• Shuckin' Shack

  • EXECUTIVE Q&A

Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar: Q&A With CEO Jonathan Weathington

The Vice President of Franchise Development-turned-CEO shares what drew him to the brand from the beginning, and where the team plans to take Shuckin’ Shack in the future.

With 16 total restaurants across four states, Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar has differentiated itself within the fast-casual segment with a unique concept, small square footage requirement, maximum return on investment—and, most of all, its commitment to having A Good Shuckin’ Time.

CEO Jonathan Weathington got in on the ground level Shuckin’ Shack and has helped grow the brand exponentially in a short time. 1851 Franchise caught up with him to find out what hooked him on the North Carolina-based restaurant, why the company values authenticity above all else and what The Shack has in store for the future.

What initially drew you to Shuckin' Shack?

I was introduced to Shuckin' Shack before the original store opened in 2007. I had just finished my undergraduate degree, and was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to witness the growth of the business and customer base from infancy.

If I had to put my finger on the one thing that initially drew me to Shuckin' Shack, it was the "work hard, play hard” mentality. I got to know the co-founders, Matt and Sean—who they were as men and as leaders—and I simply wanted to be around that spirit. Later down the line, I saw this mentality transform into a totally authentic customer experience—and that's something, with my background, that was very easy to get behind.

What about Shuckin’ Shack makes it unique within its industry?

Name one other national oyster bar concept. I’ll wait.

If that's not unique enough, I would say that a big part of our market differentiation is our ability to genuinely connect with our guests and serve a phenomenal product. Many brands say that, but then train their employees to give the same greeting, have a boilerplate approach to service and say goodbye in the same tone.

We're unique because we hire people who want to be themselves and are totally committed to providing incredible service in their own way. In a phrase: "Be the person your pet thinks you are." No need to stifle all the incredible things our team members bring to the table!

What have been some of Shuckin’ Shack’s most important milestones over the past five years?

The past five years have been a whirlwind. 2015 was a huge year for us—we opened four locations in three states, which tripled our total unit count. That was the biggest "real" moment for us: This dream is going to be realized, time to buckle up.

However, our biggest milestones have actually been our franchise stores winning multiple awards in virtually every city in which they’ve opened. As I understand, that's pretty rare—and we're very proud of that.

What big plans does Shuckin’ Shack have coming up?

Since day one, we've been committed to opening stores that make sense geographically, competitively and financially. We intend to remain true to those things—if we open three units in a year that are wildly successful and award-winning, we are overjoyed. If we open 30 units in a year that are wildly successful and award-winning, we are overjoyed. We know that we have something very special, and we believe it's our duty to make sure that our growth and momentum doesn't go to our heads and cause us to become careless.

Why is Shuckin’ Shack a good investment?

Shuckin' Shack is a good financial investment because of our very strong unit-level economics, our practical approach to build-outs and development and our unique concept in market positioning. We have powerful restaurants in smaller-than-average packages. With us, our numbers speak for themselves.

Additionally, investors and potential franchisees never have to wonder, "Did I choose the right oyster bar franchise?"

How does Shuckin’ Shack support franchisees?

We support our franchisee partners every step of the way. We're fortunate to have a very strong support team with an incredibly broad skillset. We provide our partners with assistance that starts immediately after signing the Franchise Agreement and continues through architectural renderings, construction and build-out, hiring, training, marketing, opening and of course, shucking.

What does success look like to you?

Success, to me, is growing Shuckin' Shack into a brand that perfectly encapsulates excellent customer service, high-quality food AND an authentic coastal experience. Shuckin' Shack isn't about any one individual or the members of the support team, Shuckin’ Shack success is about the guest – what they’re eating, drinking, and experiencing. We simply want people to have a good time—A Good Shuckin' Time.

About Shuckin' Shack

Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar grew out of a vision for a local establishment that would appeal to families of all ages. A place where friends and family can enjoy fresh, delicious meals and creative cocktails in an environment that exudes relaxation. Shuckin' Shack offers its guests a "lifestyle experience" in addition to exceptional seafood. The brand started as a 900-square-foot shack in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, in 2007 and began franchising in 2014. Today, Shuckin' Shack has grown to 16 locations across five states, and soon to be six, with several more locations slated to open by the end of 2019. To learn more about Shuckin’ Shack, visit http://www.theshuckinshack.com.

 

MAKE IT TREND
MORE BRAND INFO
  • NAME

    Shuckin' Shack

  • NO. OF UNITS CURRENTLY OPEN:

    16

  • start-up costs

    $234,200 - $541,350

  • FRANCHISE FEE:

    $37,500

  • ROYALTY:

    3% - 5%

INQUIRE ABOUT SERVICES
  • Shuckin' Shack

  • EXECUTIVE Q&A

Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar: Q&A With CEO Jonathan Weathington

The Vice President of Franchise Development-turned-CEO shares what drew him to the brand from the beginning, and where the team plans to take Shuckin’ Shack in the future.

With 16 total restaurants across four states, Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar has differentiated itself within the fast-casual segment with a unique concept, small square footage requirement, maximum return on investment—and, most of all, its commitment to having A Good Shuckin’ Time.

CEO Jonathan Weathington got in on the ground level Shuckin’ Shack and has helped grow the brand exponentially in a short time. 1851 Franchise caught up with him to find out what hooked him on the North Carolina-based restaurant, why the company values authenticity above all else and what The Shack has in store for the future.

What initially drew you to Shuckin' Shack?

I was introduced to Shuckin' Shack before the original store opened in 2007. I had just finished my undergraduate degree, and was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to witness the growth of the business and customer base from infancy.

If I had to put my finger on the one thing that initially drew me to Shuckin' Shack, it was the "work hard, play hard” mentality. I got to know the co-founders, Matt and Sean—who they were as men and as leaders—and I simply wanted to be around that spirit. Later down the line, I saw this mentality transform into a totally authentic customer experience—and that's something, with my background, that was very easy to get behind.

What about Shuckin’ Shack makes it unique within its industry?

Name one other national oyster bar concept. I’ll wait.

If that's not unique enough, I would say that a big part of our market differentiation is our ability to genuinely connect with our guests and serve a phenomenal product. Many brands say that, but then train their employees to give the same greeting, have a boilerplate approach to service and say goodbye in the same tone.

We're unique because we hire people who want to be themselves and are totally committed to providing incredible service in their own way. In a phrase: "Be the person your pet thinks you are." No need to stifle all the incredible things our team members bring to the table!

What have been some of Shuckin’ Shack’s most important milestones over the past five years?

The past five years have been a whirlwind. 2015 was a huge year for us—we opened four locations in three states, which tripled our total unit count. That was the biggest "real" moment for us: This dream is going to be realized, time to buckle up.

However, our biggest milestones have actually been our franchise stores winning multiple awards in virtually every city in which they’ve opened. As I understand, that's pretty rare—and we're very proud of that.

What big plans does Shuckin’ Shack have coming up?

Since day one, we've been committed to opening stores that make sense geographically, competitively and financially. We intend to remain true to those things—if we open three units in a year that are wildly successful and award-winning, we are overjoyed. If we open 30 units in a year that are wildly successful and award-winning, we are overjoyed. We know that we have something very special, and we believe it's our duty to make sure that our growth and momentum doesn't go to our heads and cause us to become careless.

Why is Shuckin’ Shack a good investment?

Shuckin' Shack is a good financial investment because of our very strong unit-level economics, our practical approach to build-outs and development and our unique concept in market positioning. We have powerful restaurants in smaller-than-average packages. With us, our numbers speak for themselves.

Additionally, investors and potential franchisees never have to wonder, "Did I choose the right oyster bar franchise?"

How does Shuckin’ Shack support franchisees?

We support our franchisee partners every step of the way. We're fortunate to have a very strong support team with an incredibly broad skillset. We provide our partners with assistance that starts immediately after signing the Franchise Agreement and continues through architectural renderings, construction and build-out, hiring, training, marketing, opening and of course, shucking.

What does success look like to you?

Success, to me, is growing Shuckin' Shack into a brand that perfectly encapsulates excellent customer service, high-quality food AND an authentic coastal experience. Shuckin' Shack isn't about any one individual or the members of the support team, Shuckin’ Shack success is about the guest – what they’re eating, drinking, and experiencing. We simply want people to have a good time—A Good Shuckin' Time.

About Shuckin' Shack

Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar grew out of a vision for a local establishment that would appeal to families of all ages. A place where friends and family can enjoy fresh, delicious meals and creative cocktails in an environment that exudes relaxation. Shuckin' Shack offers its guests a "lifestyle experience" in addition to exceptional seafood. The brand started as a 900-square-foot shack in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, in 2007 and began franchising in 2014. Today, Shuckin' Shack has grown to 16 locations across five states, and soon to be six, with several more locations slated to open by the end of 2019. To learn more about Shuckin’ Shack, visit http://www.theshuckinshack.com.

 

MAKE IT TREND
MORE BRAND INFO
  • NAME

    Shuckin' Shack

  • NO. OF UNITS CURRENTLY OPEN:

    16

  • start-up costs

    $234,200 - $541,350

  • FRANCHISE FEE:

    $37,500

  • ROYALTY:

    3% - 5%

INQUIRE ABOUT SERVICES
  • Shuckin' Shack

  • EXECUTIVE Q&A

Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar: Q&A With CEO Jonathan Weathington

The Vice President of Franchise Development-turned-CEO shares what drew him to the brand from the beginning, and where the team plans to take Shuckin’ Shack in the future.

With 16 total restaurants across four states, Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar has differentiated itself within the fast-casual segment with a unique concept, small square footage requirement, maximum return on investment—and, most of all, its commitment to having A Good Shuckin’ Time.

CEO Jonathan Weathington got in on the ground level Shuckin’ Shack and has helped grow the brand exponentially in a short time. 1851 Franchise caught up with him to find out what hooked him on the North Carolina-based restaurant, why the company values authenticity above all else and what The Shack has in store for the future.

What initially drew you to Shuckin' Shack?

I was introduced to Shuckin' Shack before the original store opened in 2007. I had just finished my undergraduate degree, and was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to witness the growth of the business and customer base from infancy.

If I had to put my finger on the one thing that initially drew me to Shuckin' Shack, it was the "work hard, play hard” mentality. I got to know the co-founders, Matt and Sean—who they were as men and as leaders—and I simply wanted to be around that spirit. Later down the line, I saw this mentality transform into a totally authentic customer experience—and that's something, with my background, that was very easy to get behind.

What about Shuckin’ Shack makes it unique within its industry?

Name one other national oyster bar concept. I’ll wait.

If that's not unique enough, I would say that a big part of our market differentiation is our ability to genuinely connect with our guests and serve a phenomenal product. Many brands say that, but then train their employees to give the same greeting, have a boilerplate approach to service and say goodbye in the same tone.

We're unique because we hire people who want to be themselves and are totally committed to providing incredible service in their own way. In a phrase: "Be the person your pet thinks you are." No need to stifle all the incredible things our team members bring to the table!

What have been some of Shuckin’ Shack’s most important milestones over the past five years?

The past five years have been a whirlwind. 2015 was a huge year for us—we opened four locations in three states, which tripled our total unit count. That was the biggest "real" moment for us: This dream is going to be realized, time to buckle up.

However, our biggest milestones have actually been our franchise stores winning multiple awards in virtually every city in which they’ve opened. As I understand, that's pretty rare—and we're very proud of that.

What big plans does Shuckin’ Shack have coming up?

Since day one, we've been committed to opening stores that make sense geographically, competitively and financially. We intend to remain true to those things—if we open three units in a year that are wildly successful and award-winning, we are overjoyed. If we open 30 units in a year that are wildly successful and award-winning, we are overjoyed. We know that we have something very special, and we believe it's our duty to make sure that our growth and momentum doesn't go to our heads and cause us to become careless.

Why is Shuckin’ Shack a good investment?

Shuckin' Shack is a good financial investment because of our very strong unit-level economics, our practical approach to build-outs and development and our unique concept in market positioning. We have powerful restaurants in smaller-than-average packages. With us, our numbers speak for themselves.

Additionally, investors and potential franchisees never have to wonder, "Did I choose the right oyster bar franchise?"

How does Shuckin’ Shack support franchisees?

We support our franchisee partners every step of the way. We're fortunate to have a very strong support team with an incredibly broad skillset. We provide our partners with assistance that starts immediately after signing the Franchise Agreement and continues through architectural renderings, construction and build-out, hiring, training, marketing, opening and of course, shucking.

What does success look like to you?

Success, to me, is growing Shuckin' Shack into a brand that perfectly encapsulates excellent customer service, high-quality food AND an authentic coastal experience. Shuckin' Shack isn't about any one individual or the members of the support team, Shuckin’ Shack success is about the guest – what they’re eating, drinking, and experiencing. We simply want people to have a good time—A Good Shuckin' Time.

About Shuckin' Shack

Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar grew out of a vision for a local establishment that would appeal to families of all ages. A place where friends and family can enjoy fresh, delicious meals and creative cocktails in an environment that exudes relaxation. Shuckin' Shack offers its guests a "lifestyle experience" in addition to exceptional seafood. The brand started as a 900-square-foot shack in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, in 2007 and began franchising in 2014. Today, Shuckin' Shack has grown to 16 locations across five states, and soon to be six, with several more locations slated to open by the end of 2019. To learn more about Shuckin’ Shack, visit http://www.theshuckinshack.com.

 

MAKE IT TREND
MORE BRAND INFO
  • NAME

    Shuckin' Shack

  • NO. OF UNITS CURRENTLY OPEN:

    16

  • start-up costs

    $234,200 - $541,350

  • FRANCHISE FEE:

    $37,500

  • ROYALTY:

    3% - 5%

INQUIRE ABOUT SERVICES
  • Shuckin' Shack

  • EXECUTIVE Q&A

Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar: Q&A With CEO Jonathan Weathington

The Vice President of Franchise Development-turned-CEO shares what drew him to the brand from the beginning, and where the team plans to take Shuckin’ Shack in the future.

With 16 total restaurants across four states, Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar has differentiated itself within the fast-casual segment with a unique concept, small square footage requirement, maximum return on investment—and, most of all, its commitment to having A Good Shuckin’ Time.

CEO Jonathan Weathington got in on the ground level Shuckin’ Shack and has helped grow the brand exponentially in a short time. 1851 Franchise caught up with him to find out what hooked him on the North Carolina-based restaurant, why the company values authenticity above all else and what The Shack has in store for the future.

What initially drew you to Shuckin' Shack?

I was introduced to Shuckin' Shack before the original store opened in 2007. I had just finished my undergraduate degree, and was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to witness the growth of the business and customer base from infancy.

If I had to put my finger on the one thing that initially drew me to Shuckin' Shack, it was the "work hard, play hard” mentality. I got to know the co-founders, Matt and Sean—who they were as men and as leaders—and I simply wanted to be around that spirit. Later down the line, I saw this mentality transform into a totally authentic customer experience—and that's something, with my background, that was very easy to get behind.

What about Shuckin’ Shack makes it unique within its industry?

Name one other national oyster bar concept. I’ll wait.

If that's not unique enough, I would say that a big part of our market differentiation is our ability to genuinely connect with our guests and serve a phenomenal product. Many brands say that, but then train their employees to give the same greeting, have a boilerplate approach to service and say goodbye in the same tone.

We're unique because we hire people who want to be themselves and are totally committed to providing incredible service in their own way. In a phrase: "Be the person your pet thinks you are." No need to stifle all the incredible things our team members bring to the table!

What have been some of Shuckin’ Shack’s most important milestones over the past five years?

The past five years have been a whirlwind. 2015 was a huge year for us—we opened four locations in three states, which tripled our total unit count. That was the biggest "real" moment for us: This dream is going to be realized, time to buckle up.

However, our biggest milestones have actually been our franchise stores winning multiple awards in virtually every city in which they’ve opened. As I understand, that's pretty rare—and we're very proud of that.

What big plans does Shuckin’ Shack have coming up?

Since day one, we've been committed to opening stores that make sense geographically, competitively and financially. We intend to remain true to those things—if we open three units in a year that are wildly successful and award-winning, we are overjoyed. If we open 30 units in a year that are wildly successful and award-winning, we are overjoyed. We know that we have something very special, and we believe it's our duty to make sure that our growth and momentum doesn't go to our heads and cause us to become careless.

Why is Shuckin’ Shack a good investment?

Shuckin' Shack is a good financial investment because of our very strong unit-level economics, our practical approach to build-outs and development and our unique concept in market positioning. We have powerful restaurants in smaller-than-average packages. With us, our numbers speak for themselves.

Additionally, investors and potential franchisees never have to wonder, "Did I choose the right oyster bar franchise?"

How does Shuckin’ Shack support franchisees?

We support our franchisee partners every step of the way. We're fortunate to have a very strong support team with an incredibly broad skillset. We provide our partners with assistance that starts immediately after signing the Franchise Agreement and continues through architectural renderings, construction and build-out, hiring, training, marketing, opening and of course, shucking.

What does success look like to you?

Success, to me, is growing Shuckin' Shack into a brand that perfectly encapsulates excellent customer service, high-quality food AND an authentic coastal experience. Shuckin' Shack isn't about any one individual or the members of the support team, Shuckin’ Shack success is about the guest – what they’re eating, drinking, and experiencing. We simply want people to have a good time—A Good Shuckin' Time.

About Shuckin' Shack

Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar grew out of a vision for a local establishment that would appeal to families of all ages. A place where friends and family can enjoy fresh, delicious meals and creative cocktails in an environment that exudes relaxation. Shuckin' Shack offers its guests a "lifestyle experience" in addition to exceptional seafood. The brand started as a 900-square-foot shack in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, in 2007 and began franchising in 2014. Today, Shuckin' Shack has grown to 16 locations across five states, and soon to be six, with several more locations slated to open by the end of 2019. To learn more about Shuckin’ Shack, visit http://www.theshuckinshack.com.

 

MAKE IT TREND
MORE BRAND INFO
  • NAME

    Shuckin' Shack

  • NO. OF UNITS CURRENTLY OPEN:

    16

  • start-up costs

    $234,200 - $541,350

  • FRANCHISE FEE:

    $37,500

  • ROYALTY:

    3% - 5%

INQUIRE ABOUT SERVICES
  • Shuckin' Shack

  • EXECUTIVE Q&A

Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar: Q&A With CEO Jonathan Weathington

The Vice President of Franchise Development-turned-CEO shares what drew him to the brand from the beginning, and where the team plans to take Shuckin’ Shack in the future.

With 16 total restaurants across four states, Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar has differentiated itself within the fast-casual segment with a unique concept, small square footage requirement, maximum return on investment—and, most of all, its commitment to having A Good Shuckin’ Time.

CEO Jonathan Weathington got in on the ground level Shuckin’ Shack and has helped grow the brand exponentially in a short time. 1851 Franchise caught up with him to find out what hooked him on the North Carolina-based restaurant, why the company values authenticity above all else and what The Shack has in store for the future.

What initially drew you to Shuckin' Shack?

I was introduced to Shuckin' Shack before the original store opened in 2007. I had just finished my undergraduate degree, and was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to witness the growth of the business and customer base from infancy.

If I had to put my finger on the one thing that initially drew me to Shuckin' Shack, it was the "work hard, play hard” mentality. I got to know the co-founders, Matt and Sean—who they were as men and as leaders—and I simply wanted to be around that spirit. Later down the line, I saw this mentality transform into a totally authentic customer experience—and that's something, with my background, that was very easy to get behind.

What about Shuckin’ Shack makes it unique within its industry?

Name one other national oyster bar concept. I’ll wait.

If that's not unique enough, I would say that a big part of our market differentiation is our ability to genuinely connect with our guests and serve a phenomenal product. Many brands say that, but then train their employees to give the same greeting, have a boilerplate approach to service and say goodbye in the same tone.

We're unique because we hire people who want to be themselves and are totally committed to providing incredible service in their own way. In a phrase: "Be the person your pet thinks you are." No need to stifle all the incredible things our team members bring to the table!

What have been some of Shuckin’ Shack’s most important milestones over the past five years?

The past five years have been a whirlwind. 2015 was a huge year for us—we opened four locations in three states, which tripled our total unit count. That was the biggest "real" moment for us: This dream is going to be realized, time to buckle up.

However, our biggest milestones have actually been our franchise stores winning multiple awards in virtually every city in which they’ve opened. As I understand, that's pretty rare—and we're very proud of that.

What big plans does Shuckin’ Shack have coming up?

Since day one, we've been committed to opening stores that make sense geographically, competitively and financially. We intend to remain true to those things—if we open three units in a year that are wildly successful and award-winning, we are overjoyed. If we open 30 units in a year that are wildly successful and award-winning, we are overjoyed. We know that we have something very special, and we believe it's our duty to make sure that our growth and momentum doesn't go to our heads and cause us to become careless.

Why is Shuckin’ Shack a good investment?

Shuckin' Shack is a good financial investment because of our very strong unit-level economics, our practical approach to build-outs and development and our unique concept in market positioning. We have powerful restaurants in smaller-than-average packages. With us, our numbers speak for themselves.

Additionally, investors and potential franchisees never have to wonder, "Did I choose the right oyster bar franchise?"

How does Shuckin’ Shack support franchisees?

We support our franchisee partners every step of the way. We're fortunate to have a very strong support team with an incredibly broad skillset. We provide our partners with assistance that starts immediately after signing the Franchise Agreement and continues through architectural renderings, construction and build-out, hiring, training, marketing, opening and of course, shucking.

What does success look like to you?

Success, to me, is growing Shuckin' Shack into a brand that perfectly encapsulates excellent customer service, high-quality food AND an authentic coastal experience. Shuckin' Shack isn't about any one individual or the members of the support team, Shuckin’ Shack success is about the guest – what they’re eating, drinking, and experiencing. We simply want people to have a good time—A Good Shuckin' Time.

About Shuckin' Shack

Shuckin' Shack Oyster Bar grew out of a vision for a local establishment that would appeal to families of all ages. A place where friends and family can enjoy fresh, delicious meals and creative cocktails in an environment that exudes relaxation. Shuckin' Shack offers its guests a "lifestyle experience" in addition to exceptional seafood. The brand started as a 900-square-foot shack in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, in 2007 and began franchising in 2014. Today, Shuckin' Shack has grown to 16 locations across five states, and soon to be six, with several more locations slated to open by the end of 2019. To learn more about Shuckin’ Shack, visit http://www.theshuckinshack.com.

 

MAKE IT TREND
MORE BRAND INFO
  • NAME

    Shuckin' Shack

  • NO. OF UNITS CURRENTLY OPEN:

    16

  • start-up costs

    $234,200 - $541,350

  • FRANCHISE FEE:

    $37,500

  • ROYALTY:

    3% - 5%

INQUIRE ABOUT SERVICES