Captain D’s Propels Midwest Expansion With Opening of First Central Illinois Restaurant
Restaurant Industry Veteran Debuts Fast Casual Seafood Brand In Champaign, Illinois
July 28, 2020 // Franchising.com // NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Captain D’s, the nation’s leading fast casual seafood restaurant, announced today the opening of its newest franchised location in Champaign, Illinois. Located at 1409 North Prospect Ave., the new restaurant marks Captain D’s first Central Illinois location and seventh overall in the state. Following the opening of a new restaurant in Carbondale just last year, Captain D’s expansion into Champaign reinforces the brand’s focus on Illinois growth, with additional restaurants planned for the Chicago metro area in the near future.
The new Champaign location is open for drive-thru and carry out only; the dining room will remain closed for the immediate future to help ensure the safety of guests and team members. Contactless curbside pick-up is available for guests that want to place orders by calling ahead or via online ordering at captainds.com. Captain D’s also offers third-party delivery through Uber Eats. Additionally, Captain D’s has enhanced its standard employee food safety protocol to now include single-use dining items, sanitation procedures deployed every 30 minutes, the installment of plexiglass barriers between guests and cashiers, employee health screenings, among other measures.
Captain D’s in Champaign is owned by first-time franchisee Sunil "Sunny" Modi. Sunny immigrated to the United States from India in 1988 and went on to become a multi-unit franchisee of Dunkin’, bringing the brand’s first five stores to the Champaign area in the late 1990s and early 2000s before retiring in 2016. A few years later on a trip to Nashville, Sunny tried Captain D’s for the first time which immediately reinvigorated his passion for restaurant franchising. With more than 20 years of industry experience – specifically with bringing new concepts into untapped markets – Sunny’s expertise in multi-unit restaurant operations and extensive knowledge of the Champaign area help to position Captain D’s for tremendous success as it enters Central Illinois. Joining Sunny in this new venture is his nephew, Nirav Modi, who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the new restaurant.
“Following the success of my Dunkin’ locations and being a Champaign resident myself, I know what brands will resonate most with the community here and have the best opportunity to thrive. When I was first introduced to Captain D’s only a few years ago, I instantly saw unlimited potential for the brand in Central Illinois and knew I found the next concept I wanted to franchise with,” said Sunny Modi. “I’m excited to finally open my first Captain D’s restaurant and introduce another brand I’m passionate about to the residents of Champaign.”
Since 2018, Captain D’s has experienced a surge in franchise development across the Midwest fueled by its unique proposition in the fast casual space, strong unit-level economics, flexible prototype options and a compelling development incentive program. As a result, the brand has opened numerous new restaurants in states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Missouri, and entered Michigan just last month. Looking ahead, Captain D’s plans to continue growing its Midwestern footprint with a restaurant slated to open in Doniphan, Missouri later this year.
“Captain D’s development success in new and existing territories is made possible by our trusted franchisees who dedicate themselves to excellence in all they do and have extensive knowledge of the markets they operate in. Sunny’s past experience of ushering new concepts into Champaign and helping them grow gives us every confidence that our brand will do very well here,” said Brad Reed, chief development officer of Captain D’s. “As we map out future development plans across the Midwest and beyond, we welcome multi-unit operators and first-time franchisees alike to join our leading fast casual brand.”
The Captain D’s in Champaign is open Sunday – Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Friday – Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
With more than 530 restaurants in 23 states, Captain D’s is the fast-casual seafood leader and number one seafood franchise in America ranked by average unit volume. The company is currently seeking single and multi-unit operators to join in the brand’s rapid expansion.
About Captain D’s
Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., Captain D’s has more than 530 restaurants in 23 states. Captain D’s is the nation’s leading fast casual seafood restaurant and was named the #1 seafood chain in the QSR 50, ranked by AUV. Founded in 1969, Captain D’s has been offering its customers high-quality seafood at reasonable prices in a welcoming atmosphere for more than 50 years. Captain D’s serves a wide variety of seafood that includes freshly prepared entrees and the company’s signature batter dipped fish. The restaurants also offer premium-quality, grilled items such as shrimp, Tilapia and Salmon, as well as hush puppies, desserts and freshly brewed, Southern-style sweet tea, a Captain D's favorite.
SOURCE Captain D’s
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