Founded in 1936 in Texas, Shipley Donuts has become a popular doughnut chain in the United States with over 220 stores spread throughout the southern states. Since its inception, Shipley Donuts has been actively involved within its community which adds a whole new dimension to its mission of “making life delicious” (Shipley Do-nuts, 2008). The founder of the company, Lawrence Shipley, Sr. founded the company near the end of the Great Depression. He had witnessed the horrors that people of his community had gone through during the Depression. Thus giving the community back that made him rich was one of his top priorities. Moreover, in a country which is fighting a battle against childhood obesity, the role of a fast-food chain like Shipley Do-nuts assumes significance especially its attitude towards ethical practices and social obligations. The following sections discuss how well Shipley Donuts has contributed towards its Corporate Social Responsibility.
Shipley has adopted a philanthropic approach to CSR. In this approach
, the organizations g ive monetary donations, aid or lend their names to the local communities for social causes. According to Wood (1991), this approach helps them to become vastly respected in their local community and protects their home market even during times of fierce competition. Shipley has been associated with many social causes from schools, churches to charity groups. For example, Shipley lent its name to annual fair dedicated to cancer survivors and veterans during last October (Lowman, 2009).
Shipley also makes significant contribution towards promoting the US culture and tradition. Shipley’s franchises have been known to donate a part of their earnings during Christmas to Angel Tree, a local organization that helps in buying gifts for poor children during the Christmas (Tribune Herald, 2009). Similarly, it gives away free doughnuts to its customers on June 5 every year in the memory of Chicago Salvation army which gave rise to the National Doughnut Day (Tribune Herald, 2009).
Being a fast food chain, Shipley has also taken its obligation of “making America healthy” very seriously. Complete nutritional information of its products is displayed prominently at all its franchises and also at its website. Any customer can view the cleanliness of the kitchen area and the bakery techniques being used through its theater viewing windows. Moreover, to show its commitment towards health, it sponsors local sports teams like Houston Dynamos (professional soccer club in MLS) and Houston Astros (professional Major League Baseball team) (Shipley Do-nuts, 2008). Such has been Shipley’s commitment to maintain quality that it has been reluctant to grow too fast (the chain has added only 220 stores in its 74 years of existence compared to thousands of stores opened by McDonalds or Pizza Hut in lesser time) which is reflected in its strict criteria for a franchise.
The present research about the CSR activities at Shipley Do-nuts indicates that the company is taking its CSR activities seriously. The company has contributed to various causes from cancer,
fighting crime and celebrating Christmas to supporting sports activities. However, it was observed that currently Shipley views CSR as a method of giving back to the community which is separate from its corporate objective of making profits. It should l ook towa rds integratin gits CSR strategy i nto its company ’s objectives so that it can be viewed as essential for sustainable development of the company. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts Centre has set up a centre in Providence, Island. It provides state of the art training facilities to the sports clubs in the regions. This centre has produced numerous stars and is an attraction for young sports enthusiasts in the region. This makes a stronger statement towards development of sports than just sponsoring an event or a sports club.
Adding to its list of CSR activities, Shipley can sponsor a sports area in Houston which provides playing area for the young children in the Texas region. This sports area can have a basketball court or simply open spaces for playing soccer. Regular Shipley customers and their wards can get free access to the facilities. The regular customers can be given these passes at the Shipley franchise. This will help the company in
So, this idea can prove to be a good one to follow for Shipley Do-nuts as part of its ethical and social obligations (CSR). The company can look to contribute to the skill development of the local community through this exercise. This will help the company to realize the importance of integrating its CSR activities with its corporate strategy.
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