Captain D's Takes the Helm of Fast-Casual Seafood: Brand offers full-service quality in a fast-casual setting

Captain D’s is one of the top fast-casual seafood brands in the country and is showing no signs of slowing down. “When people walk into a Captain D’s, they’re blown away because it’s full-service restaurant quality, at a quick service price point, with a fast casual atmosphere,” says Michael Arrowsmith, chief development officer for Captain D’s. The company recently remodeled its stores to create a casual, beach house atmosphere with communal tables and excellent, flavorful seafood dishes that are being prepared in the open kitchen.

Captain D’s captures consumers who are looking for healthier alternatives that offer boatloads of flavor at an affordable cost. Unlike other fast casuals that offer seafood options, Captain D’s works with “full fillet” product, meaning guests receive the highest quality seafood possible.

“Our customers love our menu because of the quality of the fish that we serve,” Arrowsmith says. “We use a full-fillet product instead of pieces of fish that are shaped into a patty and deep-fried.”

The company also offers a grilled seafood menu to appeal to the health-conscious diner, with options like grilled shrimp skewers, grilled wild Alaskan salmon, and a surf and turf dinner with shrimp and grilled steak tips. “I think today’s consumer demands an experience like Captain D’s,” Arrowsmith says. This is the sixth year that the company has seen an increase in same-store sales, he says.

Franchisees who want to be ahead of the curve and offer dishes that appeal to the fast-casual diner should apply to own their own Captain D’s. “We’re looking for franchisees who want to provide an excellent experience,” says Arrowsmith. Candidates are required to have minimum liquid assets of $350,000; buildout of a single location starts at $771,000. Franchisees who join the team are offered support in all aspects of business, including choosing a prime location. “Our policy is that two sets of eyes look at every site, and we’re happy to provide access to construction teams and our real estate broker networks,” he says.

The company also provides access to a real estate demographics team so new franchisees can be sure that they’re setting up shop where Captain D’s target customer base is. The company will be with franchisees for training, both in store and out of store. “Our opening support team stays at locations about a week after open, and we’ll stay there as long as they want us to be there,” Arrowsmith says. Owners also work closely with Captain D’s local store marketing team, business coaches, and operations managers to ensure that their store is successful.

Franchisees who want to grow with a company that believes in providing quality seafood, a great atmosphere, and great customer service should apply to join the growing team at Captain D’s.

“Our culture is all about quality,” Arrowsmith says. “We’re looking for high-quality franchisees who hire and bring high-quality candidates into their restaurant. Captain D’s is something you can bring into your community and be proud of.”

Don’t miss the boat.

For more information about franchising opportunities with Captain D's, visit