The Krystal Company® Announces Growth Initiative With New Brand Leadership

The Krystal Company has announced additions to its leadership team that are part of an overall growth initiative to build the company into a billion-dollar brand.

Seasoned veterans Jason Abelkop and Chris Kermode will join the team as chief marketing officer and vice president of supply chain, respectively. Together the two have 40 years of experience in the food service industry.

"We're setting the stage for brand growth by putting the right team in place – hiring talented people like Chris and Jason and investing in our current staff," said The Krystal Company CEO Doug Pendergast.

Abelkop has 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry, most recently as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Ovation Brands, parent company of Country Buffet and other classic brands. Abelkop previously served as CMO for Fiesta Restaurant Group and held various top marketing roles at Arby's.  

Kermode has managed both international and domestic supply chain duties for top restaurant companies including FoodBrand LLC, a leading foodservice operator focused on mall-based restaurants and snack centers, IHOP and Pinkberry.

"Both Jason and Chris bring the expertise we need to move from turnaround mode to growth mode," said Pendergast. "Jason has a long history of growing established brands through strategic marketing and brand innovation, while Chris will set in place the processes we will need as we look to more than double in size in the next few years."

Founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1932, The Krystal Company is the oldest quick service restaurant chain in the South. More than 80 years later, its hamburgers are still served fresh, hot off the grill on the iconic square bun at more than 350 restaurants in 11 states. Krystal's Restaurant Support Center, now located in Atlanta, serves a team of 6,000 employees.


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