Long John Silver’s, Inc. is a United States-based fast-food restaurant that specializes in seafood. The name and concept were inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s book Treasure Island. Its headquarters are in Louisville, Kentucky.
Earlier restaurants were known for their Cape Cod-style buildings, blue roofs, small steeples, and nautically-themed decorations such as seats made to look like nautical flags. Most early restaurants also featured separate entrance and exit doors, a corridor-like waiting line area, food heaters that were transparent so customers could see the food waiting to be served, and a bell by the exit which customers could “ring if we did it well.” Many of these buildings had dock-like walkways lined with pilings and thick ropes that wrapped around the building exterior. Somewhat newer restaurants kept the basic structural design and theme, but eliminated most of the interior features. The contemporary, multi-brand outlets do not use the blue roofed Cape Cod-style buildings. All locations continue to have the “ring if we did well” bell by the exit, a feature that was later copied by Arby’s. Originally, the chain had a much larger focus on a pirate theme. For example, the chain used to offer small chicken drumsticks which they called “peg-legs”.
The restaurant, which has over 1200 units worldwide, is a division of Yum! Brands, Inc. The company purchased it from Yorkshire Global Restaurants, which originally acquired it from Fleet Boston Bank after its having gained control of the restaurants due to bankruptcy. Yum! originally combined many of the franchises’ locations with its chain of A&W Restaurants, and most new Long John Silver’s locations in the first few years after the acquisition were co-branded with A&W. Yum! announced in 2005 that it would expand the multi-brand concept and pair Long John Silver’s with KFC, just as they had paired Taco Bell and Pizza Hut along with A&W, and Long John Silver’s has since been paired with all of Yum!’s other chains. The parent corporation of the chain’s Canadian franchises, which have no connection with A&W in Canada, is Priszm.
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