Captain D’s Hires 25-Year Franchise Veteran as CDO; Promotes Company Executive to COO

Captain D's Hires 25-Year Franchise Veteran as CDO; Promotes Company Executive to COO

On the heels of a highly successful turnaround and brand rejuvenation posting 20 consecutive periods of positive same store sales increases, Captain D’s, a Nashville-based 520-plus-unit fast casual seafood chain, continues to reinvent the brand by welcoming new leadership into the mix. To take on the role of Chief Development Officer (CDO), the brand has hired franchise veteran and former Senior Vice President of Development at Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Michael Arrowsmith. In addition, Captain D’s promoted Jim Stevens to Chief Operations Officer (COO), who had been running Company store operations as Vice President of Operations for the past two years.

“Michael brings to Captain D’s a vast knowledge of franchise sales experience, a strong understanding of how to develop and cultivate target markets and the wherewithal to implement successful strategies throughout an entire system, which is evident through the incredible success he displayed in the brands he worked with in the past,” said Phil Greifeld, CEO of Captain D’s. “We are also beyond excited to promote from within, and have Jim head up company operations to keep system processes strengthened as we open new restaurants. Both roles are vital to the success of the brand, as we anticipate several Captain D’s restaurant openings in the coming year.”

Captain D's Hires 25-Year Franchise Veteran as CDO; Promotes Company Executive to COO
Michael Arrowsmith

As a 25-year restaurant industry veteran, Michael Arrowsmith has experience with a wide variety of brands including Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Gloria Jean’s Gourmet Coffee, Shoney’s, and Denny’s. Most recently, he worked at NSI Group, a franchise mergers and acquisitions and advisory firm specializing in brand growth, development, and asset disposition. As managing director for National Franchise Sales, he oversaw franchise re-sale transactions, focused on key franchise brands in the food industry, and distressed asset recovery such as bankruptcy and receivership. As the new CDO, Arrowsmith will be responsible for all areas of franchise growth, and will also have a strong hand in the further development and innovation of the Captain D’s restaurant model, menu and brand.

“2012 was a remarkable year for Captain D’s with an all-time record for same-store sales increases,” said Arrowsmith. “Their sales success, new menu, and restaurant model innovation made joining the Captain D’s team an easy decision. In the coming year and beyond, our brand is well-positioned to open new restaurants through franchising. I’m excited to work with our existing franchisees, and also to bring in new franchisees across the country, to help expand our brand.”

Captain D's Hires 25-Year Franchise Veteran as CDO; Promotes Company Executive to COO
Jim Stevens

Jim Stevens has worked at Captain D’s since 2011 in the position of Vice President of Operations. With previous experience with brands including Arby’s and Yum! Brands, Stevens has amassed skills in functional leadership, people development, mentoring, motivation, and engagement. In his previous role as VPO at Captain D’s, he was in charge of hiring top talent and creating an environment where success is achieved through strong values, behaviors, and culture. As the newly appointed Chief Operations Officer, he will continue to build the “absolute best team” of industry leaders who are focused on D’s culture, values and continued success.

“Having experienced the brand rejuvenation in 2012, in my new role I will aim to find ways to continue making improvements on the significant changes adopted over the past few years while also ensuring that Captain D’s’ company and franchise operations remain at the highest level possible,” said Stevens. “As we continue to take serious steps to solidify our executive team, throughout the country, our employees, franchisees, and customers can expect even more successes from the Captain D’s brand well into the future.”

In 2013, Captain D’s has an aggressive growth strategy, which involves developing new proto-type buildings, exploring non-traditional growth opportunities, and opening new restaurants.

Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Captain D’s owns, operates and franchises 520 restaurants in 25 states, plus military bases around the world. Captain D’s offers its customers great seafood at reasonable prices in a relaxed environment. The brand’s restaurants serve a widely varied seafood menu that includes freshly prepared entrees, and the company’s signature hand-battered fish which is prepared to order to ensure freshness. The restaurants also offer premium-quality grilled fish, as well as shrimp, chicken, shrimp & beef kabobs, hushpuppies, desserts and freshly brewed, southern style sweet tea, a Captain D’s favorite. For more information, please visit