SPB Hospitality, parent of Logan’s Roadhouse and Old Chicago, announced Thursday that it completed a merger with Krystal.
Krystal and SPB Hospitality are owned by Fortress Investment Group, which purchased both concepts out of bankruptcy in 2020. The global investment manager has roughly $45.8 billion of assets under management as of December 31.
SPB Hospitality is a franchisor of full-service brands spanning hundreds of restaurants in 35 states and Washington, D.C. It’s portfolio features J. Alexander’s, Merus Grill, Redlands Grill, Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, ChopHouse & Brewery, Big River Grille & Brewing Works, AIA Ale Works Restaurant & Taproom, Ragtime Tavern Seafood & Grill, and Seven Bridges Grille & Brewery.
Although Krystal is under SPB, it will still operate independently. But the slider chain now has access to shared best practices, services, and systems.
“We are thrilled to welcome Krystal to the SPB Hospitality family,” said Josh Kern, SPB Hospitality interim CEO, in a statement. “Krystal’s innovative approach to their menu, marketing, and overall strategy is inspiring, and over its 90-year history, Krystal has demonstrated its commitment to SPB’s overriding vision of providing a truly exceptional guest experience.”
SPB Hospitality was formed in 2020 after Fortress Investment Group acquired now defunct Craftworks Holdings for $93 million. Prior to bringing Krystal into the fold, the company bought J. Alexander’s for $220 million in 2021. It switched headquarters from Nashville to Houston that same year.
Krystal operates almost 300 restaurants across 10 states and oversees more than 3,500 employees. The company was founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but moved its headquarters to Atlanta more than a decade ago. In May 2020, a federal bankruptcy court approved Fortress Investment Group’s $48 million offer to buy the 90-year-old chain. In the three years since, Krystal has worked to modernize its brand, including naming rap artist 2 Chainz head of creative marketing, promoting a Side Chik sandwich, and launching a 1,700-square-foot drive-thru prototype emphasizing off-premises.
With the addition of Krystal, SPB Hospitality supports a workforce of 18,500 employees.
“We continue to have enormous confidence in SPB Hospitality and the work the team is doing to build the most successful restaurant group in the industry,” Morgan McClure, president of SPB Hospitality and managing director at Fortress Investment Group, said in a statement. “Funds managed by affiliates of Fortress own SPB, which was created in 2020 to manage its growing portfolio of hospitality brands. “Krystal’s time-honored brand, and dynamic team, are significant additions to the SPB portfolio and a major step forward in achieving SPB’s vision.”