Monday, the Crestview City Council approved plans for a Krystal restaurant on South Ferdon Boulevard.
The restaurant, which could open by July’s end, would bring 30 jobs, reporter Brian Hughes learned. That might be welcome news to some 20 Beef ’O’ Brady’s employees who were laid off, without notice or severance, for Easter.
But our readers are divided on the issue.
Some see the restaurant’s addition as a sign of things to come: more eateries and greater variety. Some oppose the decision and echo a familiar refrain: Crestview has too much fast food, and what about something healthier?
Others noted that residents have no real say on which restaurants come to Crestview and which don’t. Businesses want to come here or they don’t; the city council’s approval is a formality.
However, we can choose which establishments to patronize.
Ideally, that decision would factor in the business’ ethics as much as it would the customer’s taste buds. That means deconstructing the company’s products, along with the causes it supports, and drawing conclusions.
Let’s start with a glossary.
Fans often speak of a Krystal run, or leaving your present location to buy more fast food and replenish the supply.
The chain offers specials that include multiple burgers, often called a Krystal sack. One special offers 12 Chiks for $12. A past promotion included five burgers, a side and a drink for $5.
We Americans aren’t exactly known for our patience; we want it our way, right away. (Forgive the near descent to another fast food chain’s slogan.) It’s plausible that people eat this many burgers in one sitting. A meal’s a meal.
Though the chain’s 2.5-inch square burgers are a fraction of the size of most fast food burgers, eating five or 12 of any item, even spread over three meals, is troubling, especially with Okaloosa County’s obesity problem.
The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County recently received the fourth annual County Health Rankings and Roadmaps data, and the results raise concern.
Obesity in adults has risen 6 percent over the past four years, according to the department, which has a Community Health Improvement Plan that addresses local physical activity and nutrition resources.
However, Okaloosans striving to stay the course would do well to avoid fast food, particularly the Hub City’s latest addition, which seemingly celebrates the polar opposite of healthy living.
The Krystal Company’s World Hamburger Eating Championship has celebrated extreme gluttony; one man devoured more than 103 square burgers in eight minutes, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Moreover, many people annually vie to beat his record in this competition.
Meanwhile, doctors warn of overeating’s potential dangers, including stomach perforation and stomach paralysis. People in different contests, unrelated to Krystal, have died from choking while binging.
Many people will do anything to receive their 15 minutes of fame. Sometimes, that means taking serious health risks.
Many companies will do anything to generate buzz for their product. Often, that means sacrificing a few for the greater good.
And too many people cheer for such simple-minded entertainment.
The masses miss the lack of corporate responsibility and poor optics from supporting gluttony during widespread world hunger. Instead, they prop potential, preventable health problems while cheering contestants who stretch the stomach beyond capacity.
These larger concerns typically don’t trickle down to local franchise owners, who may be your neighbors and work hard to earn an honest living and provide for others in the community.
Nevertheless, this is what the parent company has stood for: paying $5,000, according to PRNewswire, to the so-called athlete who takes home the top overeating prize — along with untold digestive problems — in a competition that’s cheap amusement for the elite.
Krystal’s coming, so more jobs are coming. These things are certain.
The only question is, do you want to support it?
Email Crestview News Bulletin Editor Thomas Boni, email@example.com, or tweet him @cnbeditor.