Frequently Asked Questions
How does Captain D’s handle real estate?
We’ve spent decades perfecting our site selection process and will work with you to find the right location for your seafood restaurant. You’ll have the full support of our real estate team to give you confidence in choosing the best location. If you already own property, it will need to meet pre-established demographic and location criteria. Our real estate team can provide you with more information on our requirements. We’re passionate about two things: our customers and our food. If you’re only looking for an opportunity to develop real estate, we probably aren’t the right choice for you.
How do I select my site?
Your site selection will depend primarily on the restaurant style you choose. Our full size 95-seat plan covers 3,022 square feet and requires 32,000 square feet and 30 to 35 parking spaces. We also offer other models including end-caps, and other non-traditional sites—we can adapt our restaurant concept to a variety of different locations. Once you’ve chosen a restaurant prototype, our development team will help you find a site with suitable demographics for your region.
How much should I budget for construction?
Excluding real estate costs, our 95-seat model runs between $700,000 to $900,000. Our non-traditional models range from $206,000 to $688,000. The actual figure will vary depending on regional differences. For a detailed look at costs, be sure to check the Franchise Disclosure Document.
Does Captain D’s offer financing?
We do not offer financing to franchisees; however, we can provide a number of nationally-recognized lenders who will finance qualified franchisees. To safeguard your investment, we ask that franchisees and franchise groups maintain at least 30% equity in each restaurant.
What is your royalty rate?
Each franchised restaurant pays a royalty of 4.5% of gross sales for traditional units and 5% of gross sales for non-traditional units. Qualifying veterans and minority franchisees may receive a discounted rate.
What are the up-front franchise fees?
Franchisees will pay a $25,000 fee for each location they open. Franchisees signing multi-unit deals will pay half the fee for each restaurant up front and clear the balance upon signing the agreement for the next restaurant. For example, a franchisee signing a 4-unit development agreement would pay 4 x $12,500 for a total of $50,000 in up-front franchise fees, then pay the remaining $12,500 for each unit as they open. Will I have to contribute to marketing efforts? Franchisees contribute 1.25% of gross sales per restaurant to a national advertising fund, and 4% of gross sales towards marketing. How does Captain D’s handle product distribution? We’ve created an air-tight distribution network through MBM Corporation, based in North Carolina, to service restaurants through distribution centers across the country.
What kind of training will I receive?
After signing a franchise agreement, you and at least four managers will receive a comprehensive six week training course. Through a combination of computer-based and hands-on learning, you’ll gain the skills and confidence necessary to operate your seafood restaurant. We also offer an abbreviated four week program for experienced restaurateurs.
Does Captain D’s offer exclusive territories?
When you sign a development agreement, we’ll give you exclusive rights to an area to search for an appropriate site. This exclusivity only covers the development frame. Once your seafood restaurant opens, we’ll grant you a 2-mile radius of exclusivity around your location for 20 years.
Is Captain D’s planning expansion in other countries?
At this time, we are focusing our efforts within the United States and select international markets.
Does Captain D’s offer Area Development or Master Franchise Deals?
All franchise agreements are granted directly through Captain D’s, LLC. We do grant developer agreements for multi-unit deals, but we cap them at 8 to 10 units that cannot be resold.
What are the steps to becoming a franchisee?
Our franchisee approval process consists of a series of simple steps:
- Begin by completing a formal Franchise Application. A member of the Captain D’s Seafood Restaurant franchise development team will connect with you to answer any questions you may have and help guide you through the rest of the application.
- All members of your group must authorize credit and background checks. Upon approval, we’ll send you a Franchise Disclosure Document, which requires a signed and dated receipt. This book contains every detail about the franchising opportunity and should be reviewed in full.
- Next, you or the operator in your group will meet with us for an in-depth interview, followed by a third-party performance profile. At the same time, you should be conducting due diligence – including speaking with other franchisees, researching online, and visiting Captain D’s locations.
- Once we approve your financials, we’ll invite you to a Discovery Day at our headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. You’ll meet our entire corporate staff and learn more about the company.
- After Discovery Day, we’ll get to work on a proposed development agreement.
- Once we execute the development agreement, you’ll pay your initial fees, and then you’re part of the team! We’ll get in touch with you to help you select your site and begin your training in preparation for your grand opening.