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Cronuts go digital: Now you can pre-order the hot treat online

Nov. 19, 2013 at 8:52 AM ET

French pastry chef Dominique Ansel poses with his invention, the Cronut.
EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP - Getty Images
French pastry chef Dominique Ansel poses with his invention, the Cronut.

No need to set an alarm, Cronut lovers: The bakery behind the croissant-doughnut juggernaut is now allowing customers to pre-order the treats online.

The bakery behind the croissant-doughnut juggernaut is now allowing customers to pre-order the treats on their website.

Until now, camping outside the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood — as early as 6 a.m., two hours before they open — has been the surest way to get a Cronut, though the bakery has been taking a limited number of pre-orders by e-mail or phone.

Taking orders by phone is labor intensive, though — currently, one staffer devotes her Mondays just to taking calls for the week. “That’s all she does for seven hours a day. It’s time-consuming,” joked a spokesperson, adding, “Right now, when people call and we say we’re sold out, we have to commiserate for 15 minutes.”

So in an effort to free up the phone lines and give people a way to get an automatic receipt, the bakery started taking online pre-orders at 11 a.m. Monday at cronutpreorder.com.

The Cronuts sold out in about a minute. But the site will open every Monday at 11 a.m. ET sharp, taking orders for two weeks out from that Monday. So next Monday, November 25, you’ll be able to preorder Cronuts for the week of December 9 to 15 — prime holiday time. And no, still no shipping; you have to pick up in-store.

The max online preorder is six Cronuts, though you can place large orders of 50 or more for weddings, special occasions — even Cronuts office pools — by emailing the bakery on the first of the month, for orders the following month (check out the Cronut 101 for more details).

To keep up with the insane demand, the bakery has increased staff by 30 percent in the past six months and now runs the kitchen 24 hours a day — essentially, the Cronut oven never turns off. By staffing up, the bakery can now churn out about 250 to 300 Cronuts for the line each day, serving about 90 percent of hungry customers, up from about 60 percent in the beginning.   

So far, the site has been running with minimal snags and all the orders today went out without a hitch, the spokesperson said. “It was every web designer’s worst nightmare to work on a Cronut pre-ordering site. They all said, ‘It’s going to crash!’” 

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