1981 First Donut King store

The first Donut King outlet opened in March 1981, in the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Bondi, Sydney. It was operated by the Papoulious family, selling primarily donuts and coffee. A new partner, Murray d’Almeida, joined the business two years later. He subsequently bought out the family and founded Retail Food Group which now manages the franchise operation in Australia and internationally.

By 1994 there were 32 Donut King stores in New South Wales with an annual turnover of more than $10 million. By 2015, the franchise operation had grown to more than 320 stores in Australia, as well as outlets in New Zealand, China, Papua New Guinea and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. D’Almeida and two partners built Retail Food Group into Australia’s largest multi-food franchising group. It also manages Brumby’s Bakery, Michel’s Patisserie, bb’s cafe, Pizza Capers, Esquires Coffee Houses, Crust Gourmet Pizza and The Coffee Guy.

Donut King’s “two free cinnamon donuts with your coffee” offer became a trademark promotional idea. As well as those original cinnamon donuts, they offer other donut choices, milkshakes, frozen beverages, hot dogs, ice creams, toasties, and their own blend of espresso coffee. A range of ‘healthy’ snack options has also been introduced. Every year the chain serves 30 million donuts to Australians. In December 2007 Donut King oversaw the construction of the World’s Largest Doughnut. It weighed 3.5 tonnes and used half a tonne of pink icing. It wasn’t a single doughnut though. Made out of thousands of individual doughnuts., it failed to gain recognition in the Guinness Book of Records.

Donut King outlets are typically located in shopping malls. In March 2014, the first stand-alone, drive-thru Donut King store opened in the Brisbane outer suburb of Deagon. It offers “extensive donut, savoury and cold beverage lines” as well as the opportunity for customers to create their ideal hot dog, donut or cold drink. With a children’s playground and décor featuring bright arrays of sweets, it’s taking that sugar hit to a whole new level.

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