Background

Captain D’s is an American chain of fast casual seafood restaurants founded 50 years ago with the goal of making great seafood available to everyone, every day. Captain D’s works hard behind the scenes to guarantee the quality of their ingredients. They use a proprietary, tempura-style batter for their Batter Dipped Fish ― the chain’s signature item. Prepared in-house every day, it is critical that the batter be consistent across their 500+ restaurants.

Challenge

Captain D’s underwent a comprehensive equipment evaluation, seeking to remedy the challenges in their batter mixing process. They had used a standard blender to mix batter, but experienced reliability issues. These failures and the added equipment cost for the back-up blenders prompted Larry Jones, Vice President of Construction, and his team to look for new solutions for their unique situation.

“We were going through so many blender failures that we purchased four dozen to keep in a pool to swap out so a restaurant would not be down for too long,” said Jones. They knew the resulting batter needed to be as good or better than that prepared with the standard blender.

Unique Production Needs

“There’s not many like us ― a unique provider of seafood in a casual, quick environment. Our process and food production needs are unique, and that has led to a lot of innovation throughout our history.”

- Larry Jones, Vice President of Construction with Captain D’s

SOLUTION

Mixstir

AyrKing worked with Captain D’s to design a specific piece of equipment to meet the chain’s needs. The partnership required collaboration and risk on both sides but resulted in a piece of equipment that would provide the right consistency and reliability: the Mixstir.

The Mixstir’s wing-shaped blade design and slower mix speed velocity were designed to provide constant stirring without injecting air into the batter and disturbing the intentional flavor profile. Its stainless-steel construction made it more durable and reliable than traditional commercial blenders, eliminating the constant equipment cost of replacing blenders. The Mixstir even provided Captain D’s with unanticipated benefits, such as being able to add all of the dry mix at once (instead of gradually) and a quieter operation.

Captain D’s batter manufacturer and QA department evaluated the taste, texture, performance and viscosity for the batter made in the Mixstir vs. the batter made in a standard blender. The batter performance was overwhelmingly better with the Mixstir.

After passing that hurdle, Captain D’s put 10 units in the field for six months for a comprehensive evaluation process with operators. Throughout the testing period, there were zero failures, and the new equipment received praise from its testers. Captain D’s stayed in contact with AyrKing throughout the testing process, providing feedback for tweaks that were made prior to final manufacturing.

By partnering with AyrKing, Captain D’s found an equipment solution that met all of their operational needs — not just some of them.

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BENEFITS

TIME/LABOR SAVINGS

A solution that saves operators time and equipment replacement headaches

EQUIPMENT RELIABILITY

Durable equipment construction better built for Captain D’s needs

FLAVOR CONSISTENCY

The right taste, texture, performance & viscosity of Captain D’s signature batter — every time

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