Long John Silver's
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|Founded||August 18, 1969
Lexington, Kentucky, United States
|Headquarters||Louisville, Kentucky, United States|
|Owner||LJS Partners LLC|
Number of employees
|Parent||Jerrico Inc. (1969–2002)
Yum! Brands (2002–2011)
Long John Silver's LLC is an American fast-food restaurant chain that specializes in seafood. The brand's name is derived from the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, in which the pirate "Long John" Silver is one of the main characters. Formerly a division of Yum! Brands, Inc., the company was divested to a group of franchisees in September 2011.
The first restaurant was opened on August 18, 1969, in Lexington, Kentucky. The original location, on 301 Southland Drive just off Nicholasville Road, was previously a seafood carry out restaurant named the Cape Codder. The original Cape Codder concrete block building was redesigned by Architect Druce Henn, who created the New England style of LJS's early chain restaurants. That original location is now a styling salon.
Earlier restaurants were known for their Cape Cod style buildings, blue roofs with square cupolas, wood benches/tables, lobster pots, and ship's wheels. Later, more nautically themed decorations were added such as seats made to look like nautical flags.
Those early restaurants also featured separate entrance and exit doors, a corridor like waiting line area, deep fryer with food heaters that were transparent so customers could see the food waiting to be served, and wrought iron 'sword' door handles. A major exterior theme of these buildings had dock-like walkways lined with pilings and thick ropes. Somewhat newer restaurants retained the basic structural design and theme but eliminated most of the interior features.
Citing poor sales for both divisions, the company plans to focus on its international expansion plans for its other brands, with particular emphasis on its growth in China. With the announcement of the intent to sell by Yum! Brands, a group consisting of Long John Silver's franchisees and other private investors made a successful bid to buy the LJS Brand and in September 2011, Yum! announced the impending sale to LJS Partners LLC.
In March 2015, James O'Reilly, who had previously worked for KFC, was appointed as the CEO. In an interview, he said that he intended to strengthen the core business and solidify the brand. He expected the chain to maintain its 1,132 stores during the year with the possibility of future expansion.
In July 2013, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nutrition and health policy watchdog group, named Long John Silver's "Big Catch" meal the worst restaurant meal in America, noting that it contained 33 grams of trans fat, 19 grams of saturated fat, 1,320 calories, and almost 3,700 milligrams of sodium. In January 2014, the company announced that it had eliminated trans fats from its menu.
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