Krispy Kreme Partners with College Student Who Drove Hundreds of Miles to Resell Doughnuts
The chain went from asking him to stop to putting him on the payroll.
Buying food and reselling it may sound innocent and entrepreneurial enough, but restaurants will argue that it's a quality control concern. For example, if someone is selling In-N-Out burgers without the chain's consent, and you're not happy with your food (or even get sick), that could theoretically negatively affect In-N-Out's reputation. (And In-N-Out actually sued DoorDash for reselling its food back in 2015.) But here's something else that can negatively affect your reputation: Killing the business of a college kid who's just trying to make some money to pay off his student debt—which is why Krispy Kreme has decided to change its tune and is now partnering with a 21-year-old student from Minnesota who was driving hundreds of miles to resell the chain's doughnuts.
The past couple weeks have been a rollercoaster ride for Jayson Gonzalez. The senior at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul went viral on October 26 when the Pioneer Press ran what was intended to be a fun story on his money-making scheme repeatedly driving his Ford Focus over 250 miles south to Clive, Iowa to grab about 100 dozen of Krispy Kreme doughnuts which he then sells back in Minnesota—which hasn't had a Krispy Kreme location since 2008—for nearly double the price.
But the story also grabbed the attention of Krispy Kreme, and even though the local manager in Clive was apparently cool with Gonzalez's operation, Krispy Kreme corporate asked him to shut things down, reportedly telling him that his sales were a liability. That decision brought another string of articles—including the Pioneer Press—that made Krispy Kreme look like the bad guy. "We have become aware of Jayson's situation … and are looking into this," the company said at the time. "We appreciate Jayson's passion for Krispy Kreme and his entrepreneurial spirit as he pursues his education."
Finally, yesterday, a new announcement: "I am pumped to announce that I will be able to continue the business soon, and have the support of Krispy Kreme. They want to ensure I become an independent operator and make sure the brand is represented well," Gonzalez posted to his Krispy Kreme Run Minnesota Facebook page. "On both ends, there are things that are being worked on right now to achieve that as this is being made as a special exception. But nonetheless, we can get started up again soon once certain things are in place."
As part of that new deal, Krispy Kreme further announced that his first 500 boxes in their venture together would be on the house. "Our main concern is that the doughnuts Jayson sells maintain our high product quality standards, given the distance and manner in which he is transporting and distributing them," the company said according to Business Insider. "So, we are happy to work with Jayson as an independent operator to ensure consistent delivery of our high-quality doughnuts to our fans in Minnesota. We wish Jayson great success and we're thrilled to help him achieve it by donating 500 dozen doughnuts when he restarts his business."
So the story appears to have a happy ending. Though now that Krispy Kreme knows that they have demand in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, you have to wonder how long it may be before they simply open a location there again.