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How Sustainability Is Leading to Bigger Bottom Lines for Our Franchise Owners!

We genuinely care about sustainability at Shuckin’ Shack. Some seafood restaurants and bars claim that they only serve high-quality, fresh-caught seafood, but how do you know? How can you tell whether or not they’re walking the walk? The standard playbook when opening a seafood restaurant is to jump on board with a significant distributor because it’s the easiest route. The problem is that you’ll have to overpay to access the best quality ingredients. 

That’s the reality of today’s restaurant industry, where controlling rising food costs is on everyone’s mind. Thankfully, we worked sustainability into our business model from the beginning, and it’s been a boon to our Franchise Owners, who are taking things to the next level at each location. Our commitment to clean oceans for generations to come is authentic. It’s not just lip service and a sales angle, so here’s how sustainability leads to more significant bottom lines for Shuckin’ Shack owners.

Is it possible to keep menu ingredient costs low without sacrificing quality?

If you didn’t have a reliable, cost-effective supply chain before the pandemic, it’s now a tremendous challenge to control rising food costs. But at Shuckin’ Shack, we were ahead of our time because we took the long game, whereas our competitors didn’t see the bigger picture. Buying sustainable seafood doesn’t mean you have to overpay for quality. That’s the assumption, yet over the last few years, we’ve proven that our model is more efficient cost-wise – and profit-wise too!

We can keep menu prices reasonable since we have multiple sources and a great distributor that keeps our locations stocked and open for business. For instance, we collaborate with organizations like the Surf Rider Foundation and the Plastic Ocean Project. Currently, ten sites are participating, but by the end of 2022, all locations will be certified.


But those two non-profits aren’t our only partners. Shuckin’ Shack owners can proudly claim to own a restaurant that’s received recognition on the James Beard Foundation Smart Catch List. We shuckin’ dare other seafood franchises to say the same because it’s an honor we had to earn. It’s a partnership with real star power, another way our locations can set themselves apart from the usual options.

Most seafood and bar franchises would’ve stopped there, yet we choose to take things to the next level and join the Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition. After all, we have roots as an oyster bar, so it would be criminal to serve sub-standard shellfish. And if that wasn’t already proof of a real commitment, we chose only to serve Wild American Shrimp at all locations.


The bottom line is that all those coalitions and organizations add up to real brand power for Shuckin’ Shack. It’s a great way to positively impact a community when restaurant patrons can do their part and dine at sustainable seafood restaurants. 

Positive vibes, positive impact


Even better, we don’t plan to stop there! We want to bring positive vibes everywhere we go, which is what Shuckin’ Shack is all about. You can dine at a casual seafood restaurant without sacrificing quality and service. You don’t have to wear a suit and tie after a long day to have a cold beer. All it takes is a long-term commitment to building something unique, but following through is hard when you can’t see the bigger picture.



Even better, we start to build real emotional attachments with their favorite restaurants. If you do it right, you can be a fixture in the community where everyone expects to see Shuckin’ Shack do things differently. As a quick example, let’s say you open up a Shuckin’ Shack in the suburbs of a major city like Houston, Texas. You can expect to see Shuckin’ Shack specialties featured during Restaurant Weeks and monthly local foodie events.


On the flip side, if you open up a Shuckin’ Shack in a small, quiet town, you can expect to sponsor your fair share of little league teams and such. Either way, you have a real opening to promote sustainability by being a proud fixture of the community. When people see that you practice what you preach, they’ll know that you’re genuine, and being authentic is crucial in today’s restaurant industry. Guests crave authentic, down-to-earth experiences without overpaying for quality, and that’s where Shuckin’ Shack fits into the new era.

Looking across the horizon

One of the most exciting parts about opening up a Shuckin’ Shack is that the franchise won’t stop doing its part. As sustainability initiatives change, we’ll change alongside them because we believe in doing our part. The James Beard list is a great honor, yes, but what about the “next” James Beard list?

Environmental sustainability is still in its earliest years, so we plan to stay the course and do what we do best: serve authentic, fresh, and sustainable seafood in a great environment with positive, friendly vibes. Sustainability dovetails perfectly with the culture we developed at each location.

Visit our franchise website to learn more about joining the Shuckin’ Shack family.