September 15, 2009 // Franchising.com // LOUISVILLE, KY.-- Long John Silver's (LJS), the world's most popular quick-service seafood restaurant chain, received approval from United States Small Business Administration (SBA) for listing on the SBA Franchise Registry. According to LJS franchise development experts, the action will help expedite the process for new and existing LJS franchisees to obtain loans to start or expand their businesses with the famous seafood restaurant brand.
The Franchise Registry, operated by Fran-Data in partnership with SBA, is an online national registry of franchise systems whose new and existing franchisees receive streamlined loan processing. Fewer than 30 percent of all franchisee systems qualify to be listed on the Registry. Applicants must submit their franchise contracts to ensure compliance with strict SBA criteria.
"It's no secret that the current economy and credit environment has suppressed franchise systems from meeting growth plans," explained Ben Butler, LJS president. "We want to give our franchisees every advantage to secure financing for a Long John Silver's restaurant. We believe approval on the SBA Registry is a major step in that effort."
According to Butler, LJS has maintained a loyal and growing customer base. The brand's rich history began in 1969 with traditional batter-dipped recipes for seafood, chicken and shrimp. In 2008, LJS expanded its menu to include the Freshside Grille, a line of non-fried seafood items, and most recently became the first national quick service restaurant chain to serve the latest food trend, Baja Fish Tacos.
In 2008, LJS introduced a new restaurant design that was developed by a team of franchisees, a partnership that significantly reduced costs. Three have been built around the U.S. Growth is being driven by existing franchisees and active new franchisee interest in growth markets.
Based in Louisville, LJS is the world's most popular QSR seafood chain, specializing in signature batter-dipped fish, chicken, shrimp, hushpuppies. Since 1969, the company has brought together families with traditional seafood items, new products such as Buttered Lobster Bites, and Freshside Grille(TM) offerings such as Pacific Grilled Salmon, Grilled Tilapia and Shrimp Scampi. The brand was voted "Best Fish" by the 2009 Zagat Fast Food Survey. There are more than 1,100 Long John Silver's(R) restaurants worldwide, and more than 400 additional points of distribution in multi-brand restaurants. LJS is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), Louisville.