Captain D’s, the leading national fast-casual seafood restaurant, announced that Phil Russo has joined the company as vice president of real estate. Russo brings more than a decade of experience working with leading brands to manage strategic growth efforts through market planning and optimization, site reviews and procurement, and development tracking.
In his new role, Russo will spearhead planning and execution of corporate and franchise site selection in an effort to continue Captain D’s accelerated growth. He will be responsible for leading his team by fostering new approaches to monitor and manage brokerage networks while developing and maintaining market awareness and ensuring optimum site selection.
“An industry trailblazer with a track record of success, Phil brings a wealth of real estate knowledge and expertise to Captain D’s and is poised to make a tremendous impact on the growth of our brand,” says Michael Arrowsmith, chief development officer of Captain D’s. “As we prepare to head into 2016, we plan to focus on both corporate and franchise expansion and are eager to leverage Phil’s experience to catapult Captain D’s development efforts and further position the brand as a leader in the fast casual space.”
Prior to joining Captain D’s, Russo held various roles with Focus Brands, most recently serving as vice president of real estate, where he was responsible for overseeing a team of real estate directors and managing the strategic growth for Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli, and Schlotzsky’s Deli. Additionally, Russo spent more than a decade with Sherwin Williams Company where he managed a number of the company’s retail outlets in high volume sales territories.
Russo holds a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University and a master’s degree in information systems from the University of Akron. He is also a certified franchise executive through the International Franchise Association and a certified leasing specialist through the International Council of Shopping Centers.
With 512 restaurants in 26 states, Captain D’s is the fast-casual seafood leader and number one seafood franchise in America ranked by average unit volume. Captain D’s recently unveiled a new design featuring a vibrant coastal atmosphere and upgraded the dining experience with new plate ware and silverware. Captain D’s new menu, featuring several new items, is brought to life with upgraded menuboards and also features several new kid’s meal offerings. 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.