A Captain D's

A Captain D's

Captain D's

Capsule reviews and analysis of the most successful and influential pirate radio ships. . . .


Mr. D's Seafood and Hamburgers opened in 1969 after entrepreneur, owner of Danner Foods and KFC franchisee Raymond L. Danner Sr. was unable to expand the territory of his Shoney's Big Boy Restaurants franchise. The franchise was limited to 11 states in the Southeast. In 1971, Danner and his Shoney's co-founder Alex Schoenbaum completed a merger between Shoney's and Danner Foods and named their new company Shoney’s Big Boy Enterprises. In 1975, Danner was president of the company, which announced the renaming of Mr. D's Seafood and Hamburgers as "Captain D's" and the launch of a national franchising program. By this time, Captain D's menu was edited to focus on seafood and side dishes, and the chain had expanded to 32 locations that earned more than $10 million annually. In 1976, Captain D's was held by the rebranded Shoney's Inc., after Danner and Schoenbaum sold the Big Boy trademark to Marriott Corporation.

In April 1989, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a class-action lawsuit against Danner and more than 200 other Shoney's Inc. officials for allegedly implementing discriminatory policies against Black people who sought employment or were then employed with Shoney's Inc. restaurants—Shoney's, Captain D's, Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken, Pargo's and the Fifth Quarter. Nine former employees and job applicants of Shoney's Inc. restaurants sought more than $500 million as well as an affirmative action plan authorized by the court to prevent discriminatory policies in the future. In November 1992, Captain D's was involved in the $105 million settlement of the racial discrimination case against then-parent company Shoney's Inc. and Danner agreed to contribute $65 million of the company's stock toward the settlement amount. The settlement was awarded to the more than 40,000 former, then-current and prospective restaurant employees who claimed they were discriminated against or were ordered to engage in discriminatory practices between February 1988 and April 1991. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)


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