New York Giants former wide receiver Victor Cruz has announced his intention to partner with Krystal restaurants to bring the brand out of the Southeast for the first time in its 90-year history. The unprecedented announcement was made official at a formal signing event on Nov. 8 at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas, one of the largest gatherings of franchise investors in the U.S.
The agreement, which includes plans to build up to five restaurants branded as “Victor Cruz’s Krystal” in the New Jersey area by the end of 2023, is the first of its kind for Mr. Cruz and for Krystal.
“We are thrilled to be working with Victor Cruz; quite simply, he is a winner,” said Thomas Stager, CEO for Krystal Restaurants LLC. “He knows how to win and finds a way to do so with style and a true passion for whatever he does. Mr. Cruz is exactly the kind of partner we want to help us expand our brand into new communities and to introduce new audiences to Krystal.”
In addition to co-branding with Krystal, Mr. Cruz will outfit the restaurants with memorabilia from his football career. The first restaurant will be built in the style of the new prototype unveiled by Krystal earlier this year, and will be built in Mr. Cruz’s hometown of Paterson, N.J. Krystal will also work with Mr. Cruz on a line of merchandising inspired by the football great which will be available for sale online and in restaurants.
“Victor has won at the highest levels on the field and is continuing to win off the field in his business career," said Jonathan Childs, founder and operating partner of Gold Child Holdings, one of the primary investors in the brand. "He is a high character professional and human being. Partnering with him is an easy decision for Krystal as the brand expands into new markets. We’re proud to be working with Victor and look forward to growing our brand together.”
Mr. Cruz is the NFL wide receiver best known for his years with the New York Giants, including a victory in Super Bowl XLVI and a Pro-Bowl appearance in 2012. Since his seven-year career in the NFL, Mr. Cruz has remained active in sports and entertainment. Previously serving as a football analyst for ESPN, he now reports for E! Entertainment Television and Good Morning Football, has hosted MTV’s popular “The Challenge” series and appears regularly at other media events and sports specials. His decision to partner with Krystal Restaurants comes from a love of the brand’s offering and his desire to see it serve Northern audiences with the same comfort food flavor that has made it such a long-time quick service leader in the South.
“From the moment you try a Krystal, you know there’s nothing else like it,” Mr. Cruz said when asked about the appeal of the brand. “And once you eat it, you kinda just crave it. They’ve done it for generations and I’m excited to partner with the Krystal team and make it a winning combination.”