Captain D's

Captain’s Turns its Ship Around

It’s no secret to those in the quick-service industry that Captain D’s, a 520-unit seafood brand established in 1969, has been struggling for the better part of the last decade.

Something not as well known: how hard the brand has worked to save its sinking ship. And it appears to be paying off.

Seafood Concept or Not, Brands Gear Up for Lenten Season

The Super Bowl hype may have fizzled weeks ago, but for seafood companies, their Super Bowl season is just beginning, thanks to the start of the Lenten season.

With many customers abstaining from meat consumption, Lent can be a true goldmine for seafood brands and other chains that introduce seafood-focused LTOs and menu.

At Captain D’s, chief marketing officer Jonathan Muhtar says units see a 5–10 percent bump in sales around this time of year, compared to the yearly average.

The Art of the LTO

Offer a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder to casual McDonald’s customers, and they might shrug. But offer a Shamrock Shake or a McRib, and there’s a good chance they’ll salivate. These menu options have become hugely successful at the fast-food giant, despite being offered for only a few weeks out of every year.

So why doesn’t McDonald’s add them to the permanent menu? Largely because quick serves have discovered that a good limited-time offer can boost brand excitement and even single-handedly drive sales.

Captain D’s Continues Sales Turnaround with 8.5% Q2 Gain

Captain D's successful turnaround and brand rejuvenation has continued through 2012. With 527 locations throughout the United States, the restaurant leader in the fast casual seafood segment produced a 7.3 percent increase in franchised restaurants and an 8.5 percent same-store sales increase in company restaurants in Q2, marking its second consecutive quarter generating an 8.5 percent increase.

Captain D’s Taps TM Advertising for Rebrand

TM Advertising, a Dallas-based agency, was chosen by Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen as its new agency of record. TM has been assigned to help Captain D’s reinvigorate its brand, and will work with the company’s leadership to develop brand positioning and communications strategy for Captain D’s restaurants, which total more than 500.

What started out as a typical morning for TM Advertising finished with an agency-wide celebration, thanks to a few surprise guests. 

New Captain D's Offering is One Big Fish

Captain D’s recently rolled out a new fish menu item that it claims is one of the biggest fish products in the quick-serve industry.

The 6-ounce Southern Style White Fish filet, which comes with two sides and hush puppies, debuted as one of the chain’s 4 for $4.99 meals.

Monte Jump, executive vice president of marketing at Captain D’s, says the product was a smash hit within the company when it was developed and tested.

Seafood is Sinking

According to a recent study, the amount of seafood served in restaurants has been declining since 2008. The trend has left the seafood category scrambling to find innovative ways to draw consumers. 

The research from the NPD Group, a market research firm, reports there has been a 2 percent decrease in servings of seafood throughout the restaurant industry this year. This follows a 1 percent decrease in 2010, a 6 percent decrease in 2009, and a 1 percent decrease in 2008.

Captain D’s Adds Sandwiches in Appeal for New Customers

Captain D’s rolled out a new line of sandwiches that it is hoping will increase traffic to the lunch daypart and appeal to a younger customer base.

The new sandwiches were released last week as a way to “access people who are not normal visitors to a Captain D’s,” says the company’s executive vice president, Monte Jump.

“We skew a bit older demographic,” Jump says. “This is a way for us to leverage the consumer’s interest in having portable products. Consumers are on the go constantly, and this is a way for us to begin to play in that game.”

Execs are Human, Too

Michael Lippert is the newly appointed executive vice president of operations for Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen. As an industry veteran he knows that the time a leader initially joins an organization is exceptionally crucial to his success there. But it’s also the point when many basic mistakes are made. Lippert explains how most leaders usually fail—and how they can avoid doing so.

What are common critical errors leaders make?

Captain D’s Adds New VP of Purchasing

Continuing the strengthening of Captain D's management team, Phil Greifeld, CEO and president of the company, announced the hiring of Janet Duckham as its vice president of purchasing. Duckham most recently served as the vice president of purchasing and distribution of Luby's Restaurants.

In her new role, Duckham is responsible for the worldwide sourcing of Captain D's food and supplies for its 535 U.S. and international restaurants.