At just 37, Kristy Bannister is in charge of a doughnut delivery empire that’s selling more than 50,000 a week across Australia.
But she says her humble first job flipping burgers at McDonald’s was the crucial first step that put her on the path building the ‘Dr Dough Donuts’ empire.
It was at the fast-food giant where Mrs Bannister learned how to work hard – and also where she met her husband, Geoff, who was a co-founder of the business.
While she started in the kitchen, she moved up the ranks in a career spanning 17 years and eventually saw her move fromto Sydney and take the job as national McCafe operations consultant.
In 2015, the couple left their jobs to launch, which in just six years has grown into a business generating $8million every year.
And the couple still start their day at 2am to prepare for the influx of orders – which on average makes 500 deliveries with a new order placed every two minutes.
Kristy Bannister (right) worked as a McDonald’s burger flipper in Melbourne where she met her now-husband Geoff (left) before launching the huge doughnut empire Dr Dough Donuts
In a saturated market, the online gifting business’ main point of difference is offering a delicious product with a same day delivery service across Sydney seven days a week
Since 2015 the brand has grown to become a huge success turning over $8million in annual revenue and making 500 deliveries each day
Mrs Bannister told FEMAIL she ‘owes’ McDonald’s for teaching her how a business functions – from operations to employing staff and handling customer demands.
‘We left McDonald’s with an intention to open our own café that sold doughnuts, but while waiting to receive our DA clearance [development approval] we decided to just sell doughnuts.’
The pair worked together in a small ‘ghost kitchen’ in Sydney’s Potts Point where they baked the treats that were only available to order on Uber Eats.
‘On first day, we sold 300 doughnuts, which massively exceeded our expectations,’ she said.
Even after the café opened, they decided to keep the burgeoning doughnut gift business open.
Mrs Bannister told FEMAIL she owes it to McDonald’s for teaching her ‘so much’ about how a business functions – from operations to employing staff and handling customer demands
‘We left McDonald’s with intention to open our own café that sold doughnuts, but while waiting to receive our DA clearance we decided to sell doughnuts prior,’ she said
Despite the market for doughnuts being saturated – with everyone from Doughnut King to Krispy Kreme and every local baker selling the treats – their ‘online gifting’ with same day delivery running seven days a week was the convenient point of difference for the business.
‘In the early days, word-of-mouth travelled fast about our doughnuts because they’re so sharable and picturesque,’ she said.
‘When a box of treats goes travelling through an office, everyone turns to see what they are.’
Today, they offer 10 different flavours and more than 20 box combinations.
After waking up at 2am Mr and Mrs Bannister head to the Dr Dough lab to assist the bakers who prepare the doughnuts. ‘We essentially run a 24/7 business; we like to keep our finger on the pulse,’ she said
‘In the early days word of mouth travelled fast about our doughnuts because they’re so sharable and picturesque,’ she said
After waking up at 2am Mr and Mrs Bannister head to the Dr Dough lab to assist the bakers who prepare the doughnuts.
The workday continues until 5pm answering emails and completing other admin tasks, such as checking orders and assisting staff.
‘We essentially run a 24/7 business; we like to keep our finger on the pulse,’ she said.
Her busy schedule, she also dabbles into part-time work with Work Inc in North Sydney.
The workday continues until 5pm where they answer emails, complete admin tasks, check orders and assist to staff
By March 2022 the couple aim to extend the business to Melbourne and possibly overseas in the coming years
When asked if she has any time for herself Mrs Bannister laughed and said: ‘I’d be lying if I said I did. I always make time for the most important things, like exercise and keeping my mind and body balanced.’
‘We make sure to do things like go to the local pub and unwind on days when we need a break.
‘But we love what we do and want to be involved in every aspect.’
The brand now has 25 full-time employees with in-house teams consisting of production, communications, customer service, marketing and logistics teams as well as 20 delivery drivers.
By March 2022 the couple aim to extend the business to Melbourne and possibly overseas in the coming years.
Customers can shop by occasion or choose from the ‘classic donuts’ menu with all orders to be made directly via the Dr Dough Donuts website.
KRISTY BANNISTER’S FIVE TIPS TO SUCCESSES:
1. Listen and learn from whatever business you are working in
2. You can break in to a saturated market – but you need a point of difference
3. You need to work hard and be hands on in all aspects of the business
4. You need to exercise, relax and take time for yourself – sometimes
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