The Krystal Co., best known for its iconic square hamburgers topped with onions, mustard, and pickles, named Fitzgerald+CO its advertising agency of record for brand planning, creative, and media buying, effective immediately.

The 80-year-old brand, the South’s oldest quick-service restaurant brand and the second-longest standing chain in the nation, is in the midst of an evolution sparked by its new management group led by Doug Pendergast, Krystal’s president and CEO.

As part of the engagement, Fitzgerald+CO is responsible for developing a fully integrated marketing and communications plan, including research, creative development, and media planning and buying. The work will include new creative and a repositioning of the restaurant chain.

Krystal, which plans to open 150 new restaurants in the next five years, is developing a more efficient store prototype and is testing new menu items aimed at refreshing its brand.

The company’s new leadership team has also outlined plans to improve customer service, increase franchise partner support, and enhance financial performance.

“Fitzgerald+CO is an agency that understands our industry and our target audience; appreciates our history and culture; and has demonstrated it can develop creative that will refresh our brand and grow our business,” chief marketing officer Tom Peterson says.

“Even researching Krystal was a delicious task,” says Dave Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald+CO president and CEO. “Iconic brands are built over many years, and we’re privileged to work with Doug and his team on revitalizing one of the best-known brands in foodservice.”

Krystal employs more than 6,000 employees at more than 350 corporate-owned or franchised locations in 11 states.

The company, founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1932, is moving its headquarters to the Atlanta area.

News, Krystal