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How Shuckin’ Shack Maintains Brand Consistency While Cracking the Code to a Variable Buildout for Franchisee Success

The seafood concept serves up consistently fresh, quality ingredients while tailoring its layout to community tastes for a franchise opportunity that maroons the competition.

By Katie LaTourStaff Writer
SPONSORED 11:11AM 07/22/19

Back in 2007, entrepreneurs Matt Piccinin and Sean Cook realized that their love of sand, surf and cracking cold ones with friends could be transformed into a second-to-none seafood concept and thus, Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar was born. The brand began in the coastal town of Carolina Beach, North Carolina and, since it began franchising in 2014, now serves up signature fresh-caught oysters and sumptuous seafood platters in markets including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Maryland. 

So how does Shuckin’ Shack maintain brand consistency across diverse markets—a critical component of a successful franchise? In a word: Strategically. 

Since its earliest beginnings, Shuckin’ Shack has strived to create a dining experience that feels like going on vacation with friends and loved ones. To achieve this, the laid-back seafood brand delivers consistently craveable food of consistently exceptional quality—the vacation-inspired elements that made the brand famous—all while tailoring the space and layout of a given restaurant location to that of the local community. Striking the balance between consistent and adaptable is a matter of strategy, but it’s one that runs through the brand’s DNA, according to Shuckin’ Shack’s CEO Jonathan Weathington. 

A lot of people associate a restaurant with a certain type of building,” Weathington said. “You see golden arches and think ‘McDonald’s.’ Our brand integrity lies in the product we’re serving and the lifestyle experience we’re giving our guests. We could be serving in a warehouse, but as long as our product quality was consistent, that would be Shuckin’ Shack. Our primary focus is on the authentic guest experience.”

With Shuckin’ Shack, the offering and the experience have always gone hand-in-hand. This positions franchisees for success by promising guests both the vibes and flavors of a coastal-cool trip, wherever a given Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar may operate.

“We’re confident in the ability of our fresh, delicious meals and coastal cocktails to evoke all the relaxation of being on vacation,” Weathington said. “That’s why we can afford to customize a given location so that it best serves the surrounding community’s guests. It’s because our brand isn’t about the building; it’s about the exceptional food.”

Shuckin’ Shack comes by the descriptor “exceptional” honestly: The brand serves only fresh oysters and has the procedures and systems in place to deliver a consistently flavorful product across its entire footprint. 

“Our supply chain is robust and we have the experts and temperature control to deliver our oysters just as fresh as where we sourced them, whether they come from Virginia or the Pacific Northwest,” said Weathington. 

In addition to tasty oysters on the half shell, Shuckin’ Shack also boasts a bestselling lobster roll topped with a spicy mustard remoulade, cold crab dip, sharkbite shrimp, a fresh oyster sampler and bursting buckets of steaming shrimp, corn and clams—just to name a few. 

“We have something for everyone,” said Weathington. “We give guests the feeling that they’re enjoying a shrimp boil with friends, shoes off and worry-free. The whole family is welcome and every member will leave having enjoyed a delicious dish made from quality ingredients.”

With fresh meals, creative cocktails and all the laid-back vibes of a surf-and-sand getaway, Shuckin’ Shack is the go-to for locals and tourists alike. The brand’s variable buildout optimizes for local color, while its consistently fresh offering keeps the good times rolling. With both the benefits of brand alignment and an adaptable, community-focused model, Shuckin’ Shack maximizes the potential for franchisee success. 

And that’s worth toasting with a cold one.

Shuckin’ Shack is seeking qualified franchisees who prioritize good hospitality and want to be a part of its authentic mission. Start-up costs for a Shuckin’ Shack franchise range from $234,200 to $541,350 and include a $37,500 single-unit franchise fee. For more information on available franchise opportunities, visit