The opening of the new Krispy Kreme doughnut store brought traffic chaos to commuters yesterday as hundreds of sweet-toothed fans queued for up to two hours to get their sugary fix.
Despite the snowy weather, the launch of the new outlet in Hermiston Gait saw a record-breaking 300 people waiting anxiously for the doors to open at 7am.
Neighbouring businesses reported horrendous traffic queues lasting for up to two hours at the height of rush hour, and the company even had to notify police of the problems their opening had caused.
Tailbacks for the store’s drive-thru service stretched hundreds of metres through the retail centre’s car park and around a neighbouring roundabout on the edge of the City Bypass.
Neighbouring businesses were forced to warn customers of heavy traffic disruptions, with the nearby Audi dealership advising people coming in to pick up their cars to allow extra time for their journey.
KFC Hermiston Gait store manager Lukas Cichy said customers had queued for up to an hour on foot, but the delays caused by banked-up cars had been far worse.
He said: “I came to work after four o’clock and the cars were actually queuing outside the roundabout towards Gogarburn, so I think [they would have been stuck] for an hour and a half to two hours.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Edinburgh Napier University students Melinda Garrott and Elise Setter, both 18, took public transport to reach the popular food outlet after being handed sample doughnuts on Princes Street earlier that day.
Ms Garrott said: “We got the bus. It’s about 25 to 30 minutes, but we had no idea where the store was so we got lost. It was raining – we had to get a taxi. We then waited about 40 minutes in the queue, but they gave us free doughnuts so it was OK.”
To keep people’s spirits up in the long queues and celebrate their first day’s trading, Krispy Kreme put on performances by Scottish bagpipers, the Edinburgh Wolves American Football team and the side’s cheerleaders.
Craigmount father Keith Wallace, who lives about five minutes from the store, headed straight for Krispy Kreme with daughters Tayne, 11, and Devin, five, after finishing work.
He conceded the outlet’s close proximity would represent a diet danger, saying: “You can’t just have one, you’ve got to have about six. I think it’ll still be pretty busy over the next few days – I think the fact that it’s a drive-thru makes a big difference and it’s close to the M8, so for anyone doing Edinburgh to Glasgow this’ll be a wee detour.”
No-one was dedicated enough to beat superfan Ben Esterson, 33, who received the coveted Krispy Kreme goldcard – allowing him a free double dozen every month for a year – after camping out overnight.
Mr Esterson said: “I’ve been a big fan of Krispy Kreme since they launched in the UK and I have been waiting for Krispy Kreme to come to Scotland for so long. When they announced they were opening this Edinburgh store, I just had to come along. Two years ago I was the first person in the Wales store, so I couldn’t not be the first in Scotland as well.”
More than 400 customers were served by the Edinburgh store in the first hour, setting an all-time record for the chain.
Judith Denby, chief marketing officer at Krispy Kreme UK, said: “There’s been a long- standing demand for a store in Scotland from our loyal Scottish fans, so we’re delighted to have opened a store here and have such a great opening morning.
“There’s been great anticipation for this opening and the reception we have received today is overwhelming.”
Ms Denby added: “We have made Edinburgh police aware of the traffic congestion caused by queuing for the car park and will continue to monitor it.”
It wasn’t just physical traffic in which the store was making waves. The Capital’s top ten Twitter trends were also dominated by the store opening, with “kreme”, “doughnuts”, “donuts”, “queue”, “hermiston”, “gait” and “krispy kreme” all appearing.
The best-selling doughnuts in Krispy Kreme’s Edinburgh store are...
1. Original Glazed
2. Chocolate iced with sprinkles
3. Chocolate iced creme filled
4. Chocolate iced ring
5. Apple cinnamon
Short and tweet . .
@KirstyGibbins85: Given the Krispy Kreme hype, I wonder how these pre-dinner commuters would react if they knew I’ve a glazed ring in my bag. Must not rustle.
@wjohngalloway: Krispy Kreme Donut opening brings traffic chaos to Edinburgh bypass!
@sandersandrew: meanwhile Edinburgh is at a crawl while the population of central Scotland sit in a queue to get to Krispy Kreme...
@The_Circle_K: If you are looking for anyone in the entire world, they are currently at the new Krispy Kreme in Edinburgh.
butterwick: Just heard that there’s been travel problems all day because of a new Krispy Kreme in Edinburgh. Great diet we have in Scotland.
@kevcarf: listen @DunkinDonuts, Krispy Kreme think they’re boss because they opened a store in Edinburgh.. Come over and show them a REAL donut!
@JoeHornig: Rampant morbid obesity beckons for Edinburgh the way this Krispy Kreme patter’s going on. Since when were doughnuts this big a deal?
@edintravel: queues for the #KrispyKreme are causing congestion around He