Donuts Have a Lot to Teach Us About Smart Business
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
It's amazing how something that isn't there can have such a presence.
We’ll bet if you asked 10 people to draw a donut, you’d probably get 10 pictures that look like a fat letter “O.” For many people, a donut without a space in the middle just isn't the same. Yes, filled styles are very popular, but when someone says “donut,” the majority of us imagine the classic yeast-raised round-with-a-hole version. Over 192 million Americans enjoyed them in 2017, which means billions are consumed every year.
Yet still, the reason for the hole in the middle is a mystery for most. There's a solid reason for that space, and it offers several lessons that can apply to getting the best out of your business.
The hole history
How did something that isn't there get there? The truth is hard to come by, but all legends point to function over form. While fried dough cakes have been around for centuries in one form or another, likely brought to America by Dutch settlers, the most famous legend is that of 16-year-old sailor Hanson Gregory, who claimed to have pierced a hole in his dough one day in 1847. But the ‘why’ is a bit fuzzy: one story tells us he did it after becoming frustrated by the greasiness and raw center of the cake, another that he skewered his donut on the ship’s steering wheel to free his hands during a storm, and another yet that he poked out the center to get rid of the nuts his mother had baked in.
Regardless of the real motivation, the iconic missing piece seems to have evolved from pure necessity and a quest for perfection, but has come to mean so much more.
What’s that all got to do with your business?
No matter how it got there, the donut seems to leave out just the right parts so the whole is a success. It's a metaphor for successful enterprise in more than one way. It sounds funny, but if your business were a donut, it would be doing pretty well. It would be popular, eagerly consumed, be instantly recognizable, and have everything it needs and no more.
Simplicity and minimizing waste are the bedrock of solid business practices. A business should create their public image based on their core values. Donuts have an unmistakable brand identity and are associated with a satisfying experience; customers know what they're going to get. It's a reliable product that, through keeping it simple, keeps its promise time and time again and builds a comforting trust with those who consume it. A business truly blossoms when it makes its mission and brand uncomplicated for the public to consume.
Here's another thought: when it comes to donuts, there's truly something for everyone. Any taste a customer may have, there's a donut and topping to satisfy. The lesson here: be aware of what the market and the customer wants, and to be open to evolving to suit their tastes.
There's a lot more to success than just looking good. Simplicity in business means to be sure of who and what you are, sure of what the public wants and assured in how you provide it. We pride ourselves on producing the highest quality donuts: a result of traditional care in baking and state-of-the-art production technology. We take the best of what works and shape a product that satisfies customers and builds relationships with our clients.
The donut may seem like a lightweight, cute little snack, but it has stood the tests of time and taste, securing its place in customers' hearts. Understanding the beauty of its simplicity and the unique nature of its appeal can help a business clarify its own purpose by dropping what isn't necessary and capitalizing on what remains. Make sure everything you do leads to a perfect whole, and don't be afraid to cut out what's holding you back from perfection.
At Bakers Pride, we're happy to respond to sample requests to demonstrate our commitment to the highest standards of baking. Contact us today about how we can delight your customers with handmade, delicious donuts, and more.
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