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Long John Silver’s

Long John Silver’s is a quick-service chain founded in 1969 that specializes in seafood. The chain was originally named Long John Silver’s Seafood Shop but was later shortened to Long John Silver’s, modeled after the pirate Long John Silver in the Robert Louis Stevenson novel Treasure Island.

Originally founded in Lexington, Ky., Long John Silver’s was owned by Jerrico, which went bankrupt in 1998, leading to the chain’s purchase by A&W in 1999. At that point the chain created a new holding company, Yorkshire Global Restaurants. In 2002, Yorkshire Global Restaurants was acquired by Tricon Global, and that company was renamed Yum Brands in May of that year. It was parent to KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, A&W and Long John Silver’s.

In 2011, Yum Brands announced it would be selling Long John Silver’s and a new company — LJS Partners, comprised of Long John Silver franchisees and private investors — purchased the brand.

After negative press around the use of trans fats and the health of meals at Long John Silver’s, the chain refocused on its menu. James O’Reilly, who took the CEO title in 2015, announced he would refocus on the health of the menu rather than expansion. In January 2021, Blaine Shortreed was named CEO after O’Reilly left for the head position at chain Smokey Bones.

Key Data: Long John Silver’s

Headquarters: Louisville, Ky.

Segment: Quick Service

Restaurant Segment: LSR Other

Number of US Locations: 669

2020 Sales: $290.1 million

Annual Growth

Source: Datassential Firefly 500

CEO: Blain Shortreed