McDonald's is expanding its Krispy Kreme test

The fast-food burger chain will sell doughnuts at 160 restaurants in Louisville and Lexington and surrounding areas starting March 21. They will also be available through all channels.
McDonald's Krispy Kreme
McDonald's will start selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts from 160 locations starting March 21. / Photo courtesy of McDonald's.

More McDonald’s customers will be able to get a glazed doughnut with their Egg McMuffins or Big Macs.

The fast-food burger chain, which last year announced one of the industry’s most surprising tests selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts, on Monday said it is planning to expand that test into more restaurants and make them available in more ordering channels.

Three types of doughnuts will be available all day at 160 locations in the Lexington and Louisville areas of Kentucky: Original Glazed, Chocolate Iced with Sprinkles and Chocolate Iced Kreme-Filled. The locations will start selling those doughnuts on March 21.

The doughnuts in the expanded test will be available all day in the restaurant, in the drive-thru, through delivery and through the McDonald’s App.

McDonald’s said the expanded test will help the company evaluate the operational impact on a larger scale. It will also help determine customer demand for the doughnuts.

McDonald’s announced the Krispy Kreme test last October. The test could give the Chicago-based company a sweet treat it could sell all day long, but which is made and delivered by someone else. For Krispy Kreme, the test will help the company determine whether it could use quick-service restaurant locations as places where it could sell its doughnuts.

Krispy Kreme makes doughnuts at its traditional, large doughnut shops and then delivers them daily to ancillary locations inside retailers, pharmacies and other locations. The Charlotte-based company inked the deal with McDonald’s largely to see if fast-food locations could be part of that equation, too.

“What we learned in the test is that we can actually manage the operations rigor, the logistics rigor of how you manage a QSR customer from the timing demand, the quality demand and the execution,” Krispy Kreme CEO Mike Tattersfield said earlier this month, according to a transcript on the financial services site Sentieo.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Exclusive Content


Reaction to Wendy's dynamic pricing test reveals its risks

The Bottom Line: The burger chain mentioned last week that it would test the pricing strategy sometime next year. Consumers frustrated with prices reacted swiftly.


Why the Burgerim settlement exposes flaws in franchise oversight

The Bottom Line: The federal government allowed the chain’s founder to avoid major penalties by simply paying $1,000. What’s the point of regulation in the first place?


Why the Smashed Jack sparked record-smashing demand at Jack in the Box

Behind the Menu: The chain’s newest menu addition aims to break the mold on what a fast-food burger can be, and customers are buying in.