Captain D’s resumes U.S. franchise effort
By Christine Blank, SeafoodSource contributing editor
06 July, 2012
After experiencing back-to-back quarters of same-store sales increases, Captain D’s CEO and President Phil Greifeld is looking to the future success of the fast-casual chain.
Nashville, Tenn.-based Captain D’s, which owns and franchises 527 restaurants in the United States, recently reported a second quarter same-store sales increase of 8.5 percent (the same increase as its first quarter) and a 7.3 percent increase in sales at all franchised restaurants.
“After coming off a great first half of the year, we firmly believe our best days are still ahead of us,” Greifeld told SeafoodSource.
To maintain the successful momentum, Captain D’s plans to add more grilled seafood items to its menu, open new stores and launch a store redesign campaign. Captain D’s is franchising new stores later this year, after four or five years of putting a hold on new units.
“Given that we are performing well on both the top and bottom line, we will be looking to re-launch our franchising…throughout the entire Midwest and Southeast and select international opportunities,” said Greifeld. Three new franchised stores are set to be developed in Mississippi and Alabama later this year or early 2013.
Captain D’s has been testing its store redesign program in select markets, and an official renovation program will be rolled out later this year.
“It has resonated very well with our guests and has given us an adequate sales lift and return on our investment,” said Greifeld. The “fresher look and feel” of the new design is a coastal theme, rather than Captain D’s existing nautical theme, said Greifeld.
The chain’s menu also has been significantly improved.
“Where we had an opportunity to improve the quality of our menu items, we did — across many product lines. For example, we invented a proprietary battered piece of fish working with our dedicated partners overseas. We improved our pollock product, and that resonated very well with our guests,” said Greifeld.
Even though battered fish will always be a staple on Captain D’s menu, the chain is working on new cooking platforms to offer more grilled items. “We already have grilled tilapia, grilled salmon and other grilled items, and we just launched a stuffed flounder product,” said Greifeld.
06 July, 2012