Leprechaun, Lucky Gold Coins, and Lucky Sprinkles.

The promotion, which runs through March 17, is valid for shops located in New York, New Jersey, and Canada.

The doughnut company also said on its website that it will give away free green O’riginal Glazed doughnut for those wearing green on March 16 and March 17, according to its website.

Like many food shops that struggled to keep their businesses running during the pandemic as more people stayed at home and less foot-traffic became the norm, Krispy Kreme focused on takeout and delivery options. Many options centered around holiday-themed doughnuts.

Last month, Krispy Kreme created “Dough-Notes” a custom Valentine’s Day box in the shape of a post-marked letter that consisted of 12 heart-shaped doughnuts that came in four flavors.

By using Krispy Kreme’s new gift delivery option, customers were able to order the Dough-Notes online and add a custom note with the order to be delivered to their Valentines.

“Valentine’s Day marks another holiday that many of us will be spending apart from our loved ones, but we still want to show people how much they mean to us,” said Krispy Kreme Chief Marketing Officer Dave Skena in a statement.

The doughnut company worked with DoorDash to carry out contactless deliveries from its own website, Insider previously reported.

A year into the pandemic, restaurants and food shops are rethinking the way they connect with customers who ditched in-door dining or in-store shopping.

Some restaurants have expanded their digital presence through unique partnerships. For example, a Los Angeles-based restaurant Sweetfin partnered with TikTok and Postmates to promote some food items that were viral on TikTok.

“Postmates and TikTok decided which merchants they wanted to develop a custom product for the collaboration, based on food trends that were taking place on the TikTok app,” Seth Cohen, the cofounder of Sweetfin, told Insider. “It was also important to both TikTok and Postmates to work with brands that were culturally relevant and appealed to a younger demographic.”

Data suggests that the demand for takeout and delivery from restaurants will remain throughout 2021, and restaurants will continue to rely on them for revenue growth, according to finance-services company Rewards Network.

Rewards Network conducted a survey that polled 432 people — both restaurant owners and operators — about industry trends that will change during the pandemic.

To diversify sources of revenue, 31% of respondents said that they will invest in delivery services and/or technology, while 42% said that they already launched those options to boost revenue when in-dining closed.

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