Krystal Restaurants Is Going Seatless To Jumpstart Growth

Krystal is the biggest provider of square-shaped sliders in the southeast. The old-school chain fell on bad feet two years ago and is trying to rebrand and reduce fat.

The corporation will attempt to achieve this, among other things, by opening more compact eateries without dining rooms that concentrate on drive-thru business.

In Alabama, Krystal recently broke ground on a new prototype that reflects these improvements. It will feature a drive-thru and walk-up access but no seating, which will make it far less expensive to construct.

Furthermore, not only will these new sites be easier to build, but the restaurant will also be easier to run on a budget by focusing on drive-thru and takeout business.

When it comes to labour, you'll be efficient "Tom Stager, the CEO, stated in a conversation with Restaurant Business. "And it's interesting if you can construct something for a 25–30% lower cost.

The Krystal restaurant in Alabama will be 40% smaller than the typical Krystal establishment. The new idea is one of two that made its premiere in the company's hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, the previous year.

Customers won't miss the dining rooms. The NPD Group claims that delivery jumped 116% from February 2020 to February 2022, while drive-thru traffic grew 20%.

Krystal needs a makeover. The burger chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020, citing a $50-$100 million debt. Since then, it's added chicken sandwiches, more breakfast dishes, and enhanced fries.

The brand has improved, and sales have returned in 2022, but the corporation thinks the new prototypes will boost its stagnant growth. Krystal has 290 locations, 120 less than 20 years ago.

It's hardly the only fast-food major reducing its locations, an increasing trend. Taco Bell's first "Defy" location opened recently in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

White Castle, Chipotle, and Jimmy Johns have also embraced dining-free locations, ditching the typical sit-down restaurant idea.

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