- SPB Hospitality has completed its merger of Krystal Restaurants, the company said in a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive.
- Krystal, which has about 300 units, will continue to operate independently as part of SPB’s portfolio that includes Logan’s Roadhouse, Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, J. Alexander’s, Merus Grill, Redlands Grill and Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill.
- The fast food chain was previously owned by Fortress Investment Group, which bought Krystal in 2020 for $48 million after the brand filed for bankruptcy. Funds managed by Fortress affiliates own SPB, which was created in 2020 to manage the growing hospitality portfolio.
Under Fortress, Krystal’s fortunes have revived. In 2021, its operators had double-digit sales growth and the chain added new franchisee for the first time in 15 years.
Krystal aims to reach 500 units by 2027 and has leaned into partnerships with celebrities. Hip-hop artist 2 Chainz, who has become a franchisee, has helped with menu development and marketing. The company also has partnered with radio host and TV personality Charlamagne Tha God and his wife and business partner Jessica Gadsden-McKelve to open six locations beginning this year. Other marketing partners include Victor Cruz, Brittany Renner, and Ray J.
The QSR developed two off-premise prototypes last year, one of which is 1,200 square feet and offers drive-thru- and carryout-only. The other design is 1,700 square feet and offers drive-thru, carryout and a small dining room. Krystal’s traditional restaurant is 2,700 square feet. Its first company store featuring the 1,700 square foot design opened in January in Center Point, Alabama.
Earlier this year, Krystal launched a new franchise website to help attract additional partners and drive its aggressive growth.
“Krystal’s innovative approach to their menu, marketing, and overall strategy is inspiring, and over its 90-year history, Krystal has demonstrated its commitment to SPB’s overriding vision of providing a truly exceptional guest experience,” Josh Kern, interim CEO at SPB Hospitality, said in a statement.
SPB’s brands will “collaborate to share strategic thinking and best practices across brands, taking advantage of shared services and systems to enable restaurants to run more smoothly,” the company said in the press release.