Bailey’s Addition Comes Amid Recent Expansion
Captain D’s, a leading fast-casual seafood restaurant franchisor, announced Steve Bailey as director of franchise development. Bailey will support the fast-casual brand’s expansion with a focus on territories east of the Mississippi River. For more than 20 years, Bailey has worked with multiple restaurant brands in franchise sales and development roles.
“Besides occupying a unique seafood niche in the fast casual industry, Captain D’s sets itself apart as a leader in fostering strong relationships with its franchisees and employees. That people-focused culture is what attracted me,” Bailey said. He added that his expectations have been exceeded only a few months into the position and that he’s impressed with his new team.
To stay ahead of the curve, the fast-casual franchisor has developed flexible prototypes and conversion opportunities, which has fueled interest from new and existing franchisees, Bailey said. He looks forward to working with everyone on the development team to continue to grow the 50-year-old brand.
Captain D’s leadership team is thrilled to have Bailey in this role. “He is a tremendous asset to us, with a stellar track record from over two decades of experience helping restaurant brands and franchise owners grow,” said chief development officer Brad Reed.
Accidental Start in Franchising
Bailey describes his start in franchising as a “happy accident.” He got his first franchise sales position with Dairy Queen after incorrectly thinking that he applied to be a Franchise Consultant. “Since I had the operational experience along with some sales and financial experience and we hit it off in the interview, they gave me a chance. I have been in this field now for over 20 years and would not trade it for anything.” In addition to Dairy Queen, Bailey has worked with Sonic Drive-In, Einstein’s Bros. Bagels, and Checkers.
Bailey believes that franchising is very rewarding because entrepreneurs can change people’s lives and create jobs and landscapes in the community. To Bailey, there is nothing better than getting a call or Christmas card from a franchisee thanking him for his help.
Bailey wants franchisee candidates to know that they don’t have to build the bicycle; they just ride one that is already proven. He added that franchisors allow franchise owners to focus on the customer and operations rather than creating something from scratch.
Throughout his career, Bailey has seen too many companies focus solely on the growth of new locations, which he considers a recipe for disaster. He believes that operations and support for franchisees are critical for everyone because special things can happen when franchisors and franchisees work together. “This includes properly vetting your potential franchisees to make sure they have the experience and capital needed to succeed, but also confirming they are the match to your culture.”
In his experience, a mismatch can cause stress and unnecessary problems and distract from the big picture: the customer and profits. Open communication is also key.