These instructional photos were shown as training materials for new hires at Krystal restaurants during the 1960s. They demonstrate examples for employees of how and how not to present themselves behind the counter.
The brochure and orientational training film contained instructions such as: “Keep your teeth clean and white. Anybody can have a pretty smile. Naturally, you don’t want to get too familiar with the customers, just be really pleasant and friendly. Let your personality show through.”
“The customers aren’t interested in your private jokes. That kind of horseplay just won’t go.” “Keep your fingers off the food and don’t put the butter on top of the waffle.”
Krystal is an American regional fast food restaurant chain headquartered in Dunwoody, Georgia, with restaurants in the Southeastern United States. It is known for its small, square hamburgers, called sliders in places other than the Southeast, with steamed-in onions.
Founded on October 24, 1932, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, during the first years of the Great Depression, entrepreneur Rody Davenport Jr. and partner J. Glenn Sherrill theorized that even in a severe economic upheaval, “People would patronize a restaurant that was kept spotlessly clean, where they could get a good meal with courteous service at the lowest possible price.”
Davenport had visited Chicago’s White Castle restaurants, taking notes of successful features, before setting forth on his own venture.
Davenport and Sherrill set up the first Krystal at the corner of 7th and Cherry Streets in Chattanooga. The first Krystal was a modular building constructed in Chicago and shipped to Chattanooga for final installation.
Regarding the origins of the Krystal name, the company legend states that Davenport and his wife were riding down a mountain road when Mrs. Mary McGee Davenport saw a lawn ornament in the shape of a crystal ball.
While gazing at the lawn ornament, Mrs. Davenport commented that since Davenport and Sherrill felt cleanliness was a cornerstone of the concept, they should name the restaurant Crystal for “clean as a crystal” – yet with a “K” to add a little twist. Krystal’s restaurants through the years often sported a crystal ball on the top.
From the early 1930s through the early 1960s, the chain served much of its food not in take-out containers but on inexpensive porcelain dishes with the “Krystal” moniker.
The waiters and waitresses wore white uniforms, and food was offered through counter service.
(Photo credit: Chattanooga History Center / Wikimedia Commons).