The new owners of Chattanooga-based Krystal Co., known for its small, steamed burgers, announced today that they will move the company's corporate headquarters to Atlanta.
Atlanta's larger airport will allow executives better access to the company's stores, and cost savings from the move will allow Krystal to open an additional new store every year, which will create new jobs, Krystal CEO Doug Pendergast said.
"Our greatest regret is that while this move makes tremendous business sense, it impacts the people who have helped make this company what it is," he said.
The move will be complete in early 2013, according to a news release.
About 60 current employees at the company's headquarters will have the option to apply for new positions in the Atlanta office, and severance packages and job search assistance will be offered to those who do not relocate. The company's 6,000 restaurant employees will not be affected.
"Chattanooga has been a wonderful home for Krystal, and we appreciate the support of the community," Penderast said. "Our five-year plan calls for aggressive new store growth and Atlanta provides a more central location with access to one of the country's largest airports."
Krystal is on track to open at least 150 new restaurants in the next five years, some of which will be a new, more effecient store prototype with a new menu.
"We believe that by working hard to improve our products, service, and restaurants, we can help The Krystal Company return to growth mode and begin adding new stores and jobs, in both existing markets and new markets," Pendergast said.
Krystal will set up an official Krystal museum in Chattanooga, as it prepares for its 80th year in the city next year.