When The Krystal Company reopens its former location at 5401 Brainerd Road in Chattanooga, Tennesse, this winter, it will be much more than a sleek, brand new Krystal restaurant with a spacious, 38-seat dining room and drive-thru. It will also be home to a state-of-the-art, full-service Drive-In with classic Carhop service, in-your-vehicle Wi-Fi internet access and a jumbo, three-panel menu and digital media board positioned directly in front of each parking space.
The Dine-In, Drive-In and Drive-Thru Krystal will also showcase an expanded menu featuring all of Krystal’s signature items while also introducing a number of fresh, new menu choices, including a full line of real fruit smoothies, icy cold floats and slushies, premium ice cream sundaes and a full line of Krystal-sized toasted sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night.
“We are always looking for new ways to serve up great hospitality and the ultimate Krystal experience for our customers,” said Fred Exum, chief executive officer, The Krystal Company. “With our new Krystal location in Chattanooga, we’re building upon our unique heritage in the quick service industry as well as our history in the drive-in business. We’re also looking at our customers’ lifestyles and extending the Krystal experience even further with the addition of new technology, different delivery options and more one-of-a-kind food you simply can’t enjoy anywhere else.”
The South’s oldest fast food chain, Krystal was one of the pioneers of the original drive-in concept, operating a number of drive-in units throughout the South from 1952 through the 1960s.
The drive-In at the new Krystal will pay homage to the company’s heritage by featuring dedicated Carhop servers who personally take orders right at the customer’s vehicle rather than having customers say their order into a speaker. Injecting a fresh, modern edge into the classic drive-in, each of the 14 parking spaces will feature a large, three-panel menu and digital media board positioned directly in front of the parking space and easily viewed from both the driver and front passenger seats.
Krystal also plans to have a 32-inch LCD screen on one of the panels that would be capable of broadcasting branded media and entertainment, which customers would view from the comfort of their own cars.
Customers dining in at the Brainerd Krystal location, which has been home to a Krystal restaurant since May 1965, will enjoy a refreshing, efficient design that pays tribute to the traditional Krystal look while showcasing the company’s modern, new image. The interior spaces will be bright and shiny, harking back to Krystal’s heritage with white tile, chrome, shiny stainless steel, and very clean, contemporary appearances. The dining area will offer both traditional tables and chairs as well as several high-top tables with stools positioned along the windows overlooking the Drive-In. A jumbo, LCD television screen will broadcast Krystal branded entertainment in the dining room, and a digital jukebox will allow customers to browse through a large selection of today’s top recording artists and listen to their selections while dining.
Like all company-owned Krystal locations, the location will accept payment by credit and debit card and will be an official “Krystal HotSpot,” offering free Wi-Fi Internet access to guests both in the restaurant and in their cars at the Drive-In.
“The new Krystal truly transforms the way our Chattanooga customers will be able to enjoy our one-of-a-kind menu items, whether they’re dining in, driving in or eating on-the-go,” said Exum. “It’s all an extension of the Krystal tradition of fun, friends and the little food with the big taste.”
Krystal expects the entire operation will employ more than 50 people, compared to the 35 to 40 employees needed to operate the former Krystal restaurant at this location.