Exclusive: Captain D’s unveils Lent promotions, expansion
Captain D’s executives unveiled the restaurant chain’s Lent promotions and 2017 expansion plans in exclusive interviews with SeafoodSource.
The 518-restaurant seafood chain recently experienced its 21st consecutive quarter and sixth consecutive year of positive growth. In its fiscal fourth quarter, the chain had system-wide same-store sales increase of 1.3 percent, along with a 2.3 percent system-wide same-store sales increase for the fiscal year.
“But, we are just getting started,” said Bob Kraut, chief marketing officer at Captain D’s. “We have successfully democratized seafood and guests have given us a lot of credit for this as well as for our continued brand evolution and innovation. There is a lot of upside in front of us and we’re excited to continue our momentum of success.”
To that end, Captain D’s plans to open 25 new restaurants this year – nearly double the number of 2016 openings.
And, from mid-February through mid-April, Captain D’s will promote new and existing seafood dishes for the Lenten season. It will feature its new Home-Style Shrimp as part of a USD 4.99 (EUR 4.69) meal deal.
“We’re also offering great new seafood appetizers that seafood lovers can’t find anywhere else: a Seafood Gumbo as well as Lemon Pepper Steamed Shrimp,” said Dawn Foster, vice president of brand marketing.
The chain will also be highlighting dishes that have been classics on its menu, including its Crab-Topped Tilapia.
“Guests are really excited about our full, wholesome meals that come with two sides and hushpuppies (or a breadstick with the grilled meals) at such a reasonable price,” Foster said.
In addition, the company has promoted chief purchasing officer Janet Duckham to chief supply chain officer. Duckham will lead Captain D’s global purchasing functions, oversees quality assurance and manages all aspects of distribution and logistics. Duckham is also one of 35 executives who govern the Groundfish Forum, a worldwide seafood organization representing over 60 countries.
Duckham started at Captain D’s six years ago as vice president of purchasing, and then quickly added quality assurance duties.
“She excelled in both roles and was highly instrumental in advancing all aspects of Captain D’s complex logistics, sourcing and distribution, as well as food quality, safety and pricing,” the company said in a statement.
In an interview with SeafoodSource, Duckman said that Captain D’s is testing “a few new and exciting species….as well as some twists on some guest favorites.”
While Captain D’s is “very loyal” to its current vendors, Duckham said the company is “always interested in diversifying our vendors where it makes sense.”
“We are continuously relying on our suppliers and processors around the world to provide us new and innovative products and/or new species,” she said.
The approval process to become a Captain D’s vendor can take more than 18 months, but the restaurant needs new suppliers, she said.
“As we celebrate our 21st quarter of same store sales growth, our positive growth momentum will result in restaurant operators needing increased volume purchased,” Duckham said. “So it is imperative that we have vendors that are fully supporting the success of Captain D’s.”