A podcast that feeds food & beverage brands

Ep 53: Jonathan Weathington / CEO of Shuckin’ Shack & Lobster Roll Lover

Watch the episode
Jonathan Weathington knows oysters. He also knows how to grow and build a restaurant brand, which is why he’s the CEO of Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar. From his days of crashing on the co-founder’s couch to today, Jonathan has helped turn Shuckin’ Shack into a thriving 16-location chain in five states. In this episode of Forktales, Joseph and Jonathan talk about seafood, the challenges with dealing with franchisees, how to maintain a happy staff and what oysters and french fries have in common when it comes to delivery.

Listen Now

Forktales restaurant podcast episode with Jonathan Weathington of Shuckin Shack
Ep 53: Jonathan Weathington / CEO of Shuckin' Shack & Lobster Roll Lover

Show Notes

Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar was founded in 2007 in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, and found success with its laid-back attitude and a menu of oysters, lobster rolls, and low country boils. Today, the restaurant has expanded to 16 locations across North Carolina,  South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, and Florida,

Jonathan joined Shuckin’ Shack in 2014 and quickly rose to the rank of CEO. In that role, Jonathan got the bar and grill off the ground as a franchise ownership opportunity.

Jonathan and his team market Shuckin’ Shack by looking beyond oysters to promote the experience that the restaurant delivers.  

The integrity of the seafood product used by Shuckin’ Shack is critical to maintaining quality and safety. The oysters often arrive at restaurants within days after being taken from the water. 

Shuckin’ Shack knows that customers value the experience over convenience. The restaurant has made a conscious decision to deemphasize delivery. 

Shuckin’ Shack was able to reduce staff turnover by 38% by placing an emphasis on employee happiness and making some key changes to how employees are compensated and rewarded.


“We’re sourcing product that go into our restaurants that have really high integrity, that taste better, come straight out of the water, into the steamer and onto the plate.” (Jonathan)

“We’re kind of in this right-place-right-time moment. Oysters have become extremely popular, especially in the past five years. You see a lot of places adding oysters to their menus or doing limited time offerings, so for us we view seafood as the way of the future.” (Jonathan)

“(Franchisees) can be difficult, especially because they’ve invested their own money – they’re entrepreneurs as a result – if they see slippage or they see an opportunity to do something cheaper, they love to dive at that.” (Joseph)

“We allow our franchisees some lanes of operation, and that’s really, really important. We’re giving you choices for how you operate within those lanes.” (Jonathan) 

“We aren’t doing a lot of delivery because we don’t have to. We have doubled down on customer experience and we have doubled down on being the trusted source of seafood. We believe that our customers will pull up to our restaurant if they want our food and they have consistently proven that they will do that.” (Jonathan) 

“Some places just suck to work at.” (Joseph)

Share this

Episode Details

Forktales - a podcast that feeds food and beverage

New episodes every two weeks!

Sign up to get notified when new episodes are available.