A familiar old Chattanooga dining establishment unveiled a new look Thursday.
As part of a presentation of checks from the two-year-old Krystal Foundation to eight area schools, Krystal CEO Paul Macaluso also offered the media a sneak peak of the first redesigned local Krystal on Shallowford Road.
The restaurant by Hamilton Place Mall has been rebuilt in a slightly smaller size and moved forward for better visibility and to allow for a second drive through ordering lane for quicker service.
It has also opened up its food preparation area, including the addition of more grills, and enlarged its storage area.
“We’ve got so many great components here,” said Mr. Macaluso during a tour of the restaurant. “Most of the changes are in the back of the house. And that’s all about driving efficiency and speed for our crew and our customers.”
He added that 70 percent of Krystal’s business is now drive through.
Outside, the building designed by RAD Architecture features a modern red and gray coloring scheme with a chrome hamburger sign above the drive-through window, as well as colorful hamburger and 24-pack signs on the opposite side of the building.
Inside, the restaurant features contemporary colors, floor-to-ceiling windows for better lighting, a community table, and walls filled with historical information about the restaurant. The latter includes everything from the eatery’s founding by Rodolph Davenport and Glenn Sherrill in 1932 in Chattanooga, to the adaption of the dotted K logo in 1978.
Mr. Macaluso said he has developed a great respect for the company and its history in his nine months on the job.
“What’s been fantastic is the rich foundation this company has been built on,” he said. “We have a tremendous brand and tremendous brand purpose.”
The Shallowford Road restaurant will actually open for business to the general public on Monday, Dec. 17, at 6 a.m.
Manager Charlene Harris said she is excited to be in the new restaurant.
“I’m looking forward to getting everybody in here,” she said. “It is beautiful. It’s all nice and shiny and sleek and gorgeous.”
Her crew and other Krystal officials were on hand for training and for the check presentations to eight area schools – written in Krystal-themed large “square” checks.
Receiving checks collectively totaling more than $20,000 from the Krystal Foundation were Alpine Crest Elementary, Barger Academy of Fine Arts, Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy, Hixson Elementary, Nolan Elementary, Tyner Academy and Woodmore Elementary from Hamilton County, and E.L. Ross Elementary from Cleveland.
The checks were pinpointed for everything from $5,000 for musical instruments at Tyner Academy, to $2,760 for Calvin Donaldson to help build an electrical car with the help of the non-profit green/spaces.
Woodmore Elementary, which had six students die in a bus crash on Talley Road in 2016, received $2,800 for play therapy equipment. Robin Jaglinski, who is in her first year at Woodmore, said the equipment, including a portable stage and puppet props, should help students at a school that is still grieving two years later.
“Through the grant we are hoping to do more character development,” she said. “We want to help the students realize they can become someone else to open up their feelings and drive their emotions and realize it’s OK to be sad.”
CEO Macaluso, who is also president of the foundation, said Krystal was honored to help the various schools.
“Krystal has always been a part of the community, and what better way to do that than through education,” he said.
School officials on hand for the presentation were treated to a buffet Krystal breakfast and were entertained with a school sports team-like cheer from the Krystal employees.
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To hear Krystal CEO Paul Macaluso discuss the new Shallowford Road Krystal and his view of Krystal’s legacy, click here.
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A full breakdown on the local Krystal Foundation grants:
· Alpine Crest Elementary ($455) will use its funds to support a two-part Discovery Museum lesson plan that serves as an introduction to STEM. Working in pairs students will explore coding, building, magnets, rock formations, microscopes and more!
· Barger Academy of Fine Arts ($3,000) plans to bring back its after-school strings program. Students will learn to play violins, violas and cellos that were graciously tuned and repaired by the Chattanooga Symphony.
· Students at Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy ($2,760) will be funding a car kit to participate in a local student-built electric car competition. Working as a team, students will develop engineering, technology, leadership and science skills.
· E.L. Ross Elementary ($3,675) will purchase archery equipment for its physical education classes. All students will have access to the equipment and it will teach math, science and engineering concepts.
· Hixson Elementary ($2,299) will be purchasing 64 pedometers that can track student activity and transfer each student’s data to a computer database. With this data, students can learn about leading a healthy lifestyle and how to stay active.
· Six kindergarten classes at Nolan Elementary ($850) will have access to two discovery wagons for outdoor learning. Students will collect bugs and plant life and graph weather to gather data and learn about their habitats.
· The Tyner Academy ($5,000) will buy instruments so that all students can be a part of its band, regardless of financial status. The school will be able to provide instruments for all students and involve them.
· Finally, Woodmore Elementary ($2,800). The school suffered a fatal bus crash two years ago leaving students traumatized and permanently impacted. The community counselor has implemented play therapy and the school will purchase a portable stage allowing students a chance to use the puppets for classroom performances.
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