Betsy Hamm by no means deliberate to be the CEO of a donut model, however now she’s planning her firm’s speedy growth.
Now a 12 months and a half in as chief govt, Hamm took the helm a pivotal time. Duck Donuts had been acquired by NewSpring Capital, and the model had simply reached 100 items.
“The primary 12 months was actually robust,” Hamm stated. “Being in a brand new function with new possession and hitting the 100 areas was a giant milestone and all of it culminated at one time. We needed to take a cease and take a look at every part we’re doing and what we have to do now to get to 200, 300 areas.”
That’s included tackling every part from improvement of a cohesive model id to rebuilding the model’s web site and social media presence, creating seasonal promotions and extra.
Whereas the function 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 nicely established, however I at all times stored my ear open if there was one thing else fascinating on the market,” Hamm stated.
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 have been actually simply within the Outer Banks in North Carolina,” Hamm stated. “I ended up contacting two associates who go there yearly and so they have been so emphatic about it.”
After assembly with DiGilio, Hamm joined Duck Donuts in 2016, when it had simply 22 areas.
“I feel it was a little bit of a tradition shock for each of us,” Hamm stated. “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 workforce and the technique.”
Hamm led advertising for a few 12 months 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 virtually like a very good take a look at for each of us,” Hamm stated. “Some days have been loopy, different days have been superb, but it surely was actually cool with 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 stated. “I grew up in a advertising kind of function, 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.”
In the present day, Duck Donuts has 108 items in america and two worldwide shops, in Canada and Saudi Arabia. In 2021, the model had $56 million in system gross sales, and Hamm stated the previous 12 months has appeared even higher.
“The final 11 months have taken us to an entire new stage,” Hamm stated 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 12 months 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 areas in 2023, Hamm stated 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 growing their profitability and the worth of the model for our franchisees,” Hamm stated. “If we do this, we’ll all achieve success.”
Common unit volumes have been $554,299 in 2021, up from $503,976 in 2019. The fee to open a Duck Donuts retailer ranges from $388,566 to $567,491.