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Wedding tale puts grad in eatery’s hall of fame

Wedding tale puts grad in eatery’s hall of fame

Posted: Friday, January 8, 2010 8:01 pm

By ASHLEY ANTHONY
The Jackson Sun
JACKSON (AP) — Tracy Hale has been a fan of Krystal since she was a Lambuth University student and made late-night trips to the restaurant with friends.
“We’d go to Krystal at all hours to get hamburgers,” she said.
Hale, 29, of Jackson, even ate them on her wedding day a few hours before the ceremony. She got married on Nov. 5, 2005.
“I have pictures of me eating a Krystal burger in my wedding dress,” she laughed.
Hale’s Krystal memories have earned her a spot in the restaurant’s hall of fame. She was inducted into the 2009 Krystal Lovers Hall of Fame class at the restaurant in Jackson.
As an inductee, Hale will have her face put on the sides of millions of Krystal hamburger boxes distributed throughout the South, according to a news release. The hamburger box will include a quote from Hale describing her love for the restaurant in addition to personal facts about her, such as her hometown and favorite Krystal meal, which is a mix of their hamburgers and chicken sandwiches.
The hamburger box was revealed at the induction ceremony, where Hale, her family and friends received a complimentary Krystal meal and cake. She also received a plaque that will hang in her favorite Krystal restaurant.
Hale recently wrote about her Krystal memories on the restaurant’s fan page on Facebook. A few days later, she was contacted by Krystal’s corporate office.
“I was very surprised because when I first submitted my story, I didn’t realize I was entering any type of contest,” Hale said. “I thought they were just looking for neat Krystal stories.”
Out of 15,000 entries, Hale’s story was chosen to be one of 10 finalists.
The finalists represent five other states — Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Indiana. Hale is one of three finalists from Tennessee. The others are from Franklin and Louisville.
Brad Wahl, vice president of marketing for The Krystal Co., said the company receive thousands of e-mails every year from people who want to share their Krystal stories.
“Hardly a day goes by without one of our guests posting a great story on our Facebook wall, and our newest inductees represent some of the best we’ve seen this year,” Wahl said in a news release.
Now in its fifth year, the Krystal Lovers Hall of Fame has honored 75 individuals and groups for their one-of-a-kind Krystal stories, according to the release.
Hale’s memories of Krystal started when she was a religion and music student at Lambuth and carried on to her wedding day four years ago. She now works as a customer service specialist with West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic.
“My wedding was at 2 p.m., but me and the wedding party got to the church early in the morning to take pictures,” Hale said. “We got hungry, and we hadn’t made plans for food. My dad, dressed in his tuxedo, went to Krystal with my stepmother, who was in a formal dress.”
Hale’s father, Rusty Hathcock, said he ordered 100 hamburgers.
“I knew how much my daughter loves those burgers,” Hathcock said. “In fact, we all like them. We wanted to get the kids in the wedding something good and fast.”
Hale said the burgers hit the spot.
“Now I always think of Krystal on my wedding day,” she said. “It’s part of our wedding memories.”
A month after Hale’s wedding, her husband, Jason, took her to Krystal for a one-month anniversary dinner.
“She was surprised I took her there, but I thought, ‘Why not Krystal?”’ Jason said.
The couple eats at Krystal at least once a month.
“We find ourselves popping in Krystal after church or shopping when we really don’t want a big meal,” Hale said. “We usually get a couple of hamburgers and Krystal Chiks. And if it’s an extra special day, we might splurge on chili cheese fries.”
Published in The Messenger 1.8.10

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