On the heels of a highly successful turnaround and brand rejuvenation posting 20 consecutive periods of positive same-store sales increases, Captain D’s –a Nashville, Tennessee–based, 520-plus-unit fast-casual seafood chain—continues to reinvent the brand by welcoming new leadership into the mix.

To take on the role of chief development officer (CDO), the brand has hired franchise veteran and former senior vice president of development at Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Michael Arrowsmith.

In addition, Captain D’s promoted Jim Stevens to chief operations officer (COO). Stevens had been running company store operations as vice president of operations for the past two years. 

“Michael brings to Captain D’s a vast knowledge of franchise sales experience, a strong understanding of how to develop and cultivate target markets, and the wherewithal to implement successful strategies throughout an entire system, which is evident through the incredible success he displayed in the brands he worked with in the past,” says Phil Greifeld, CEO of Captain D’s.

“We are also beyond excited to promote from within and have Jim head up company operations to keep system processes strengthened as we open new restaurants,” he adds. “Both roles are vital to the success of the brand, as we anticipate several Captain D’s restaurant openings in the coming year.”

As a 25-year restaurant industry veteran, Arrowsmith has experience with a wide variety of brands, including Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Gloria Jean’s Gourmet Coffee, Shoney’s, and Denny’s.

Most recently, he worked at NSI Group, a franchise mergers and acquisitions and advisory firm specializing in brand growth, development, and asset disposition.

As managing director for national franchise sales, he oversaw franchise resale transactions, focused on key franchise brands in the food industry, and distressed asset recovery, such as bankruptcy and receivership.

As the new CDO, Arrowsmith will be responsible for all areas of franchise growth, and will also have a strong hand in the further development and innovation of the Captain D’s restaurant model, menu, and brand.

“2012 was a remarkable year for Captain D’s, with an all-time record for same-store sales increases,” Arrowsmith says. “Their sales success, new menu, and restaurant model innovation made joining the Captain D’s team an easy decision.

“In the coming year and beyond, our brand is well positioned to open new restaurants through franchising,” he adds. “I’m excited to work with our existing franchisees, and also to bring in new franchisees across the country, to help expand our brand.”

Stevens has worked at Captain D’s since 2011 in the position of vice president of operations. With previous experience with brands including Arby’s and Yum! Brands, Stevens has amassed skills in functional leadership, people development, mentoring, motivation, and engagement.

In his previous role at Captain D’s, he was in charge of hiring top talent and creating an environment where success is achieved through strong values, behaviors, and culture.

As the newly appointed COO, he will continue to build the “absolute best team” of industry leaders who are focused on D’s culture, values, and continued success.

“Having experienced the brand rejuvenation in 2012, in my new role I will aim to find ways to continue making improvements on the significant changes adopted over the past few years, while also ensuring that Captain D’s’ company and franchise operations remain at the highest level possible,” Stevens says.

“As we continue to take serious steps to solidify our executive team throughout the country, our employees, franchisees, and customers can expect even more successes from the Captain D’s brand well into the future,” he continues.

In 2013, Captain D’s has an aggressive growth strategy, which involves developing new prototype buildings, exploring nontraditional growth opportunities, and opening new restaurants.

Employee Management, Growth, News, Operations, Captain D's