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Checking in on Captain D’s


From countless interviews every year, I write about a lot of brands. Some of these stick with me—for a variety of reasons—while others fade to background knowledge. One restaurant brand I’m still itching to try and that I enjoy following is Captain D’s, a 50-year-old seafood brand based in Tennessee.

My previous story on Captain D’s, from the September 2015 issue, told the story of the brand’s refreshed looks. They ditched the ship theme for something more relaxing, sunnier and in line with design trends in modern beachside houses. It’s a unique, pleasing design and, I have to admit, the food sounds pretty fantastic.

With that as a backdrop, I was happy to read Captain D’s latest press release announcing the opening of its newest corporate-owned restaurant in Easley, South Carolina. It’s the brand’s 30th location in the state, and one of several milestones the brand reached as it continues scaling up.

“This year has been one of tremendous growth for Captain D’s, as we continue to propel the brand forward with aggressive expansion in South Carolina,” said Michael Arrowsmith, chief development officer for Captain D’s. “The success our existing franchised and corporate restaurants are experiencing in the market has emphasized the incredible potential we have in South Carolina, which is why the company is investing in corporate development. We’re confident this momentum will continue as we head into 2017, and are eager to further grow the Captain D’s brand in South Carolina.”

As the brand looks toward the end of 2016, it has posted 20 consecutive quarters of positive growth, most recently with systemwide sales up 2.8 percent. Not bad at all. While refreshing its restaurant template—50 percent of all its restaurants so far—it hopes to renovate another 50 units by the end of the year.

In total, Captain D’s is now up to 515 restaurants and 21 states. Such positive growth is nice to see, because I hear a lot of growth projections in a given week and often take them with a grain of salt. With a solid plan previously revealed and impressive execution now underway, hopefully I won’t have to wait long before crossing paths with one of their locations.

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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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