How Captain D’s is prepping for Lent sales

Published on
January 20, 2016

Captain D’s is launching a new flavor of its grilled tilapia entrée this week (25 January) and will heavily promote its grilled seafood options – along with seafood health message - during the Lenten season.

“Lent is the heaviest time of year for sales. It’s our Christmas,” Dawn Foster, vice president of brand marketing for Captain D’s, which operates 514 restaurants, told SeafoodSource. Because Captain D’s restaurants attract customers during Lent who may not visit other times of the year, the chain will use the opportunity to spread the message about the health benefits of seafood.

Captain D’s will feature in-store signage and other marketing messages featuring Seafood Nutrition Partnership’s (SNP) Seafood Pledge campaign, urging Americans to eat at least two servings of seafood a week for heart health and overall health. The chain will also communicate about its extensive grilled menu via television advertising and other marketing communication.

“We launched the grilled platform a couple of years ago and have doubled the sales of our grilled meals. We continue to innovative and add new things, including a new flavor of our grilled tilapia, one of our most popular grilled fish items,” Foster said. “We have also been looking at new species of fish that we can bring on to the menu.”
Already, the chain’s “From the Grill” menu includes Shrimp Skewers, Blackened Tilapia, Wild Alaskan Salmon, Surf and Turf, Grilled Whitefish and Shrimp Skewer and Lemon Pepper White Fish.

Plus, the restaurant chain launched its Captain’s D-Lites menu featuring entrees under 500 calories at the beginning of January. Available through 24 January, the D-Lites menu includes Blackened Tilapia, WIld Alaskan Salmon, Lemon Pepper White Fish, Shrimp Skewers or Surf and Turf. “We offer all as a meal that includes sides such as broccoli and green beans, or as a salad,” Foster said.

Captain D’s also plans to add more “variety plates” to its From the Grill menu, such as the combination of Grilled Tilapia and Shrimp Skewers offered during Lent 2015. “Our consumers like the variety on the plate. We often pair fish with shrimp,” Foster said.

Captain D’s has also doubled down on its marketing of the grilled items, since most people think of the chain as a “fried fish concept”, Foster said. “We still hear from a lot of consumers that they are not aware that we have grilled. We have been integrating some of these products into our TV advertising –dedicated 15-second spots that talk about our grilled products – and many other marketing vehicles.”

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