Long John Silver’s announced this month that it is expanding into Indonesia with 54 new restaurants. This expansion comes after five (5) consecutive quarters of sales growth in the U.S. and the highest AUV in LJS Partners LLC’s history. Long John Silver’s has combined its national scale, strong consumer awareness, crave-able menu, and unmatched seafood knowledge to operate nearly 700 restaurants in the United States. Today, the brand operates and franchises restaurants across 38 U.S. states and Singapore.
“Our continued success throughout 2021 makes us believe our international presence can grow and reach new heights for the brand,” says Blain Shortreed, chief executive officer, Long John Silver’s. “We have the infrastructure in place to support global franchisees and we are excited to offer our unique seafood experience to more customers around the world.”
International interest in the brand has grown exponentially in recent years. Currently, there are 21 locations in Singapore, and with demand on the rise and high per capita consumption of seafood – it made sense to solidify Long John Silver’s presence in the region.
“Seafood and poultry are two of the most consumed proteins in the world and both have grown faster over the last decade than other protein options like beef, pork, or lamb,” says Stephanie Mattingly, chief marketing officer. “This sets us up for success as we work with our international partners and supply chain to uphold our core menu offerings in areas where we expand. We will respect cultural norms, understanding there will be some adjustments needed due to regional and local sourcing, for example, halal certifications.”
To support the continued international interest and growth, as well as domestic development, Long John Silver’s has added more resources to its development team. Seamus MacTreinfhir has joined Long John Silver’s as senior director of development. Seamus has experience with international franchise expansion and development, most recently as the chief development officer for YUM! Brands in Dubai.
Long John Silver’s is also making waves stateside with big plans for its future. New markets, new builds, and complete overhauls of existing locations are all on deck for the brand. Twenty-one restaurants were remodeled this past year, with 20 more remodels planned through 2022. New markets in Virginia will be some of the first to experience Long John Silver’s updated restaurant design and footprint. Additionally, Long John Silver’s is expanding its mobility by adding a nautical-themed food truck to its fleet, bringing quality seafood from the sea to the streets. The food truck is set to sail this fall.
“Our goal is really pretty simple”, says Shortreed, “Maximize value and convenience for our customers – without sacrificing profit or overwhelming staff.”
Long John Silver’s expects the positive business trend to continue, using momentum to reinvest in the key things that matter the most to the brand’s consumers– speed and accuracy, convenience, and taste.
Speed & Accuracy: Across the system this year, new speed initiatives were rolled out to enhance convenience and the results are promising. In restaurants participating in the speed initiative, average speed at the drive-thru has improved by 90 seconds and restaurants focused on improving speed in the drive-thru show a stronger correlation with improved sales growth.
Convenience through Technology: After launching third party delivery at nearly every restaurant in 2020, Long John Silver’s turned it sights toward native online ordering for pick-up in 2021. Now in more than 300 restaurants, native online ordering is already proving to be a profitable sales layer with higher guest checks on average and lower processing fees. The brand plans to have its entire fleet live on online ordering by late fall, along with the launch of a Long John Silver’s loyalty app.
Taste-full Promotional Calendar: Long John Silver’s is known for its craveable signature batter-dipped fish, chicken, and shrimp, but the brand has also filled its promotional calendar with flavor adventure and value at prices that won’t break customers’ treasure chest. Grilled Shrimp was added as an option in $10 Sea-Shares and 2 for $6 Mix & Match deals. A Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake was offered as a value-add with Family Meals. Lobster Bites, a fan-favorite that combines the sweet indulgent taste of Norway Lobster Tail in a savory, buttery breading, made a record setting comeback this fall. Long John Silver’s also made waves as the first nationwide seafood restaurant to test plant-based Crab Cakes and plant-Based Fish.