Krystal Headquarters Mura

Krystal Burger Headquarters & History

Before I get into my visit to Krystal Burger Headquarters, I’d like to give you some history about the company to get you in the mood.

I know folks who swear by Krystal and others who refer to it as the White Castle of the South.

If you’re not familiar with their beginnings, they opened their first restaurant in Chattanooga.

Krystal, like the hundreds of other clones of the day, emulated everything about the White Castle System.

White Castle would make their name in the Midwest & North East while Krystal stuck to the South.

In the long run, it was a great move cause White Tower, another copycat, did not fare too well when it went head to head with White Castle.

KRYSTAL HISTORICAL FACTS

Krystal Countermen
Krystal Countermen
Original Name:The Krystal
Year Founded:1932
City Founded:Chattanooga, Tennessee
Founders:Rody Davenport Jr., J. Glenn Sherrill
The number of locations at their peak:420
Original Slogan:Take Along A Sack Full

In 1931, the original Krystal building was manufactured in Chicago then brought down to Chattanooga.

The Original Krystal building
The Original Krystal building
  • Krystal’s first customer was French Jenkins, who spent thirty-five cents on six Krystals (their signature slider) and a cup of coffee.
  • Company lore says that Davenport’s wife suggested the name of crystal with a ‘K’ after having seen a crystal ball lawn ornament. Krystal’s restaurants have often sported a crystal ball on the rooftop.
  • The Krystal Square Off was an event sanctioned by the former International Federation of Competitive Eating (now called Major League Eating) held from 2004 to 2009. Contestants had to eat as many Krystal hamburgers in eight minutes as possible. Joey Chestnut set the current world record on October 28, 2007, with 103 Krystal hamburgers.
  • In a 2017 interview, Priscilla Presley mentioned that while in Memphis, Tennessee, Elvis Presley loved to eat Krystal hamburgers.
  • Krystal and White Castle’s locations only overlap in Kentucky (Bowling Green & London) and in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • The Krystal currently operates over three hundred restaurants in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
A 5¢ Krystal & a Coke
A 5¢ Krystal & a Coke

KRYSTAL HEADQUARTERS

Krystal Headquarters
Krystal Headquarters

One of the perks of being Burger Beast is receiving invites to the headquarters of iconic food brands like A&W Restaurants, Wendy’s, and White Castle.

When Krystal invited me (my wife Marcela, my friend John) to their headquarters in Dunwoody, Georgia, it was a no brainer that I would say yes.

I enjoyed the wall with historically significant dates.

The caricatures of their Krystal Lovers Hall of Fame members were a nice touch.

We watched an audiovisual presentation on Krystal and its history in their conference room.

The next stop was the innovation center, aka the test kitchen.

The Hallway
The Hallway
Help Desk
Support Center
Krystal Lovers Hall of Fame
Krystal Lovers Hall of Fame
Krystal Lovers Hall of Fame Members
Hall of Fame Members

KRYSTAL INNOVATION CENTER

Krystal Headquarters Innovation Center
Krystal Headquarters Innovation Center

As you would hope whenever you visit an Innovation Center, there’s plenty of food to sample.

There were some we could not share since they were in the early stages of development but the Pumpkin Spice Milkshake was off the charts good. I know, I’m basic but I love Pumpkin Spice, what’s a guy to do?

At the end of the day, my favorite was the original Krystal slider with onions, mustard, and pickles.

If you know me, I’m all about enjoying food in its original form.

Why mess with a good thing?

Pumpkin Spice Shake
Pumpkin Spice Shake
Chili Cheese Fries
Loaded Chili Cheese Fries
The Original Krystal Slider
The Original Krystal Slider
Fried Jalapeño Slider
Fried Jalapeño Slider
Marinara Slider
Limited Edition Marinara Slider
Food Spread
The Food Spread Aftermath

On our way out after the headquarters visit and lunch, Krystal gifted me with this portrait of their slider with my Burger Beast logo on it.

It is now part of my Burger Museum collection.

A Gift from Krystal Hamburgers
A Gift from Krystal Hamburgers

It’s not open to the public but in case you just absolutely need to know where it is located:

Krystal Burger Headquarters
1455 Lincoln Pkwy E
Dunwoody, Georgia

3 Comments

  1. You are so lucky to get to tour these places. We would take the red eye flight from Denver to Ft. Lauderdale to visit my mother in Boca Raton. Going north on I-95 we would always stop at Krystals on Sunrise Blvd at 7 AM for sliders. Yes, I fed my little kids Krystal sliders for breakfast. It was so disappointing when we were all prepared for our breakfast grease fill up, and then saw that they were out of business. Whenever, we get up to Orlando, we always stop by Krystals. BTW, Ellen Fried sent me here.

    1. Hey Jay,

      Thanks for dropping in. Yes, Ellen is great!

      It was a shame when they shit down but I’m sure it was kinda difficult to keep one unit down here going for so many years. When I was at Krystal HQ, they mentioned the reason the Ft. Lauderdale closed was that the franchise owner never opened more stores.

  2. I always salivate when I see the Burger Beast approved endorsement! I would love to see you open a location with all your Burger Museum memorabilia. Would love it even more if it was a drive-up with rollerskating waiters. I remember when the Wells Fargo bank (circular building) at 9600 Bird Road was that kind of restaurant (but I don’t remember the name).

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