Captain D's announced that it recently signed a new franchise development agreement with StarChain USA, a group of multi-unit operators with decades of franchising experience. As part of the agreement, StarChain USA will spearhead Captain D's growth in the Southeast and develop 15 new restaurants throughout Arkansas and the Carolinas over the next several years. Additionally, the group will acquire four existing Captain D's restaurants in the Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina market and five in the Little Rock, Arkansas region.
"Our commitment to innovation and strong unit economics, coupled with our unparalleled support system have reinforced Captain D's as one of the most advantageous franchise opportunities in the fast casual segment today. In our 50th year in business, we're increasingly attracting exceptional multi-unit operators looking to diversify their portfolio with a growing brand, and we're thrilled to have our latest franchisee StarChain USA come on board and be a part of our success," said Brad Reed, chief development officer of Captain D's. "We look forward to accelerating the momentum we achieved in 2018 and the first quarter of this year to continue supporting the growth of our new and existing franchisees."
StarChain USA is comprised of experienced multi-unit, multi-concept operators Omer Casurluk, CEO; Mike Tillis, COO; and Mark Peaks, CFO. The business partners have a current brand portfolio consisting of Checkers & Rally's, Yogli Mogli and Which Wich franchises throughout Georgia and South Carolina. This new agreement marks StarChain USA's first with Captain D's, and its first new location is slated to open in Gaffney, South Carolina this summer.
"There's no shortage of food service concepts that claim to offer the best franchise opportunities, but Captain D's proven track record of stability and success made it the obvious choice to diversify our growing portfolio. Not only has the brand emerged as the leader of fast casual seafood, but its explosive growth over the past several years has also established it as a major player in the franchising industry as a whole," said Omer Casurluk, chief executive officer of StarChain USA. "The success of the brand's existing franchisees is a true testament to the strength of this business opportunity, and we're excited to be a part of Captain D's monumental period of growth and expand its footprint in the Southeast."
Captain D's has experienced a surge in franchise development over the past several years, fueled by its compounding success and the rollout of its new royalty incentive program last year. In 2018, the brand closed out the year with 14 new restaurants opened and achieved its highest average number of units signed since 2015, inking 11 agreements to open more than 50 units over the next several years in new and existing markets like Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, Michigan and Oklahoma. Additionally, in Q1 2019, Captain D's signed franchise development agreements to open more than 20 new restaurants throughout key target markets, including a 10-unit deal with its largest franchise, Trident Holdings LLC. Captain D's continues to be recognized as a leader among various industry accolades, recently ranking as one of the top 200 franchise concepts in Entrepreneur's 2019 Franchise 500 list where it was named best in category based on costs & fees, size & growth, support, brand strength and financial strength & stability.
Coupled with its ongoing menu innovation, Captain D's credits its new restaurant beach design with contributing to the brand's ongoing strong performance. To date, nearly 80 percent of all restaurants have been reimaged to the brand's new vibrant, coastal design. 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 in a welcoming atmosphere.
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.