QSR Chain Brings New C-Store Design to Tarheel State

The 92-year-old restaurant brand says electrical equipment will drive efficiencies, both upfront and ongoing, at its first unit in North Carolina.

Circle K
Krystal's new design will be attached to a Circle K in Wilson, North Carolina.

This summer in North Carolina, Krystal will reveal a new, compact c-store design, connected to a Circle K in the city of Wilson. This will also be the brand’s first unit in North Carolina.

In this design, the brand says electrical equipment is key—driving efficiencies in the construction build-out and ongoing operations alike. “Electrical equipment often requires less maintenance, consumes less energy, and can be more easily integrated into modern infrastructure than traditional gas-powered alternatives,” a Krystal representative told FER. “This choice aligns with contemporary trends toward sustainability and cost savings.”

The brand says the design also aims to streamline operations and reduce potential bottlenecks by minimizing traffic jams. The overall footprint will be “significantly smaller” than traditional Krystal restaurants, which average about 2,700 square feet, the brand says. However, in sizing up the benefits of a c-store unit, Krystal found several—among them savings on overhead costs and greater brand visibility.

“The c-store environment is shaped by high foot traffic, and the c that can’t be ignored is convenience,” the brand states. “The inherent convenience of c-stores, acting as one-stop shops for food, beverages, and other daily necessities, aligns perfectly with Krystal’s desire to attract customers seeking quick meal solutions.”

Atlanta-based Krystal was founded in 1932. In 2022, it broke ground on its first to-go focused prototype, which, like c-stores helped it save on build-out costs. Then, last year, the brand underwent a merger with SPB Hospitality, an operator and franchisor of full-service dining restaurants.

In other news this month, c-store operator Wawa recently announced it would enter a new state.

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