Krystal was founded in late 1932 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by J. Glenn Sherrill and Rodney Davenport, Jr. Even though the restaurant opened during the Great Depression, this pair of business partners knew that everyone had to eat, and believed that if a restaurant was spotlessly clean and offered reasonable prices, people would buy.
The company operates a chain of hamburger and chicken restaurants. Today, the company has more than 1,800 locations in 11 states and has 6,500 full-time employees. The company is best known for their square burgers on square buns called “Sliders”. In 1998, the company tried introducing a square chicken “burger” called a Krystal Chik. This item has been a huge success. A breakfast menu item, called The Scrambler, which is served in a Styrofoam cup, has also become extremely popular.
The name Krystal was conceived by Davenport’s wife, who saw a crystal lawn ball and thought that the name sounded like something clean and pretty. The “K” was added just to be different. From the early 1930s through the early 1960s, the chain served much of its food, not in take-out containers, but on inexpensive porcelain dishes with the “Krystal” name on them. The waiters and waitresses wore white uniforms, and food was offered through counter service. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the company opened its first drive-through window.
According to Forbes, QSR Magazine did a study on the accuracy of fast food restaurant orders and Krystal placed a sad 3rd place for getting orders wrong.
Krystal maintains headquarters in Dunwoody, Georgia, and currently employs more than 7,000 persons. Krystal maintained its corporate headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, from 1932 to 2013, and has been owned by Argonne Capital Group since early 2012.