Captain D’s, the leading fast-casual seafood restaurant, announced it experienced the most successful year in the company’s rich history by establishing an all-time system-wide AUV record, marking the brand’s third consecutive year of AUV record growth. Captain D’s also saw a fourth-quarter system-wide same-store sales increase of 4 percent and a 4.3 percent system-wide same-store sales increase for the entire fiscal year, marking the company’s 17th consecutive quarter and fifth consecutive year of positive growth.

Additionally, Captain D’s closed out the fourth quarter of 2015 with the signing of seven new franchise development agreements, positioning the company for another year of explosive growth in the fast casual segment. These signings will bring additional Captain D’s locations to South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Colorado, Kentucky, Mississippi, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Among the new and existing franchise developers is Valerie Daniels-Carter, the country’s largest female African-American foodservice franchisee. Daniels-Carter has more than three decades of experience owning and operating franchised locations of brands that include Burger King, Pizza Hut, Haagen-Dazs, and Coffee Beanery stores. Her company, V&J Holding Cos. Inc., also teamed up with NBA All-Star Shaquille O’Neal to share ownership of eight Auntie Anne’s soft pretzel stores. She currently operates more than 110 restaurants throughout the country and will begin developing six Captain D’s locations in Milwaukee and Detroit later this year.  

“Twenty-fifteen was another record setting year for Captain D’s, and we’re continuing to build upon this momentum as we kick off a new year,” says Phil Greifeld, chief executive officer and president of Captain D’s. “Our team is truly best in class, with each and every individual having a hand in making our guests’ experience the best it can be. As 2016 gets underway, I look forward to expanding Captain D’s presence as we continue to make an undeniable impact in the marketplace.”

Unit growth in 2015 was further fueled by highly successful new restaurant openings in markets including Spartanburg, South Carolina; Franklin, North Carolina; Madison, Georgia; and Springdale, Arkansas. With a new cluster of new franchise development agreements, Captain D’s plans to open more than a dozen locations throughout the year. In addition to Valerie Daniels-Carter, the new and existing franchisees signed in the fourth quarter include:

Ike Seelbinder and Jerry Sklar of Sonfish LLC, experienced Captain D’s franchisees who currently own 15 restaurants throughout the Memphis, Tennessee, and North Mississippi market, have signed a five-year multiunit development agreement for five new restaurants in the Tennessee counties of Shelby, Fayette, Tipton, Lauderdale, and Dyer, and the Mississippi Counties of DeSoto and Marshall.

Edward Fort and Kelvin Horne of Fort & Horne LLC. Kelvin Horne brings more than three decades of Captain D’s operations experience to the table. Along with Fort’s business success experience, they are poised for a successful partnership as they begin to develop a Captain D’s in Hartsville, South Carolina.

Mohammad and Amira Alalimiy. With a combined 20 years of successful franchise restaurant experience with Golden Chick and operations experience with brands such as KFC and McDonald’s, this is the first Captain D’s franchise for this husband and wife team who plan to open their first location in Allen, Texas.

Neil Meraiya, an experienced multiunit restaurant operator, joined the Captain D’s team. Joining Meraiya is his managing partner, Harry Patel, who has successful restaurant operations industry knowledge for nearly 20 years with brands such as Subway and Dunkin Donuts. Over the next two years, Meraiya and Patel will be developing two Captain D’s locations within the Nashville region in White House and Lewisburg, Tennessee.

Lester Nowell, an existing Captain D’s franchisee for more than 35 years, currently has five Captain D’s restaurants in the Colorado Springs-Pueblo, Colorado, market. He will be developing an additional location in this market, which is slated to open within the next year and a half.

Jarka Wells and Elfrieda Benes, an existing Captain D’s franchisee with two restaurants in the Lexington, Kentucky, market. Richmond and Winchester, Kentucky, will be developing their third Captain D’s location in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky.

Captain D’s success in 2015 was further driven by its seafood expertise and product innovation, with the introduction of new menu items including the Parmesan Crusted Tilapia, Homestyle Fish Tenders, and Creamy Shrimp Scampi—all supported by the company’s award-winning “For the Love of D’s” television campaign. Additionally, Captain D’s credits its new restaurant design with contributing to success in 2015. To date, 39 percent of all restaurants have been reimaged to the new vibrant coastal atmosphere, with another 80 locations to be remodeled by the end of this year. With these efforts, Captain D’s has remained true to what it does best: serving high-quality seafood with warm hospitality at an affordable price.

With 514 restaurants in 26 states, Captain D’s is the fast-casual seafood leader and No. 1 seafood franchise in America ranked by average unit volume. The company is currently seeking single- and multiunit operators to join in the brand’s rapid expansion.

Finance, Growth, News, Captain D's