Captain D’s Unveils New ‘Express’ Prototype With No Indoor Seating

Nashville, Tenn. — Captain D’s has launched a new restaurant prototype called Express, featuring a significantly smaller footprint than its traditional models. Over the past several years, Captain D’s has developed a robust lineup of restaurant prototypes — ranging from a 22-seater to a 62-seater — all intentionally designed to adapt to the increasingly competitive real estate market, as well as provide franchisees with flexibility and substantial cost savings. The first Captain D’s Express is slated to open in the Atlanta metro area in second quarter 2021.

Captain D’s Express is designed to fit within 0.35- to 0.5-acre land parcels in metropolitan areas with high population densities. Compared to the brand’s standard 44-seat, 1,964-square-foot model, Express features an average footprint of 960 square feet and comes complete with a drive-thru and walk-up windows for ordering and picking up; there are no indoor dining rooms. The new prototype’s design reflects extensive guest feedback showcasing an increased demand for enhanced drive-thru and takeout options, as well as Captain D’s overall goal to provide franchisees with flexibility to develop the restaurant footprint best suited for their markets. Because of its compact footprint, Express models can reduce startup costs for franchisees by as much as 32%.

“Long before the pandemic and subsequent social distancing mandates, we were intently listening to our guests and closely following evolving real estate trends, all which led to the development of our Express prototype. Pre-COVID-19, 70% of our sales were generated by off-premises dining — 50% drive-thru and 20% takeout — and those numbers have held strong over the past several months, only reinforcing the need and viability of Express’ design,” says Phil Russo, vice president of real estate for Captain D’s. “In the months and years that lie ahead and the inevitable changes to come, we’re proud to offer both existing and prospective franchisees another flexible prototype option to help meet their individual needs, as well as grow our presence in untapped markets.”

The first Captain D’s Express will be owned and operated by existing multi-unit franchisee, Anil Dossani, and is projected to open in second quarter 2021 in Atlanta’s College Park neighborhood. Dossani will develop two more Express units in the Atlanta metro area in the coming years. Dossani has been a Captain D’s franchisee since 2018 and has two existing locations in Acworth and Norcross, Ga.

Captain D’s is looking to develop Express restaurants in population-dense metropolitan areas with higher levels of foot traffic, and plans to open two to four locations per year for the next 3 years. With more than 530 restaurants in 23 states, Nashville, Tenn.-based Captain D’s is the fast-casual seafood leader and Number 1 seafood franchise in America ranked by average unit volume. For more information, visit



SOURCE: Captain D’s

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