Captain D’s Continued Innovation Conquers COVID-19 Woes

Fish Tenders and Chicken Tenders

From coast to coast, COVID-19 has brought new challenges in doing business of any kind, but especially to restaurant franchises that depend on in-person customer services. While many fast-casual franchises have been forced to dramatically overhaul menus and operations to meet evolving consumer demand for contactless food ordering, pickup, and delivery, Captain D’s had already made forward-thinking changes to its model that has kept all its seafood franchises open and thriving during the pandemic. From 70% off-premise dining sales, family-friendly prices, and fresh and tasty seafood options, our franchises have remained the go-to spot for loyal customers in 23 states.

Staying Ahead Of The Trends

And it’s a great time to own a Captain D’s franchise. QSR research firm Simon-Kucher & Partners expects an 11.4% increase in spending on QSR dinner meals to continue 6 to 12 months after lockdown versus individual spend pre-COVID-19.1

Larry Jones, Vice-President of Construction for Captain D’s, agrees. “Recently, there’s a shift towards more meals at home; it doesn’t mean people are cooking food at home, it means that they’re dining as a family around the dinner table. So, regardless of where Captain D’s is consumed… we want to meet their needs through drive-thru and takeout business.”

Our new drive-thru and walk-up franchise prototype is another way that a Captain D’s franchise is perfectly positioned to meet the “new normal” of post-COVID-19 consumer demand. Easy ordering and convenient pickup options make it simple for families to grab their favorite seafood meals and get dinner on the table in no time. The express prototype is approximately 979 square feet vs the traditional standard build that is 1,964 sq. ft. This smaller footprint means it’s much easier and more affordable to find the right real estate in the right location.

Jones notes that Captain D’s smaller size is ideal for current market conditions and unique real estate opportunities. “The benefit to the restaurant franchise owner of a smaller building is reduced construction costs,” he says, “as well as the potential to buy a smaller parcel of land. Ultimately, it improves the unit economics, lowers the investment cost, and lowers the ongoing cost of operating the building. It’s a win-win.”

Standing Out From Takeout Competition

Families eating together more often are looking for convenient budget-friendly, good-for-you options, and Captain D’s menu, with its grilled seafood, value meals, and family meals, offers customers delicious choices–and a welcome break from pizza and burgers!

In It To Win It

Franchise Owner Jim McClure admires Captain D’s staying power and ability to adapt. “Captain D’s been in the seafood franchise business for over 50 years now. It was important to me to be part of a brand that had some staying power, that’d been through some tough economic cycles.” He views owning a franchise with such a strong legacy brand as a great opportunity. “No question,” he says, ”Captain D’s has been a proven winner.”  

If you’re looking for seafood fast-casual franchise in a great position to thrive now and in a post-COVID-19 world, Captain D’s is a great catch.

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