Monday, January 14, 2013

Companies Phoning It In - Krystal

For the 2nd time ever, I recently went to a Krystal fast food.  I had to do some digging, but Krystal is owned by Argonne Capital Group, which is HQ'd in Atlanta, although Krystal's headquarters remains in Tennessee.  Why do I say Krystal is phoning it in?  First, their drive thru menu is a hot funky mess.  Sure, people who frequent there will probably know the menu by heart, but if they do then they don't need a menu. Who needs the menu?  NEW CUSTOMERS!

Ok, why is it a mess?
First, it's way too busy. It's like the person who built it played a lot of Tetris.
Second, it's trying way to hard (and too obvious) to steer you towards the combo meals.  All I wanted was a single burger and it wasn't listed. But every combo meal you can imagine was listed. I had to ask how much was a Krystal burger ($.79 in case you're wondering).  I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent, so I can imagine more than a few potential customers have given up and pulled off.  When I got to the drive thru window I commented on the mess of a menu. The response I got was "I agree, that's why I go to McDonalds."  Not oh snap. Double oh snap.

You might ask, how can I evaluate a whole chain based on one visit to one location?  Simple, and I'm going to make a few assumptions....

  • The drive thru menu was not designed by the location I went to. Any company worth more than $20 would have menus at all locations consistent, so the menu board is the same at every, if not most of their locations. Someone in the corporate office signed off on this box of 64 Crayola Crayons. I think it is blatantly designed to push you towards buying combo meals. Did it even go through consumer testing?  
  • The location is within 50 miles of Atlanta, where the parent company is headquartered.  If you let a location this close to the mother ship go, I can only imagine what more remote locations are like. Again, one of the employees felt no concern in referring a competitor. That says to me that there is no consistent hidden shopper program to assess quality. If there where, this employee would never have said that to a customer.


For most of my analysis, I consider 2 corporate models : Apple and Bradlees.  Why? Apple is doing it right, at every Apple Store, every minute of the day. Bradlees, before it closed down, was a perfect example of employees going through the motions (at half speed) and a corporation just trying to hang on long enough the distribute senior exec bonuses.

Avis used to have a slogan "We're #2, we try harder." I don't know where Krystal falls (not in the top 10) but I don't think their trying harder. They exchanged owners last year, so it might be that they are in the process of a massive redesign. The scary part is the current image was most likely part of some massive redesign.

As for an investment opportunity, Krystal is not publicly traded so even if I wanted to invest I could not. Why even write about it? Because the problems it has are not problems that would only be seen in a privately held company.  Sears (full disclosure, I used to work there) (SHLD) was $200 a share a few years ago, it's now $44. Have you been in a Kmart lately? Yeah, exactly.  I digress.
My point is if you consider investing in a company, one thing you need to consider is the customer experience.  When companies stop caring about what the customers experience, they've taken their eye off the ball. But I would imagine the corporate bonus structure is probably still intact.

Oh yeah, the burger was pretty good.

10 comments:

  1. I have read your article, it is very informative and Costa Blanca helpful for me.I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. Thanks for posting it

    ReplyDelete
  2. .yeah you are right...
    Thank you for some other informative website. The place else may just I best construction loan companies get that kind of information written in such a perfect method? I have a venture that I am simply now running on, and I’ve been at the glance out for such info.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have read you post, Great work you really did it very well. Keep working like this and sharing informative posts like
    this one. keep it up. I'm waiting for your next post...
    surrey real estate

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great tips I have noted all in my diary I'll use your all tips as you mentioned I really like your article I was searching on this topic as I'm working on this topics too.you can see my work but yours is too good I personally appreciate you for this. Keep working like this.custom printed t shirts barrie

    ReplyDelete
  5. Shen Tong is a sequential entrepreneur, writer/poet, angel investor, social activist, foodie, and a film buff. Being one of Newsweek’s People of the Year in 1989, Shen Tong was born in 1968, in Beijing.
    Shen Tong
    Shen Tong
    Shen Tong
    Shen Tong
    Shen Tong
    Shen Tong
    Shen Tong
    Shen Tong

    ReplyDelete
  6. New Jersey SEO company providing you with the best digital marketing services all over the US. The SEO company New Jerseycovers all aspects of digital marketing terms to boost your ranking on the search engine platforms. Seo company new jersey also provides you all social media services
    for the promotion and growth of your business on a social media platform like Instagram SEO .New Jersey Seo company also provides you with the service of web designing, mobile application development, and application development.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dental Services in New Jersey since 1998-Hamilton Dental Care. Offers a variety of dental services in Hamilton to meet all of your dental needs. Let’s say if you are searching for the cosmetic dentistry near me or cosmetic dentistry hamilton NJ then you might come across with the Hamilton Dental Care because it is the best dental health services provider in the NJ. It gives you a smile that you can be proud to show off.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Excel Dental - Dentist in Langhorne offers cosmetic dentistry procedures, restorative dentistry, affordable dental implants including mini dental implants as well as full dental implant in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Book your dental appointment for teeth whitening for any cosmetic procedures in Langhorne, Pennsylvania if you are searching for a general dentist near methen you might come across with Excel Dental Langhorne because of its best dentist in Langhorne

    ReplyDelete

  9. Affordable online boutique - Bermere is a leading online store for the fashion lover women, and it offers classy, designer and trendy outfits at economical prices the women of every age group. Online boutique tops, dresses, jumpsuits, rompers, two-piece sets, and outwear available here are perfect for your office, night outs, parties and more. Besides, the add-on accessories for women like jewelry, scrunchies, and scarves can add more to your style. In addition to all this, Bermere - Affordable Online Boutique has expertise in seasonal clothing. To get the finest online boutique tops, summer dresses, and trendy sweaters visit our affordable online boutique store and give you the perfect style you desire.

    ReplyDelete
  10. 24*7 mobile truck repair in Atlanta.. Premium Truck and Trailer Repair LLC all the truck repair, trailer repair, services in Conley, Atlanta. Premium Truck and Trailer Repair LLC offers high quality and cost effective truck and trailer repair services. Our professional truck repair near me can fix your heavy duty truck and trailer for hassle free travel.

    ReplyDelete