Krystal hopes the deal could drum up business.

By Tim Nelson
June 19, 2019
Jeff Greenberg/Getty Images

How does a lower-tier fast food chain stand out these days? When major players like McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A have an army of locations and familiar tastes on their side, it can be tough for the little guy to make it. That’s why some places, like Southern slider chain Krystal, have to get creative and swing for the fences.

In this case, the Atlanta-based burger chain stuck in Chick-fil-A’s shadow wants people to eat more beef sliders and less “chikin.” How many beef sliders? Literally all that they can eat. And fries, too. According to Restaurant Business, Krystal has introduced a limited-time, unlimited-slider-and-fry deal for the affordable price of $5.99.

With yea-over-year sales declining by 4.3% in 2018, Krystal seems to have decided that desperate times call for desperate measures. It seems that mentality is embedded in the brand’s DNA: “Krystal was born during the Great Depression, when people needed a fresh and filling meal at a price they could afford,” said the chain’s president and CEO Paul Macaluso.

As you’d expect, Krystal first slow-rolled this plan, testing it in Montgomery, Alabama, to determine that it wouldn’t end up being a devastatingly bad business decision. It seems not to have been, because Restaurant Business reports that the test told them that adding fries to the deal was a winning idea.

And it does kind of make sense. If you’ve ever been to a White Castle (which is my only experience with a slider-centric burger chain), it can be hard to determine exactly how many of those little square burgers your stomach can hold at any given time. The chance to eliminate the guesswork and ensure you leave (over)full for less than the price of a combo meal at many other fast food spots should at least be enough to generate some extra dine-in orders.

It’s always possible that Krystal has massively underestimated the appetites of Southerners who will descend upon their 340-plus restaurants stretching from North Carolina to Louisiana, and that such a promotion could simply drive them into bankruptcy. But at this point, it looks like that’s a chance their willing to take. Godspeed.

 

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