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Red Lobster franchise eyeing spin-off brand

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

The franchise group responsible for bringing Red Lobster to The Bahamas is planning to launch a “smaller footprint” chain of seafood restaurants in this nation in 2022.

Chris Mortimer, principal of Pinnacle Franchise Brands, which is the first Bahamas-based entity to successfully raise its target equity capital via a formal crowdfunding platform, told Tribune Business it plans to roll-out a take-out/delivery concept called Crustacean around the same time its first Red Lobster outlets open.

“It’s smaller footprint, smaller location and allows us to be in a number of locations where larger sit-down restaurants will not be able to go,” he explained of Crustacean. “It will be a take-out/delivery concept. We expect we’re going roll this out in those areas. There are a number of locations we are looking at.

“We’re going to be developing that brand with Red Lobster. You should see them in other locations other than New Providence. We believe there are a few opportunities.” Mr Mortimer did not provide any specifics on Crustacean locations, the number of jobs that will be created or the investment involved when asked by this newspaper.

He did, though, confirm that it will have a seafood-based menu and be launched in 2022 alongside the planned Red Lobster outlets. Mr Mortimer did not go into details on outlet locations or staffing numbers for the latter, although he did confirm it will have two locations - one in eastern New Providence, and one in the island’s west - although no decision had been made on which opens first.

In unveiling Pinnacle Franchise Brands and Red Lobster to investors via the ArawakX crowd funding platform, the group had indicated one Red Lobster outlet would be based at Mall at Marathon and another at the newly-renovated Nassau Cruise Port. However, Mr Mortimer added of the latter: “We had submitted a proposal to them. We don’t know where that is and what the decision is.”

Pinnacle Franchise Brands has already exceeded its $1.5m minimum capital-raise target, after it was last week confirmed that 950 investors injected more than $1.7m to become shareholders in the Red Lobster franchisee.

It had been eyeing a maximum $2.7m, and Mr Mortimer voiced optimism that it would “get pretty close” to that goal. However, he added: “We know we can execute and get everything done. There’s no worry in terms of making the project happen. We’re comfortable.”

The Galleria Cinemas chief said Pinnacle Franchise Brands’ successful raise had proven the concept of crowd funding via a formal platform such as ArawakX can work in The Bahamas. “Anything where Bahamians are able to participate in growing Bahamian investment in Bahamian companies is always a good thing,” he said.

“I’m happy to have partnered with ArawakX, and think it bodes well for the growth of the Bahamian economy and Bahamian businesses alongside local retail investors, giving them an opportunity to take advantage of things where they may not have had an opportunity to do so before.

“I think it shows The Bahamas is ready, the Bahamian people are ready to take advantage of opportunities presented to them by Bahamian investors and I believe that bodes well for the future growth and development of the business side of the Bahamian economy. We’re all excited to have been a part of that and show it works,” Mr Mortimer continued.

“It proves the concept works. Not only does it work outside the country, but it works inside the country. We’re happy for ArawaxkX, we believe in them, believe in the concept and what their platform can be for the benefit of entrepreneurs so we celebrate with them.”

Suggesting that himself and Pinnacle would do more capital raisings via ArawaxX in the future, Mr Mortimer said: “I would expect that over time, yes. Our relationship with ArawakX is not a one-off. I fully expect our growth and development, along with a number of other investors and Bahamian entrepreneurs, to happen along with their own.”

James Owen, Pinnacle’s chief financial officer, told a TV news program on Friday that it was targeting a 5-8 percent dividend return depending on the market once it entered its full operational phase. He added that the agreement with Red Lobster called for it to expand the restaurant chain into Caribbean states such as Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Trinidad.

Comments

connalou 2 years, 8 months ago

Strong'crustacean' is not appetizing

connalou 2 years, 8 months ago

"Crustacean" not an appetizing name

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