When fast food icon Krystal holds the inaugural Krystal Square Off® World Hamburger Eating Championship from this September to November and crowns the hamburger eating champion of the world, the winner will earn major bragging rights in the sport of competitive eating and the largest cash prize offered on the U.S. competitive eating circuit today.

The Krystal Company, home to the famous, small, square and indulgently delicious Krystal hamburger, has boosted the total cash purse for the first Krystal Square Off® World Hamburger Eating Championship to an unrivaled $17,500, with a $10,000 cash prize to be awarded to the winner. Second place will receive $5,000, and $2,500 will go to third place.

"We're certainly not tiptoeing into this," explained Brad Wahl, Manager of Marketing and Promotions at The Krystal Company. "The interest in the Krystal Square Off® has been tremendous from the moment we announced the event, and we want to match the excitement with an unprecedented cash prize. We already expected the competition to be fierce, and now, with so much at stake, we expect it to be ferocious."

Those vying for the grand prize package of $10,000, the champion's belt and crystal trophy will first be put to the challenge at one of the 11 qualifying events to be held throughout the Southeast beginning September 3, 2004 in Chattanooga, Tenn., where The Krystal Company is headquartered. The winner of each qualifier will earn a seat at the final world championship table on Nov. 13, 2004 in Chattanooga.

David Baer, Director of Global Expansion, IFOCE, noted, "The prizes offered by Krystal for the Krystal Square Off® mark a major milestone for the sport of competitive eating. By offering a cash purse of this magnitude to IFOCE athletes, we have joined the ranks of professional tennis and golf."

Wahl predicts, "You're going to see the top competitive eaters in the world gunning for the prize. But don't discount our customers, who some may foolishly be tempted to write off as amateurs. They will be out to prove that their longtime fanaticism for the Krystal burger gives them a distinct edge. From French Jenkins, the very first Krystal customer back in 1932 who ordered 6 Krystals with his coffee, to Matt Ward, who ate an amazing 21 Krystal burgers in 2 minutes at a contest last summer, Krystal lovers have long shown skill at consuming Krystals in multiples. I'm predicting a true, loyal Krystal lover will take home the title and the $10,000 prize."

Information on how to participate in the Krystal Square Off® World Hamburger Eating Championship can be found at and by clicking the Krystal button at

The Krystal Company
Founded in 1932, The Krystal Company is the oldest quick service restaurant chain in the Southeast and the second oldest in the United States. Famous for its small, square burgers, which have become synonymous with Southern fast food, Krystal has emerged as one of the most successful quick service restaurants in the industry. With 24-hour operations, Krystal restaurants offer their customers one-of-a-kind menu items for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night or snack options. The Chattanooga-based Krystal chain currently has more than 425 restaurants in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and