I was living in Cleveland, Tennessee back then and I learned to love Krystal’s. It is kinda the south’s answer to White Castle. It is insanely popular in the southern states and I do mean insanely.
They may have ripped a lot of stuff off from White Castle. (Founders openly admitted to doing so) but they are the oldest southern owned hamburger joint out there. They pride themselves on being cheap, clean and quick. All important things if you want to be successful in the restaurant business in the South.
Interestingly, they seem to have a gentleman’s agreement concerning markets when it come to White Castle. They generally do not overlap it each other’s markets. The same can’t be said about McDonalds and Burger King.
After going through some hard times for the company and even being sold a few times, they have become the well known change they are today. They currently have about 410 locations and most of them are twenty four hours a day.
It is not uncommon to see police officers and stoners in Krystal’s at the same time get them some of those small hamburgers and there is not a thought about it. All walks of life pass through the place all hours of the day.
How I lived on Krystal’s for a year
I was working basically around the clock on a project and there was very crappy internet at my apartment so I would walk over to the restaurant, own some food (love the chili) and use the wifi until I would pass out. I would go home and sleep and return the next day to repeat the process.
I got to know the staff there and they are some the friendly people I have encountered and they know many of their customers on a first name basis. While this is common in the southern states, it be be a little different for northerners.
They use to joke that they had a table reserved for me to work at and they were waiting for me to come. I really enjoyed the time that I spend getting to know them and the food very disappointed me. I think I had everything on the menu at least three times.
One thing I did see as I worked is how much work goes into cleaning the restaurant. They really did want to keep it as clean as a crystal ball. They probably cleaned the dining area at least four times a day. Quite impressive.
Three favorite foods at Krystal’s
As I said, I loved the Chik n Pups and I loved the Chili too. However, the original Krystal is not that bad, either.