Seafood’s stability appeals to multi-unit operator Chris Benner.
Anthony Bourdain’s book, Kitchen Confidential, published in 2000, was an eye-opening tale of the pressures and stresses of running a restaurant. Back then, most people were unaware of all the things a restaurateur juggles in a day, including the volatile prices of meat. Chris Benner was working for another restaurant brand back then, and he knew exactly what Bourdain was talking about.
“When I worked for another brand with heavy proteins—beef, chicken, pork—we were always very nervous about what commodity pricing would be like. And we always had to look over our shoulders to see what the other guys were doing. That isn’t the case with Captain D’s because we don’t really have any direct competition,” said Benner.
Benner, who has opened 33 Captain D’s in just four years, mentions another unique aspect of owning a Captain D’s.
“The main protein we serve, pollock, is one of the most abundant and sustainable food sources on the planet.”
Something else in abundance at Captain D’s, according to Benner, is support.
“Captain D’s has just done such a great job packaging all of the processes and pieces of the puzzle that you’re going to need to develop and build your Captain D’s restaurants. They make it easy.”
When asked why he thinks Captain D’s is that way, he notes that 50% of the restaurants are corporate-owned.
“Costs affect them, too. So the procurement department is always working to help the bottom line. They negotiate the lowest possible costs for the food and the supplies,” he said.
Benner talked about the many reasons he loves owning his Captain D’s, but at the end of the day, it all comes back to providing a great experience for his guests.
“Captain D’s has been very supportive and has helped us be profitable. They’ve helped train our people well so they can do a great job for our guests. Our guests love it. They love our restaurants and they love this brand.”
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