The Krystal Company announced Wednesday that it will relocate its corporate office, called the Restaurant Support Center (RSC), from its current location in Chattanooga to a new location in North Atlanta in early 2013. Officials said the move "will allow the company to deliver support to its 350 restaurants more efficiently and effectively from Atlanta’s central location, particularly with its high concentration of restaurants in and around the Atlanta area."
The relocation is part of the ongoing efforts of Krystal’s president and CEO Doug Pendergast, along with the entire corporate leadership team, "to increase customer satisfaction, grow sales and profits, and improve franchisee success," it was stated.
Mr. Pendergast made the announcement well in advance to ease the transition for Krystal’s approximately 60 RSC employees, who represent less than one percent of the total employee population. The majority of the RSC employees have the option to apply for new positions in the Atlanta office. Severance packages and job search assistance will be offered to those who do not relocate.
This move will not affect the 6,000 plus employees in Krystal’s restaurants, except in providing them better support, it was stated.
In addition, the cost-effective nature of this move will allow the company to build an additional new store every year, he said. Each of the new restaurants will create about 40 jobs.
“Chattanooga has been a wonderful home for Krystal, and we appreciate the support of the community,” said Mr. Pendergast. “Our five-year plan calls for aggressive new store growth and Atlanta provides a more central location with access to one of the country’s largest airports. Our new support center will enable us to provide better support to our existing restaurants and to accelerate new restaurant development across the Southeast.”
Krystal plans to open at least 150 new restaurants in the next five years, creating thousands of new jobs and providing current employees with multiple opportunities for advancement, he said. Krystal’s new leadership team has also outlined plans for improved customer service, greater franchise partner support, and enhanced financial performance. The company has already begun developing a more efficient new store prototype and testing new menu items designed to keep its brand fresh and relevant, it was stated.
Mr. Pendergast said, “Our greatest regret is that while this move makes tremendous business sense, it impacts the people who have helped make this company what it is. That is why we are announcing our plan early, providing employees with as much time as possible to adapt. We believe that by working hard to improve our products, service, and restaurants, we can help The Krystal Company return to growth mode and begin adding new stores and jobs, in both existing markets and new markets.”
Krystal will continue to honor Chattanooga as its birthplace as well as its founding family, the Davenports, he said. The company is searching for a site for an official Krystal museum and plans are underway for an 80th anniversary celebration in Chattanooga next year.