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Why Now Is the Time To Invest in Shuckin’ Shack’s Unique Concept and Franchisee-Friendly Economics

Shuckin’ Shack is well positioned in the seafood segment thanks to a targeted growth model, relevant offerings and environmentally sustainable operations.

Since starting in the oceanside town of Carolina Beach, North Carolina, Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar has grown into an emerging brand in the segment. The concept started off as a family-friendly establishment in 2007 where seafood enthusiasts could enjoy their seafood and oysters in a laid-back environment. Now, with 16 open locations and five expected to open in 2020, there has never been a better time to join Shuckin' Shack as a franchise owner.

Currently, Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar has major plans to expand its footprint throughout the southeastern U.S., including further expansion in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Florida

“As we continue to grow, we are focusing heavily on franchise development efforts to find qualified candidates interested in expanding the Shuckin’ Shack brand,” said Bill Bartlett, COO. “The brand is known for connecting with its guests and being a hub for families and friends to gather within the community, and we are excited to bring that to new markets. Beyond that, Shuckin’ Shack’s laid-back personality and coastal vibes are not limited to the brand’s customers—we pride ourselves on providing franchisees with a competitive franchise opportunity that won’t cause mountains of stress.”

Shuckin’ Shack’s franchisee-friendly economics includes an investment of about $540,000 and the average unit volume (AUV) of $1.2 million. In order to position franchisees for success, the brand collects a 3% royalty fee the first year, a 4% royalty fee the second year and a 5% royalty fee the third year and every year beyond that. Currently, the brand has an average asset turnover ratio exceeding 2:1. 

“Throughout the years, we’ve developed simplified procedures that help keep the rising cost of labor lower for franchisees than the industry average,” said Bartlett. “Since we are not interested in telling franchisees exactly what to do, it allows each and every operation to adopt a specific, localized atmosphere that results in exceptional success.”

One of these success stories is Jason Thorpe, owner of Summerville, South Carolina’s Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar. Although Thorpe believed in the brand’s business model, he was a little nervous about diving into franchising at first. The risk proved to have paid off—Summerville for the first two years saw an average sales increase of 15 to 20%. In 2019 alone, Thorpe exceeded his growth trajectory, recording a 50% increase in sales.

“Oysters and fresh seafood are only rising in popularity,” said Bartlett. “The brand boasts a menu packed with unpretentious offerings like our bestselling lobster roll, cold crab dip, shark bite shrimp, a fresh oyster sampler and bursting buckets of steaming shrimp, corn and clams for the truly hungry. Over the past year, we’ve focused on continuing to update our menu and offerings to improve our guest experience and keep them coming back. In fact, some of our fans love the brand so much they decide to become franchisees.”

Sarah Lookingbill, a current Shuckin’ Shack franchisee in Leland, North Carolina, was one of those fans. “As a Shuckin’ Shack lover, I was a natural fit to become a franchisee,” she said. “Because I worked as the front-of-house trainer for numerous Shuckin’ Shack locations, I felt confident in the brand itself and knew my general manager experience would help me as a franchisee.”

To provide an industry-leading franchise opportunity for owners like Thorpe and Lookingbill, Shuckin’ Shack makes sure to keep up with the latest trends in its segment. For example, the brand has been making strides when it comes to authenticity and sustainability, as the consumer demand for reliable and eco-friendly food options increases. In 2015, Shuckin’ Shack became a certified Ocean Friendly Establishment thanks to partnerships with the Surfrider Foundation and the Plastic Ocean Project and has been heavily involved in recycling and the Skip the Straw movement.

“Everything we do is with an eye on sustainability,” said Bartlett. “Our founders are very intent on that. We live by the bounty of the sea and we want to do all we can to help in the efforts for sustainability.”

With this relevant offering, authentic concept, strategic growth and strong franchising opportunity, there has truly never been a better time to invest in Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar. 

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