A crew member turned Krystal career man with 48 years in the business, a Tennessee native who made Krystal a part of her wedding, a mother who only allows Krystal Lovers in the family and a man who drives 300-plus miles from Huntington, Ind. to Richmond, Ky. to satisfy his Krystal cravings are among the newest inductees into the 2009-10 Krystal Lovers Hall of Fame. The honor, bestowed each year upon The Krystal Company’s most dedicated and diehard guests, celebrates the one-of-a-kind stories that have helped make Krystal a cultural icon in the South ever since its founding in 1932.
The 10 inductees, who represent 10 different cities and seven states, were selected from several thousand e-mails and letters sent in to The Krystal Company over the past year, and for the first time, three Hall of Famers were chosen from online submissions posted on the company’s Facebook Page. To commemorate the honor, each of the new Krystal-ebrities will be featured on his or her very own Krystal Hamburger Box, the same legendary hamburger containers that are nearly as famous as the fresh, hot, small, square hamburgers they hold.
“Our Krystal Lovers are the stars of our brand, and each year we’re thrilled to recognize our most passionate guests by inducting them into the Krystal Lovers Hall of Fame and featuring them on the packaging of our most famous menu item, the Krystal Hamburger,” said Fred Exum, chief executive officer, The Krystal Company. “And with our growing online communities such as Facebook and Twitter, Krystal Lovers are able to share even more of their unique Krystal stories with fellow fans all across the world.”
The new boxes will be used in all 385 Krystal restaurants across the South, which are scheduled to roll out in March 2010. Each box will include an illustration of the Hall of Famer, a quote that describes his or her passion for Krystal as well as personal facts such as the inductee’s hometown and favorite Krystal meal. Inductees will also be honored with an official plaque that will hang in the restaurant, and he or she will also be forever enshrined on Krystal.com.
The class of 2009 Krystal Lovers Hall of Fame Inductees includes: Charlie Capps of Columbus, Ga.; Adam Suslak of Jacksonville, Fla.; Sidney Raper of Kilmichael, Miss.; Tracy Hale of Jackson, Tn.; Terry Rogers of Franklin, Tn.; Angela Sims Quinty of Houston, Tex.; John Wilson of Louisville, Tn.; Bob and Beverly Balch of St. Augustine, Fla.; Tracie Tolentino of Snellville, Ga. and Kris Underwood of Huntington, Ind.
A sampling of Hall of Fame stories:
From Crew Member to Career – Welcome to the Krystal Family
When Charlie Capps started working as a regular crew member in 1961 at the Krystal restaurant located on University Ave. in New Orleans, he had no idea that The Krystal Company would become such a huge part of his life. It was that year when Krystal founder Rody Davenport Jr. visited that same Louisiana store, where he shook Capps’ hand and said, “Welcome to the Krystal family.” It was at that point when Capps decided that his work at Krystal was no longer just a job, but a career. From there, Capps climbed the ladder from shift manager to store manager to assistant city manager and finally to District Manager where he oversaw a number of Krystal’s company-owned stores in parts of Georgia and almost the entire state of Alabama. After winning multiple company awards and working at Krystal restaurants all across the South, Capps settled in Columbus, Ga. where he retired this year. In his own words, Capps explains, “I love Krystal so much that I worked there for 48 years before retiring in 2009.” Now that’s a true Krystal Lover.
Winner, Winner Krystal Dinner
An avid Krystal fan ever since his first Krystal experience in 1980, Adam Suslak incorporates Krystal into his weekly activities whenever possible. Having friends that are equally as crazy about Krystal, Suslak came up with a way to treat themselves to the tasty, hot-off-the-grill burgers as often as possible. And the answer was Trivia. Every Tuesday night in Jacksonville, Fla., the Krystal-loving group plays trivia with the team motto, “Only winners eat Krystals!” According to Suslak, it’s truly the best incentive. Luckily Suslak and his friends win more often than not and award themselves with a Sackful of Cheese Krystals and three large fries. Of course, even if they lose, the team still heads to Krystal. The only difference is, they sulk and leave off the cheese. So in the end no matter win or lose, Suslak and his friends always come out on top with their Krystals.
A Krystal Wedding
For anyone who’s ever been in a wedding, the idea of “hurry up and wait” is all too familiar. However, when it was time for Tracy Hale of Jackson, Tenn. to tie the knot at no point did she make her wedding party wait– for food that is. The photos had been taken and the ceremony was about to begin until an unexpected delay. With the reception still hours away, Hale was starving and decided that if she was going to wait to get married, then she and her bridal party would wait with a Sackful of Krystals. Dad came to the rescue and bought 100 Krystal hamburgers – enough for almost the entire guest list to have at least one. According to Hale, “I wouldn’t have made it through my wedding without Krystal.” Needless to say, it was a wedding to remember and Hale even has pictures of the little burgers to prove it!
A Krystal Family Tradition
It is tradition for a man to ask a girl’s parents for their daughter’s hand in marriage. However, Terry Rogers has one more condition on her list before approving such a union and that includes professing love for her daughter and also for Krystal. Not only did one but two of Rogers’ son-in-laws had to go through her strict screening process. Then and only then did they receive Rogers’ final blessing. And of course, the new family members joined in one more tradition – eating at Krystal for the Easter holiday. Rogers exclaims, “Where does my family go to eat after 40 days of fasting for Lent? Krystal!” Year after year in true Krystal fashion, Rogers orders her favorite meal – the No. 1 combo with four Krystals (extra mustard) and a large Diet Coke. And although a woman of tradition, Rogers does let both of her son-in-laws choose their own Krystal meal. But when it comes to Krystal, the whole family is in agreement – you can’t beat the Famous Krystal Burger.
A Southerner At Heart
A Krystal fan for 30 plus years, Kris Underwood knows a good meal when he tastes one — and is willing to travel 300 miles to get it! The Knoxville, Tenn. native recently moved to the Krystal-less town of Huntington, In. but found himself unable to resist the long-distance call of his favorite fast food joint. Underwood soon made a tradition of getting his Krystal Burger fix whenever he drove down to University of Tennessee to catch a home game. But in the off-season, Underwood soon found himself in the same predicament again of needing his Krystal craving satisfied. Being the true Krystal Lover that he is, Underwood started a second tradition which included driving five hours and five minutes to the nearest Krystal all the way in Richmond, Ky. to savor his favorite Krystal meal: a No. 1 combo with a chili cheese pup on the side and a large sweet tea. Sums up Underwood, “I may live in the north, but I have the heart of a southerner and the stomach of a Krystal Hall of Famer!”
The Krystal Lovers Hall of Fame
The Krystal Lovers Hall of Fame was first created in October of 2005 as a way for Krystal to recognize and celebrate its most devoted and passionate guests. Those interested in sharing a Krystal Lovers story can do so via email to email@example.com, Krystal’s Facebook Page, Twitter @krystalist or by visiting Krystal.com.