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» Krystal Cancels Hamburger Eating Championship
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Krystal Cancels Hamburger Eating Championship

By • Sep 2nd, 2010 • Category: Burger Blog

For six years, it’s been a mainstay on the late summer calendar.  Now it’s history. With almost no hullabaloo whatsoever, Krystal has scrapped their annual Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship.

The reason?  Certainly not lack of interest.  Last year’s finals drew a live audience of over 10,000 people to downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, in an event broadcast live on SportSouth:

That crowd watched Takeru Kobayashi inhale 68 Krystals and 5 of the chain’s Big Angus Burgers in just 8 minutes to take the belt and the $20,000 prize.

Live television coverage?  10,000 screaming fans?  Twenty thousand bucks to the winner? That doesn’t sound like an event you just cancel.  That kind of sounds like a pretty big deal. Well, it turns out that’s just the problem Krystal has with the Square Off.

The chain explained the move in a release obtained by jacksonville.com and The Florida Times-Union.  “After considerable deliberation we have made the very difficult decision to forego the Krystal Square Off this year,” according to the statement, citing the “significant resources and time from our personnel on both a local and corporate level…”

The release continues, in part: “…at this time, we have decided that our marketing focus and efforts are better suited towards the promotion of our new Krystal Game Time Wings, which are now available in stores systemwide, and the opening of new company-owned restaurants.”

Yeah, the 78-year-old chain built on “fresh, hot, small, square” burgers just dumped their biggest burger event because now they want to sell chicken wings.


Now, competitive eating isn’t my thing, but I have a little bit of a beef with this.  A proud burger chain chucking a flagship event that draws huge crowds and a gold mine of publicity all because somebody in the front office decided to try to compete with sports bars by serving wings?  Shame on you, Krystal.

I can only hope that the burgermeisters at White Castle (themselves no strangers to fun marketing promotions) have jumped on the obvious opportunity and are making plans to launch their own “Slyder Showdown.”  They may not have won my head-to-head taste test, but make no bones about it: someone should carry the torch and offer a mini-burger munch-off.

2 Responses to “Krystal Cancels Hamburger Eating Championship”

  1. 1
    Evil Janus Says:

    TRAVESTY!!

  2. 2
    Gail Says:

    STUPID – I was able to go last year and we had a great time.

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