The Meaning Behind Krispy Kreme's Iconic Neon Sign

If you can't handle a sugar rush, you should stay clear of Krispy Kreme. But if you can't ever seem to satisfy your sweet tooth, Krispy Kreme may be the answer to all of your sugar-filled prayers. Because there are two things the brand is known for. The first is producing deliciously over-the-top donuts. The second is its iconic orange-colored sign.

But while no one can deny that Krispy Kreme makes outrageously sweet treats — especially after the brand stuffed an entire chocolate bar into one of its donuts — the world has long been scratching its heads over the meaning of the orange sign that sits outside of every location. Because the times that Krispy Kreme's neon sign glows are seemingly random. Sometimes it's on in the middle of the day and dark at night — not typical of your average fast food place.

Of course, everyone has their theories, but the most popular one claims that when the magic light comes on, you can score a free glazed donut (via Delish). However, much like the myth that McDonald's makes its chicken out of pink slime (per McDonald's), Delish revealed that this rumor is a far cry away from the truth.

When Krispy Kreme's hot light is on, glazed donuts are sure to be waiting for you

According to Krispy Kreme's website, the reason its orange sign glows is that it actually doubles as a hot light. If the hot light is on, it means that the original glazed donuts (and only the original glazed donuts, no specialty ones like its recently released churro variety) are fresh and ready to eat. And Delish reported that this is all the sign being on symbolizes.

The outlet reached out to Krispy Kreme's communication department to officially clear up whether or not you can snag a free donut when the store's hot light starts glowing. The chain completely dismissed the claim, stating the hot light means "that donuts are hot and fresh coming off the line, not a free donut."

However, even though Krispy Kreme's glowing hot light doesn't usually promise you a free donut, the store has been known to play on the rumor. Just this summer, Krispy Kreme ran a promotion where customers really could score a free-of-charge glazed donut if a location's hot lights were on (per Food and Wine). However, the deal came to an end on Labor Day.