Update: I tried Krispy Kreme out. My verdict is at the end of this post!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard about the chaos caused by the opening of Ireland’s first Krispy Kreme in Blanchardstown. If like me, you pass through Blanchardstown Shopping Centre on a daily basis, you’ll know that the chaos isn’t just limited to honking horns at 2.30am. A week ago the area experienced Christmas Eve levels of traffic, and the time it takes to clear the centre on a bus in the evening has almost doubled. It’s not all bad news. Huge queues mean that I haven’t bothered to give Krispy Kreme a go yet, and I’ve been hopping off the bus early and walking home because it’s quicker. It’s practically a weightloss regime.
Hundreds of people queued from as early as 4am on opening day. Nearly a week and a half later and the queues are still out the door. The pre-order queue has apparently transformed into an express lane for those hoping to get their hands on a dozen or more sugary treats. News reports and articles have been dominated by customers carrying dozens of doughnuts and gushing that the hour and a half wait was ‘so worth it.’ The ultimate in embarrassment for an Irish person has occurred: news has travelled to America of the scenes caused by the arrival of this iconic chain.
Doughnuts aren’t new to Dublin. In fact, with the recent closure of Aungier Danger, it seemed like we were ready to move on to the next craze. So why the queues? What’s so special about Krispy Kreme? The drive-thru is a bit of a novelty, but in reality there isn’t anything that helps Krispy Kreme stand out in a crowded doughnut space. Krispy Kreme isn’t actually the issue. Irish people are. This isn’t our first queuing rodeo. Offer us free food and we’re there in our droves. (Some of us are. There are two things I’ll never do – run for a bus and queue for free food.)
What happens every time Bunsen opens a new branch?
How about Boojum?
National Fish and Chip Day is always popular.
When Five Guys opened in Dundrum, it experienced the ongoing queues we’re experiencing with Krispy Kreme.
Are we really surprised? We champion Ireland as the best in the world for food, with exceptional local ingredients and world class chefs. (And to be fair, the likes of Bunsen use top quality ingredients.) Despite this, it seems that there is a sizeable percentage of the Irish (or Dublin ) population for whom fast food and sugary American imports are worth a 2 hour wait.
The Krispy Kreme hype will die down. It will become as much of the Blanchardstown landscape as every other chain, and it has created 150 much needed jobs.
It does concern me though that although the level of interest has taken many of us by surprise, it probably shouldn’t. The Dublin food scene is as healthy and varied as it has ever been, and yet we’re flocking to buy mass-produced, processed foods in our droves.
I love a good doughnut, and I’ll try out Krispy Kreme once the queues die down to see if my only memory of them (too sweet) holds true. I might even go through the (no longer 24 hour) drive-thru if an 11pm craving hits me. But Dublin already has its fair share of bakeries that deserve the same level of interest (Bread41 is on my list of places to try, and The Cupcake Bloke just won Bronze at the Blas na hÉireann awards for his Malted Coffee, Date and Roasted Pecan Brack) and it might be worth thinking about why people are choosing to queue for hours in the rain for a Krispy Kreme.
Update: The chaos has died down a bit and we managed to try out Krispy Kreme. My verdict? Not only were they sickly sweet (I managed a quarter of one) but they tasted processed. Excellent staff though, and they’ve done a great job with the store. My waistline is pleased that I won’t be going back.