Krystal turnaround: Restaurant chain reverses sales slump with new stores, culture, CEO

Krystal President and CEO Paul Macaluso gives a tour of a new prototype Krystal restaurant design on Shallowford Road on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn. This is the first Krystal prototype in the Chattanooga area.

Paul Macaluso likens his first year at Krystal to a home remodeling project at his own house.

"We basically tore everything down to the studs and rebuilt from there," said Macaluso, who joined Krystal as CEO on April 2, 2018 after previously heading McAllister's Deli and serving as marketing director for Moe's Southwest Grill. "It's been a series of initiatives that we have taken and we've been very pleased with the results."

Krystal at a glance

Start: 1932 with the first restaurant at 7th and Cherry Street in downtown ChattanoogaHeadquarters: Atlanta since moving from Chattanooga in 2012Owner: Argonne Capital GroupNo. of restaurants: 220 company owned stores and 130 franchised restaurants operated by 23 different franchisees in 11 statesSignature product: Krystal small square hamburgerStaff: More than 6,000 employeesCEO: Paul MacalusoSlogan: “Live a little”Website: