Fast Casual Seafood Chain Rides High, Eyes Renewed Franchise Growth Focus Toward End of Year
Nashville, TN (RestaurantNews.com) Captain D’s continued its record setting performance in the second quarter of 2013. Posting yet another quarter of positive same store sales increases, the 520-unit fast casual seafood chain has now marked 23 consecutive months of compounding sales growth.
In 2012, the brand enjoyed a record-breaking year with same-store sales increases of 8.3 percent. Captain D’s continued that positive trend posting positive Q1 sales numbers, and are now reporting at close of Q2 a 5.3 percent same-store sales growth for the system, with increases of 3.9% for franchise restaurants and 6.6% for company locations. Two year system-wide same store sales growth for Q2 was 13.3%, indicative of the brand’s transformation over the last couple of years.
“Throughout 2012, Captain D’s continued to post record numbers for same store sales in both company and franchised restaurants,” said Phil Greifeld, CEO and President of Captain D’s. “I challenged our experienced leadership team to build upon that momentum, and they have risen to the challenge by continuing to create powerful marketing messages and execute with strong operational excellence. Our success over the last few years has positioned us for renewed franchise growth throughout the Southeast and into neighboring markets.”
To further support its growth, promotional messaging has continued to showcase D’s commitment to quality, value and innovation by focusing on their successful 4.99 Full Meal Deals. New products such as hand-breaded Fish Tenders and Cajun Fish tenders, as well as the fan favorite “Sampler” meal, offer D’s guests freshly-prepared and innovative meal choices at a compelling price point. Moreover, the new Fire Grilled menu items attract guests looking for healthier options. These menu improvements, coupled with upgraded facilities through restaurant remodeling, have bolstered D’s stalwart sales success.
This comes as no surprise to the D’s executive team, as new products and product innovation have been an integral part in Brand’s turnaround in the past two years. “Our company mission is to be the industry leader and innovator for seafood,” said Jonathan Muhtar, D’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Our recent LTO’s, such as our hand-breaded fish tenders and Cajun fish tenders are definitely bolstering those efforts. And, we’re complementing this seafood innovation with great new add-ons, like our Fried Green Tomatoes and our fan-favorite, Fried Pickles.”
A significant portion of Captain D’s innovation efforts have been focused on new grilled items. The new grilled menu, along with all-new, fresh and inviting menu boards, will be implemented system-wide by Q1 2014. “I personally think our most exciting innovation can be seen in our new Fire-Grilled menu, featuring items such as our Surf and Turf, Shrimp Scampi, and Grilled Whitefish offerings.” These are just the some of the successful initiatives that D’s has been rolling out in 2013. An updated restaurant remodel, a new Kids program, and new digital campaigns have been part of the brand’s turnaround as well.
In Q1, Captain D’s took steps to accelerate new unit growth by hiring franchise industry veteran Michael Arrowsmith as Chief Development Officer (CDO) and promoting Jim Stevens to Chief Operations Officer (COO). Both are charged to spur new franchise growth, and further strengthen the Captain D’s unit profitability. The brand is focused on extending its footprint in strong existing markets, as well as expanding its reach into new territories.
Because of the brand’s consistent sales success, Captain D’s is experiencing a heightened interest from multi-unit/multi-brand owners looking to diversify their existing restaurant portfolio. Moreover, the sales growth has sparked renewed interested in development from its existing franchise base. Franchisees who had not been developing have recently made commitments to build new restaurants in the Southeast in the next year.
“Because our unit economics and overall Captain D’s opportunity is very attractive, we are being sought-after by entrepreneurs looking for a proven, inventive franchise concept,” Greifeld said. “This brand attention, combined with the leadership of our talented executive team, has led to plans to add new franchised restaurants in 2013 and beyond, with the help of new and existing franchise partners.”
About Captain D’s
Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Captain D’s owns, operates and franchises 520 restaurants in 25 states, plus military bases around the world. Captain D’s offers its customers great seafood at reasonable prices in a relaxed environment. The brand’s restaurants serve a widely varied seafood menu that includes freshly prepared entrees, and the company’s signature hand-battered fish which is prepared to order to ensure freshness. The restaurants also offer premium-quality grilled fish, as well as shrimp, chicken, shrimp & beef kabobs, hushpuppies, desserts and freshly brewed, southern style sweet tea, a Captain D’s favorite. For more information, please visit www.captainds.com.