Ongoing Innovation Drives Captain D’s Franchise Success

Split shot of Phil Russo headshot and exterior image of Captain D's location.

Published by Shopping Center Business.

Unlike many in the fast-casual or QSR franchise industry, Captain D’s ability to stay ahead of the curve made it uniquely poised to confront the challenges of COVID-19 dining head on. A new article in Shopping Center Business, the leading news and information portal for the retail industry, highlights the launch of four new Captain D’s franchise prototypes as yet another example of how its leadership’s commitment to innovation has fueled growth and success in rollercoaster market conditions.    

Smaller Footprint, Big Advantage

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, 70% of Captain D’s restaurant franchise business was drive-thru and carryout. That made offering new flexible buildout options like a drive-thru and walkup restaurant concept a no-brainer.

Phil Russo, Vice President of Real Estate for Captain D’s said, “The express layout opens up new markets and new franchisees for us,” and noted that fortunately, “it puts us that much further ahead compared to everybody else that is trying to develop during the pandemic.”

Flexible Options To Meet Market Demand

The D’s Express prototype couldn’t be better suited to current COVID restrictions and ever-evolving conditions. At an express model, guests order at a walkup window or by drive-thru and then can take their favorite Captain D’s seafood away to enjoy at home or on the go. There is no on-premise dining, making social distancing and other safety precautions relatively easy to execute. Smaller staff and less interior space reduce operational expenses as well. The other three prototypes are a 22-seat layout, a 44-seat floor plan, or a larger 62-seat concept aimed at an older, suburban demographic.  

Analyzing A Path Forward

The real estate market has undergone seismic shifts because of COVID, putting Captain D’s Franchise Owners or prospective owners in a strong position to acquire the right piece of real estate, at the right price, and in the location they want. The Shopping Center Business article illustrates how Russo and his team were able to gather and use data like traffic patterns, parking options, and foot traffic to pinpoint potentially successful QSR franchise locations rather than relying solely on demographic information. They jumped at the chance to use new technology to help them make smart business decisions right for the fast-casual franchise market. They partnered with Form Analytics and its Simms Sales Forecasting and Market Optimization tool to implement geofencing practices for franchise protypes.

Catch A Great Opportunity In A Growing Market

Captain D’s now has 530 locations in 23 states and has no intention of slowing down because of the pandemic. Its fresh, delicious seafood, loyal customers, and commitment to innovation fuel its success no matter the market conditions.

“We are in a good position going forward because we have a lot of flexibility with our designs,” said Russo.

Industry experts and prestigious publications like Shopping Center Business agree—Captain D’s is a great catch for your QSR portfolio. Ready to dive in? Fill out the form to learn more.