Captain D’s Targets Expansion in Markets West of the Mississippi

Dallas-Fort Worth area leads the way in westward expansion of iconic seafood franchise

America’s favorite fast casual seafood restaurant is expanding in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with three new locations set to open in the coming months. The new stores continue a period of historic expansion for our iconic QSR seafood brand, and they mark a milestone in our push to expand into the western United States.

Captain D's franchise

“We have a lot of activity in North Texas, the DFW Metroplex, western Arkansas around the Ft. Smith, Fayetteville, and Bentonville areas right now,” says Steve Bielewicz, Captain D’s Senior Development Director for the western U.S. “If you look east of the Mississippi River, Memphis and Jackson, for example, those markets are highly penetrated with a lot of stores. If you look west of the Mississippi, it gets a little skinny. So we’re building east to west.”

With more than 500 restaurants in 21 states and growing, Captain D’s dominates the seafood niche, steadily holding as the number one seafood franchise in America ranked by average unit volume. Our new restaurant design features a vibrant, coastal atmosphere that is modern and inviting and our enhanced dining experience includes new plate ware and silverware. Upgraded menu boards bring to life Captain D’s menu, which features several new kid’s meal offerings and fire-grilled items to satisfy guests’ desire for lower calorie options. With these efforts, Captain D’s has remained true to what it does best — serving high-quality seafood with warm hospitality at an affordable price.

Captain D’s franchise owners are introducing our signature hospitality, quality products and value-priced seafood dishes to new customers every day as we push the frontier of the QSR seafood experience, making now a great time to join our iconic seafood restaurant. Here are just a few key markets with tremendous room to grow.

Captain D’s has great brand recognition in these wide-open markets

One of the keys to our successful, sustainable growth is our focus on building out along existing supply corridors. With dozens of stores in the southeastern U.S., along the I-10, I-20 and I-40 corridors, we’re beginning to push into western Arkansas and Louisiana, Missouri and east Texas.

“Those are states that touch a lot of stores,” Steve says. That means Captain D’s enjoys a good brand identity, but little brand presence. “So here’s an opportunity to get in on the ground floor in Texas or Louisiana or Arkansas. We may be 50 years old, but it’s really an emerging concept in those markets.”

Among the core markets we’ve identified in this area, we’re especially looking for experienced operators in these markets:

  • Dallas, Texas
  • Houston, Texas
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

“These cities are adjacent to markets that have high penetration,” Steve says. “So they represent a continuation of our successful strategy to grow the brand east to west and south to north.”

Owning a Captain D’s franchise is a wise investment for operators seeking a new brand

The QSR restaurant space is crowded, especially in the core hamburger-pizza-chicken markets. Hundreds of franchise locations of dozens of brands have saturated the market. That’s not the case for Captain D’s, though, where our focus on affordable, quality seafood is virtually unmatched, and we’re getting their attention.

“Professional restaurant operators – individuals with 2 or 3 brands under their belt who are looking for a new brand – are reading the trade journals and they see this brand, out of Nashville, Tennessee, and how it’s posted 20 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth. It intrigues them and they do more research,” Steve says.

That research, in turn, leads potential franchisees to discover that seafood is a healthy, affordable meal that’s popular with consumers old and young, and we have generations of loyal customers to prove that. In fact, one of our fastest growing demographics is among 18- to 34-year-olds, the coveted millennials, who are flocking to Captain D’s for savory, healthy and affordable meals.  

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