Krispy Kreme has been slammed by police and the public for a “nonsensical” birthday giveaway that saw large groups gathering at stores.
The doughnut chain ran a giveaway offering a dozen doughnuts free to anyone who had a birthday between mid-March and mid-July, to celebrate the company’s 83rd birthday and bring “a little joy to those who’ve had less-than-ideal birthdays in iso”.
Krispy Kreme announced on Monday, July 13 that it would be giving away 350,000 Original Glazed doughnuts across 30 Australian stores.
Krispy Kreme advised that it was “crucial the celebration stays safe”.
“All government guidelines must be followed and customers will be required to comply with social-distancing rules at all times”.
However, news of the promotion spread quickly, bringing customers out in droves and causing concern that social distancing was not being observed in stores.
NSW Police confirmed officers were called to a number of locations across Sydney.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Tony Cooke urged businesses to “act responsibly” during the health crisis.
“This is nonsensical and defies logic,” he said in a statement.
“We have people in NSW who have lost jobs, people who have missed the opportunity to farewell their loved ones at funerals, and of course, people who have lost their lives due to COVID-19.”
On Krispy Kreme Australia’s Facebook page, customers also took the chain to task for being “irresponsible” during NSW and Victoria’s recent COVID-19 outbreaks.
“Appreciate spreading joy during these times, but is this promotion really that responsible given Vic’s current pandemic environment? Enticing people out of their homes for free doughnuts…” wrote on customer.
In Victoria, the giveaway caused issues of a different kind when its three contactless drive-through stores were inundated, causing serious traffic jams and the Krispy Kreme Fawkner store to be closed.
All 30 locations had sold out by the afternoon.