What Makes a Great Location?
Captain D’s flourishes in urban and rural settings and easily stands apart even in a crowded fast-casual environment
Captain D’s is that rarest of restaurant concepts, one that fits in a wide variety of markets. While some operations are limited to a rural audience, or to an urban or suburban sector, our restaurants do well in any size municipality.
We have what people want. Consumers are choosing healthier options when they dine out. That means more fish and fewer burgers. It means baked and grilled, not fried. It means that Captain D’s is poised for success, no matter where our restaurants are.
Our new freestanding store design is simple to develop. It can be built from the ground up or as a retrofit of an existing restaurant building. Since our basic design is a box, franchisees have successfully converted closed locations from other brands into Captain D’s, as well as modified several other existing buildings to fit.
Inviting surroundings enhance sales
In addition to our grilled menu, which has generated more than 10% of sales with little or no national and regional marketing, Captain D’s offers newly designed restaurants that greatly enhance the fast-casual experience.
From the moment guests walk in, they know they are in for much more than a “fast food” experience. With our restaurant redesign, the old “fishing nets and lures” theme is gone. What’s taken its place is a warm, inviting beach house. Think of the great restaurants all along the U.S. coastline, and now imagine that vibe brought inland. That’s what the new Captain D’s looks like, and it’s why half our guests choose to dine inside rather than just visiting the drive-through.
It’s the little things
Another reason Captain D’s succeeds no matter where we go? Our little differentiators — like using real plates and real silverware. Guests routinely say that one of their favorite things about coming to Captain D’s is that they feel as though they are having a dining experience, not just grabbing some food.
But it’s more than just the place settings. When a guest places his or her order, they are able to visit our condiments area and choose what they want, then proceed to a table. When their food is ready, we bring it out to them. And throughout the experience, friendly staff members stop by the table to see if everything’s all right, and if anything else is needed.
“Does it all taste good?” is something heard often at Captain D’s, and if the answer is anything but “yes,” the problem is addressed right away.
High-touch model is portable
All this adds up to a customer experience that’s unmatched in the fast-casual sector. It’s why Captain D’s has succeeded for nearly 50 years in existing markets, and why it’s doing well in new parts of the country. Our model, from the best fish and sides available down to the vinegar for our battered fish, has been carefully thought out. It’s why our restaurants have so many regulars, from after-church senior citizens to young families who want a nice, healthy meal at an affordable price.
All this results in a restaurant model that is highly portable. Captain D’s franchise owners report strong sales, whether they are in an urban setting, a suburban area, or a small town. First-time visitors come back, and the regulars wouldn’t think of getting seafood anywhere else.
Our Chief Development Officer Michael Arrowsmith adds: “We can fit in a lot of areas. We can go into high-income areas; we can go into small towns. We put a lot of science into determining where to place our locations, so we can find success even in small, rural areas. We are seeing strong sales in newer stores in urban areas, but our older stores in smaller demographics continue to perform very well. A lot of companies have either a great brand or great real estate. We have both.”