Industry News | January 20, 2010

Business as Usual for Captain D's, Despite 'For Sale' Sign

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A spokesman for Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen says that business is continuing as usual for the brand, which was put up for sale by parent company Sagittarius Brands last week.

Ronald Roberts, Captain D’s spokesman, says that the Nashville, Tennessee–based chain of more than 500 stores is going to push on in 2010 with the momentum it had carried in from 2009.

“As long as we can continue to provide the service and outstanding food that we’re doing, we want to continue to build on what we’re doing,” Roberts says. “That is probably our best outcome.”

The Captain D’s brand has been under construction since Sagittarius purchased it for reportedly $150 million in 2005. The new management team overhauled the brand’s menu, design, and marketing campaign, transitioning it from a quick-service concept into something more in line with a fast casual.

Roberts says that there is no word on what prompted the sale from Sagittarius, which also owns quick-serve brand Del Taco.

“There’s really no way for me or anyone at Captain D’s to speak to why Sagittarius is doing it, we just know that it was a strategic decision on their part,” he says.

In a statement, Captain D’s chairman and CEO David Head said that in no way does the sale hurt the outlook for the seafood chain.

“We view this as a positive and exciting opportunity for the Captain D’s brand,” he said. “This transition will allow Captain D’s to be a self-sustaining business, with fresh capital and improved growth prospects.”

“Captain D’s is well positioned to expand both its company and franchised restaurant base.”

Echoing Head’s statement, Roberts says that the Captains D’s brand will speak for itself on the market.

“We don’t see this in any way as a negative reflection on Captain D’s, because when you talk to the industry and people out there, Captain D’s is seen as a viable, well-known, and well-respected brand, and we believe that it will generate a lot of interest from potential buyers,” he says.

As Captain D’s moves on with an unchanged 2010 growth plan, Roberts says there is no way to know when a suitable buyer will take over the reins from Sagittarius.

“Any time you go through something like this, you have no idea how long it will take,” he says. “I think everyone hopes that it will move sooner versus later, but there’s really no way to predict how long it will last.”

By Sam Oches