published Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Former Krystal VP back in food business

When Krystal laid off much of its Chattanooga headquarters staff and moved to Atlanta, the move surprised some residents who had long associated the company -- known for its small, steamed burgers -- with the Scenic City.

But though Krystal's former workers may have left the southern fast-food joint behind, some remained in the food industry.

Alan Wright, who worked his way up the ranks at The Krystal Co. for 11 years, has joined Newk's Franchise Co. as the vice president of marketing, according to a news release. The Jackson, Miss. company, which was founded by the family that also started McCallister's Deli, is looking hard at Chattanooga as a potential expansion market, officials say.

Wright, who also previously worked for Olan Mills, Duke Energy, Rent-A-Center and Hardee's, reported directly to ex-Krystal president Fred Exum in his old role, where he oversaw many of Krystal's day-to-day operations.

Wright's new job will see him helping to open 15 new restaurants for Newk's this year, with the goal of reaching 70 locations by the end of 2013 -- a different type of job from his work at Krystal, a company that shrunk over the years from its heyday as a publicly-traded company.

"Well, personally, I am like a kid in a candy store," Wright said. "I do not know if there is any other food opportunity out there from a marketing standpoint where there are so many assets to leverage."

Contact staff writer Ellis Smith at or 423-757-6315.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.