You might feel a hole somewhere in your center if you miss out on National Doughnut Day this year. Slated for Friday, June 7, the special day offers plenty of potential for work-related “buy a few dozen” promotions, as well as specials for the after-hours crowd that might enjoy doughnut as a post-dinner dessert or as a standalone app with cocktails. Even if your operation isn’t a standalone doughnut shop, you still have plenty of opportunities to rake in some sweet promotional opportunities.
Tip #1: Give back
You might be surprised to find out that this lighthearted excuse for a holiday has a deeper meaning. The celebration on the first Friday of June was the brainchild of the Salvation Army, which announced it in 1938 as a fundraiser and a way to commemorate the “Doughnut Lassies” of World War I. Those Lassies were Salvation Army volunteers who set up small huts near the front line, where they gave soldiers clothes, supplies and doughnuts.
According to the Salvation Army, “The donut now serves as a symbol of the comfort that The Salvation Army provides. We still serve doughnuts, in addition to warm meals and hydration, to those in need during times of disaster.” You might want to consider making a donation to the Salvation Army for every dozen doughnuts purchased on June 7.
Tip #2: Offer free doughnuts or sample your wares
Big retailers like Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme often give away free doughnuts, or free doughnuts with purchase, at their locations on this day. You might consider a similar promotion. Or make mini-versions (or holes) of your most popular varieties and do some in-store or sidewalk sampling.
Tip #3: Give yourself permission to go a little crazy
If you’ve had an idea for an over-the-top doughnut variety for a while now, June 7 will be the day to try it out. Take a cue from some of the crazier varieties out there, like the Captain My Captain, a raised yeast doughnut covered with vanilla frosting and Cap’n Crunch cereal, served at the iconic Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon. There’s the Raspberry Road Rash, served at Psycho Donuts in Campbell, California, which is a cake doughnut topped with cheesecake icing and raspberry dust.
On the savory side, consider something like the Squealing Pig doughnut from Austin’s Gordough’s Donuts, Beer & Cocktails, which includes cream cheese icing, bacon, strawberry jalapeño jelly and candied jalapeños. Another savory spin is the Nacho Doughnut from Los Angeles’ Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts, which includes jalapeños, chives, cheese and hot sauce. And the Mac and Cheese Doughnut from Glam Doll Donuts in Minneapolis is a deep-fried version that looks like a doughnut but tastes like a side dish.
Moving into the category of ethnic fusion is the Thai Peanut Doughnut from Grindstone Coffee & Donuts in Sag Harbor, New York. It’s coated in a sweet peanut glaze and covered with toasted coconut, peanuts, chili powder, ground ginger, maple sugar, fresh Thai basil and lime zest.
However you cook, celebrate and promote your operation on National Doughnut Day, be sure to have fun doing it—and save a baker’s dozen for yourself.