An important change as well was the addition of two lanes to the drive thru. Krystal appreciates 70 percent of its business through the channel and Macaluso wanted to make sure the brand was doing everything it could to streamline those orders. The new stores optimize the experience with two lanes that funnel into one. There are two speaker boxes and menuboards so the staff can take multiple orders at once. There are also optimized work areas inside that enable Krystal to quickly fulfill drive-thru orders without extra steps.
Krystal upgraded point-of-sale monitors to help employees keep track of added orders. Proof it’s working: Speed of service dropped more than 20 seconds in 2018.
Inside the restaurants, Krystal started adding double grills and expanding the work area by about 2 feet to handle extra business—much of which can be credited to off-premises changes.
Krystal’s delivery penetration jumped from 2 percent to more than 60 percent systemwide this past year, with 60 more units expected to come on in 2019. Late-night sales boomed 8 percent last year in response. About 50 percent of all third-party orders arrived after 10 p.m., and 75 percent occurred post-4 p.m. Average check rose across all dayparts.
In some locations, Krystal even doubled its sales after 10 p.m. Certain markets expanded their hours of operation and went 24/7. Others opened “24/2,” or 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
And as sales return to positive territory, Krystal appears ready to grow again. “We’re starting to recruit for new franchisees to come into Krystal and build this prototype,” Macaluso told QSR earlier in the month. “So it would be someone coming into a new market to build this new build that we know will do tremendous volume. That’s super exciting. We’re going to start that process here the next quarter.”