For more than three decades, Buffalo, New York-based Bailey Seafood has wowed customers with its fresh, made-to-order seafood and tantalizing menu. With fresh fish sourced all the way from Canada to Argentina, Bailey’s menu includes options that customers aren’t likely to find anywhere else. By Elice Morgenson
For more than three decades, Buffalo, New York-based Bailey Seafood has wowed customers with its fresh, made-to-order seafood and tantalizing menu. With fresh fish sourced all the way from Canada to Argentina, Bailey’s menu includes options that customers aren’t likely to find anywhere else.
Each location features signature items including the famous Belly Busters and Super Sandwiches, as well as new seasonal dishes to keep things exciting for customers. Bailey also offers its own take on ice cream flavors including Sweet Potato Pie and Banana Pudding, while also creating homemade soups, pies, cakes, rice bowls, skillet meals, and many more options.
When the pandemic prompted restrictions in restaurant operations, Bailey Seafood owner Michael Kontras expanded the brand to add delivery-only or “ghost-kitchen” service and small traveling pop-ups. These options are helping Bailey meet the needs of a changing demographic that increasingly prefers delivery and takeout.
“We have a proven, successful takeout menu that has worked for decades and we thought the ghost-kitchen model was a great way to share it with other parts of the country,” Kontras said.
Ghost kitchens, set up for delivery-only meal service, do not include a storefront or indoor seating. Consumers order on the website or use the sleek new app, which is available for free download from all phone app stores. The app makes online ordering even easier by allowing customers to create user profiles with access to all previous orders and the ability to track their orders and place pre-saved “easy orders” to quickly re-order their favorites. Bailey offers customers 15% off their first online or app order and 10% off each subsequent one.
Founded in 1985 by Kontras’ father, George Kontras, Bailey Seafood operated for almost a decade as a fresh fish market. When Michael joined the business in the early 1990s, he expanded the menu and added a selection of takeout dishes. Bailey Seafood quickly gained expertise in the grab-and-go seafood world. Since franchising in 2019 and including the new temporary ghost-kitchen sites, locations have opened in Pennsylvania, Atlanta and Los Angeles.
Each franchise offers extensive original menu items, including fish fries, Super Sandwiches, seafood boils, Belly Busters and local seafood from the area near each restaurant. Being able to buy much of the seafood directly from the processor helps tremendously in keeping costs down. Each storefront location features the signature open-style kitchen, which allows customers a view of their seafood being fried, baked, steamed or sautéed.
Bailey Seafood offers two types of franchise opportunities: a single-unit franchise that allows owners to operate their own Bailey Fish & Seafood in a protected territory of their choice, as well as area development franchises for those looking to lock down larger territories and gradually build a series of Bailey Fish & Seafood locations/territories.
A 2,000-3,500-square-foot space is necessary to run a Bailey Seafood, and company officials help in choosing and designing the store, regardless of the layout, for maximum efficiency.
The initial franchise fee of $35,000 and a 5% royalty fee are among the lowest in the industry. With a total initial investment of $226,000-$382,000, Bailey will help franchisees get up and running in no time.
For more information about franchising, visit baileyseafood.com/franchise.
– Elice Morgenson