Duck Donuts CEO Plots New Progress After Personal Fairness Sale | Franchise Information

Betsy Hamm by no means deliberate to be the CEO of a donut model, however now she’s planning her firm’s fast enlargement.

Now a yr and a half in as chief government, Hamm took the helm a pivotal time. Duck Donuts had been acquired by NewSpring Capital, and the model had simply reached 100 models.

“The primary yr was actually powerful,” Hamm mentioned. “Being in a brand new position with new possession and hitting the 100 places was a giant milestone and all of it culminated at one time. We needed to take a cease and take a look at the whole lot we’re doing and what we have to do now to get to 200, 300 places.”

That’s included tackling the whole lot from growth of a cohesive model identification to rebuilding the model’s web site and social media presence, creating seasonal promotions and extra.

Whereas the position was new to Hamm, being a part of an organization centered on producing treats isn’t. Earlier than Duck Donuts, the Pennsylvania native labored on the Hershey Firm, the place she held numerous roles in advertising.

“It was an incredible model that was effectively established, however I at all times saved my ear open if there was one thing else fascinating on the market,” Hamm mentioned.

Hamm discovered Duck Donuts can be opening its company headquarters in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, not removed from the town of Hershey. The made-to-order donut idea was based in 2007 in Duck, North Carolina, by Russell DiGilio and has been franchising since 2013.

“I had by no means heard of Duck Donuts on the time, as they had been actually simply within the Outer Banks in North Carolina,” Hamm mentioned. “I ended up contacting two buddies who go there yearly they usually had been so emphatic about it.”

After assembly with DiGilio, Hamm joined Duck Donuts in 2016, when it had simply 22 places.

Duck Donuts Web Art

Made-to-order donuts with dozens of topping combos are core to the Duck Donuts enterprise mannequin.

“I believe it was a little bit of a tradition shock for each of us,” Hamm mentioned. “Coming from a big company firm with lots of people and massive organizations, to being the 12th worker they employed and the primary exterior that family and friends circle. However I got here in and was capable of construct the advertising crew and the technique.”

Hamm led advertising for a couple of yr earlier than being promoted to chief working officer. Then, when the coronavirus pandemic hit, she stepped up once more.

“Russell was actually taking a step again throughout that point and was letting me run the present, so it was nearly like take a look at for each of us,” Hamm mentioned. “Some days had been loopy, different days had been superb, however it was actually cool having the ability to construct this model throughout the globe.”

When NewSpring, a Philadelphia-based personal fairness agency, acquired Duck Donuts in 2021, DiGilio determined to step down and Hamm threw her hat within the ring.

“If somebody had informed me seven or eight years in the past that I’d be a CEO of a donut franchise, I’d say ‘I don’t suppose that sounds proper,’” Hamm mentioned. “I grew up in a advertising kind of position, however as I used to be uncovered extra to the enterprise of Duck Donuts, I noticed a lot of it’s about advertising, gross sales and rising the model.”

At this time, Duck Donuts has 108 models in the USA and two worldwide shops, in Canada and Saudi Arabia. In 2021, the model had $56 million in system gross sales, and Hamm mentioned the previous yr has appeared even higher.

“The final 11 months have taken us to an entire new degree,” Hamm mentioned in a November interview. “I’ve at all times been a fan of determining what our technique is after which engaged on that construction to help that entire course of. The yr 2022 has been actually good to us, however I’m actually enthusiastic about 2023, as a result of now all the puzzle items are coming collectively.”

Because the model prepares to open 45 new Duck Donuts places in 2023, Hamm mentioned it’s going to additionally proceed to help the expansion of current franchisees, most of whom are single-unit operators.

“We’re centered on ensuring their AUVs are sturdy and that we’re rising their profitability and the worth of the model for our franchisees,” Hamm mentioned. “If we try this, we’ll all achieve success.”

Common unit volumes had been $554,299 in 2021, up from $503,976 in 2019. The associated fee to open a Duck Donuts retailer ranges from $388,566 to $567,491.