, UK
Rish Gola, co-founder of Shrimp Shack. /Photo provided.

Why Shrimp Shack will build its brand on customisation

The newest fast-casual seafood restaurant was born during a trip to the USA.

Fast-casual seafood restaurant Shrimp Shack will focus on customisation and winning the Gen Z and millennial market to grow its brand.

Opening its first site in Streatham this December, Shrimp Shack was founded by Balal Aqil, Danny Caratella, Rish Gola, and Raf Adam. To create the brand’s look and feel, the founders partnered with 360-degree global branding, interior design & architecture specialist, Harrison.

In a quick Q&A interview with co-founder and seafood lover Rish Gola, he shared what kind of customer cravings the brand aims to satisfy.

What can you tell me about how Shrimp Shack was created?

My whole family are big seafood lovers; however, seafood outings were always either confined to fancy, wallet-draining dining experiences with portions that left us searching for more. 

Our eureka moment struck during a trip to the USA. Whilst seafood restaurants were aplenty, the menu seemed to be stuck on fried seafood, with grilled options few and far between. We thought, there was a market for this in the UK and so, Shrimp Shack was born – bringing affordable and delicious seafood to our shores.

What market gap does your brand address?

By focusing on being affordable but still offering high-quality and delicious grilled seafood options we aim to make Shrimp Shack accessible for all. 

What will be the key offerings of the brand?

Our key offering is grilled seafood. The core menu centres on a build-your-own experience where you first choose your size of shrimp, be that the Prince or Queen, followed by the dip – think lemon butter, garlic butter or peri-peri. And finally, the seasoning – while some like it hot, others prefer a salty finish. Sides will complement any choice thanks to a variety of crispy chips, rice, potatoes and of course a fresh salad. 

How will you position Shrimp Shack in the UK's fast-casual dining scene to differentiate yourself from other competitors?

Our key differentiator lies in the customisation of flavours, through a selection of bespoke sauces and flavours. This innovative approach empowers customers to tailor their seafood dishes to their preferences, setting Shrimp Shack apart from competitors.

Why have you opened your first location in Streatham? Can you give us an insight into your decision-making process when choosing your location?

Streatham was chosen as the first location for Shrimp Shack due to its diversity, burgeoning status, and the prevalence of families—factors that collectively reflect our commitment to creating an affordable seafood dining concept that resonates with the community we serve.

What branding elements are you bringing to the table to target 18 to 45-year-olds? Could you give us some examples?

Shrimp Shack will embrace app-based ordering for convenience and pressure-free ordering. The brand will also have a rewards system for loyalty and offer great discounts and freebies. Through engaging social media and a contemporary aesthetic, Shrimp Shack also aims to establish a relatable and rewarding connection with the preferences of its target demographic.

What opportunities do you see for Shrimp Shack in the future?

We hope to see Shrimp Shack expand, capitalising on the unique and appealing experience it offers to customers. The brand sees significant potential for growth, presenting an attractive investment opportunity for potential franchisees seeking to be part of its success story.

Do you have growth plans you could share with us?

Shrimp Shack has ambitious growth plans in the pipeline. We are currently exploring multiple potential sites for expansion - watch this space!

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