As Krystal marks its first year under the ownership of Argonne Capital Group, President and CEO Doug Pendergast shared significant milestones and changes that will pave the way for the iconic brand’s future success.
Pendergast noted that in just the nine months of 2012 following the purchase by Argonne Capital, both sales and transactions have grown. Further, the company’s profitability is up, providing store level employees with a share of the increased profits via a richer bonus program.
Pendergast stated that in addition to the increases in sales and profits, the company also paid down a significant portion of its debt. This action further strengthened the company’s financial position and bodes well for future investments in growth.
“Even though our brand is celebrating our 80th anniversary, we’re applying a fresh perspective to all areas of our business,” said Pendergast. “However, it doesn’t mean we’re changing everything. We’re recommitting ourselves to the founding principles of the brand as captured in our Krystal Kreed.”
Changes include a rejuvenated senior management team and a shake-up in the advertising team. Also, for the first time, Krystal has added a digital agency to promote the iconic brand. Krystal continues to gather feedback from customers and its 6,000 employees to systematically improve the Krystal experience.
The data gathered is used to develop strategies that are implemented throughout existing markets, as well as in planning expansion into future markets. Krystal has a target of having 500 stores in place within the next four years.
With two new stores opening within weeks of each other and eleven more scheduled to open throughout 2013, the company is well on its way to reaching its goal. Mr. Pendergast thanked the newly recruited senior management team for the significant progress made by the company. “We actively pursued the best and brightest talent we could find who would be dedicated to turning around the Krystal brand. With support from Argonne Capital, we are now a company that is well positioned and prepared for expansion.”
Michael Klump, Founder and CEO of Argonne Capital Group agrees. “The positive steps taken by this team have been outstanding. The company is enjoying the largest single-year increase in customer value scores in the history of the brand. We are pleased with their progress and are ready, willing and able to invest our time, ideas and capital in moving Krystal forward.”
Klump credited the new team with re-launching franchise development efforts for the first time since 2006. “This is significant as it shows that the Krystal brand is gaining strength and potential partners see the brand as one that will be attractive to new and existing markets.”
In addition to the positive changes currently enjoyed by the company, Krystal is also engaging industry leaders as resources to improve the business. Fitzgerald + CO of Atlanta, GA is taking the lead as advertising and brand agency while \Bright Red of Tallahassee, FL is on point for all social media and digital marketing.
“This first year has ended with encouraging results,” said Pendergast. “As we begin our second year, we have the people, processes and plans in place to guide our work and position one of the South’s best loved brands for a very bright future. It’s a great story and one in which each member of our team has played a vital role.”
Founded in 1932, Krystal restaurants have become known for their small square hamburgers that are not only steeped in tradition, but in onions, mustard and pickles. Over the years, the food offered by Krystal has become a cultural icon and a part of the southern experience. The Krystal Company is the oldest quick service restaurant chain in the South and the second oldest in the United States. The unique brand currently has 350 restaurants in 11 states. For more information, visit www.Krystal.com.