St. Augustine Culver’s nationally recognized during ceremony


Culver’s has more than 900 restaurants across the United States, but its St. Augustine location is standing out among the best.

The location has been recognized among the burger chain’s top-five restaurants and as a result is a gold finalist in the company’s annual Crew Challenge.

The challenge is an initiative that recognizes a location’s overall operations, including the makeup and effectiveness of its staff.

The St. Augustine Culver’s has only been in business for nearly three years, but owner-operators Garth and Lisa Darton have instilled a consistent tradition of excellence and customer satisfaction during the time.

“We’re so proud of the incredible team members that work so hard to make our guests happy every day in St. Augustine,” Lisa Darton said. “It’s rewarding to see their efforts acknowledged and to know that our guests are receiving the service and experience they deserve every time they visit Culver’s.”

Part of the Crew Challenge includes restaurants competing in the areas of quality, service, cleanliness, hospitality, community outreach and team member training and development. The winner will be announced at Culver’s annual convention in Orlando in January.

“We believe in going the extra mile to make our guests happy, and that starts with our phenomenal team members,” Craig Culver, co-founder of Culver’s, said. “It’s our honor to recognize the St. Augustine team for the exceptional job they continue to do in the restaurant and the community.”

Each of the five finalists will receive prize money, with $50,000 going to the national champion and $12,500 to each of the four runner-up restaurants. Winnings are shared between the restaurant managers and team members.  

Although the winner will not be announced until next month, making it to the top-five is quite the achievement and Culver’s management and the Dartons realized this.

As a result, the team members at St. Augustine Culver’s were honored in a ceremony on Dec. 12, including a visit from CEO Rick Silva and co-founder Craig Culver.

The Crew Challenge starts each year with all Culver’s locations participating and the process includes narrowing it down throughout the months that follow to 90 and 40 before reaching the final five as part of the yearlong competition.

Names along with St. Augustine in the 2023 top-five are locations in Harrisonville, Missouri; Hartland, Michigan; Murray, Kentucky; and Sierra Vista, Arizona.