The restaurant was named after a 1961 hit single by country music singer Bill Anderson. Although Anderson initially planned to file a lawsuit against the chain for use of the name, he later sold the rights of the name to the chain, and served as a spokesperson for it. He and Conway Twitty also acquired franchise rights to a location in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1983.
Krystal acquired Po' Folks in 1982 and continued to expand it. By 1984, the chain had 102 restaurants in 17 states. Eric A. Holm (now with Golden Corral) was director of construction and accused of taking bribes for favorable construction deals.  Krystal later merged Po' Folks with DavCo, a division of the company which franchised Wendy's restaurants. In 1988, Po' Folks filed for bankruptcy. As a result, the Po' Folks restaurants were sold off, and the remaining assets continued to operate as DavCo. There are still 8 Po Folks operating in the Southeast. Seven of which are owned by Peter Sostheim in the Panhandle of Florida and Enterprise Alabama, as well as one in St. Petersburg Florida.