Duck Donuts Opens Franchise Training Site

A pent-up demand for donuts could be said of pretty much anyone with a mouth. But a pent-up demand for donuts as an investment vehicle is something else entirely.

Duck Donuts, a chain founded in Duck, North Carolina by a Mechanicsburg family, opened its Hampden Township location this month.

A new Duck Donuts opened in Hampden Township in Mechanicsburg

This is Duck Donuts’ 25th store, with another 57 franchises in contract.

“By the end of 2016, we expect to be over 100,” said company Chief Operating Office Gary McAneney.

The expansion of Duck Donuts as a franchise has been meteoric. Family patriarch Russ DiGilio opened the first store in 2006. By 2011, that had grown to four locations, all in the Outer Banks region. The first franchise location opened in Virginia in 2013.

But the bulk of the growth has been this year, as Duck Donuts has extended franchise agreements to a flood of different investors looking to own an eatery with strong existing customer demand.

“We’ve doubled our footprint in the last three to four months,” McAneney said. “We’re really selling the experience to franchise owners. They come into a store—they love the atmosphere, the smell of the donuts—and they want to start one themselves.”

The newest location, at 6230 Carlisle Pike, is the corporate store, owned by DiGilio. Not only is it a donut shop, but it will also serve as a training site for new franchise owners.

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