Just five short years ago we opened our second Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar in Downtown Wilmington, NC. Our original Wilmington location was in a beautiful, historic building, next door to a major parking garage and near a heavily trafficked intersection. We waited nearly two years just for the building to become available because it seemed ideal for our flagship location. Now our five year lease is up and "The Shack" is in the process of relocating just a half block away. So what happened?
True franchise companies have a responsibility to their brand, to their franchisees and to their customers to continuously evolve and improve every aspect of their business. Franchise companies, known as franchisors, are in the business of staying competitive and constantly testing the waters to make sure their business model is the best opportunity available within their niche. During the five years we had our Downtown Wilmington location, we discovered a few new advantages for locations that helped us enhance our opportunity:
1. Sufficient Seating Space: Our new real estate standards call for a space between 2,200 and 2,800 square feet, and our old Downtown location was less than that.
2. Single Level Service: With customers on the first level and our kitchen on the second story we attempted to make best use of a dumb waiter system but quickly recognized the troubles created with this two-story food elevator arrangement.
3. Outdoor Patio Space: While the old Downtown location allowed us to have two outdoor tables, the reality is that in our southern markets more than eight people would like to sit outside for lunch or dinner.
Our new Downtown Wilmington location, at 127 North Front Street, allowed us to improve on all of these factors. When we asked Shuckin' Shack CEO Jonathan Weathington about the flagship relocation, he shared: "During weekends at the old location we found ourselves challenged with the number of open seats. The new location has twice the seating capacity so that means more oysters for all!" The new location is a single story and the outdoor patio is much larger as well. According to Weathington, "Regardless of where our Shuckin' Shacks are located, we want either historic charm or a coastal vibe, but ideally both. This new Wilmington location has both but with more patio dining facing the Cape Fear River that our customers will really love. "
Look for our new flagship Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar to open later this Spring! Follow them on Facebook to stay up-to-date on their renovation process and likely dates to re-open. See a handful of our "Before" photos below!
If you have an interest in joining a dozen Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bars already operating in the Southeast, we are looking for a strong franchise partner in Columbia, South Carolina. Please visit this special page to learn why we are targeting Columbia for expansion in 2018!