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Long John Silver’s will focus on its core menu this year before introducing new products in 2016.

With the recent hire of a VP of culinary innovation, Louisville-based seafood chain Long John Silver’s is looking to inject some excitement into its menu.

Peter Czizek started in the aforementioned role about four weeks ago after spending time in similar roles at Applebee’s, Dave & Buster’s and Romano’s Macaroni Grill, among others. Fun fact: Czizek helped open the Macaroni Grill store that sits across the street from Long John Silver’s headquarters off South Hurstbourne Parkway about 20 years ago.

Now Czizek’s task is to find ways to improve Long John Silver’s menu staples such as fried Alaskan pollock, hushpuppies and other sides, as well as create and test new menu items.

“There is a huge opportunity to look at seafood flavor profiles that are coming from Europe or Asia where they eat a lot more seafood,” he tells Insider Louisville. “(Americans today) are exposed to a lot more, different flavors, and so I think we have an opportunity to try that.”

Don’t expect Long John Silver’s to start serving up fish Asian-style with the head on, Czizek said — at least not anytime soon.

Introducing new products is a stepping stone process. The company may look at Cajun recipes from Louisiana and fish tacos from the West Coast, he said, “before pushing out to some of the crazier stuff out there.”

Consumers can expect to see new products introduced to Long John Silver’s menu in 2016, Czizek said. “Bigger, bolder flavors is what you can look forward to seeing.”

No word on when or what the new products might be, however. Among a list of ideas written on a white board in Czizek’s office — and disclaimer, they are only ideas right now — were items such as shrimp wontons, lobster mac & cheese bites and tater tot fish nuggets.

Until 2016, the innovation team at LJS will continue to focus on its core menu items, he said.

“They are great now, but how do we make them better?” Czizek said. “We have some inherently very healthy products, especially our core pollack product. It is sustainably fished out of the Bering Sea of Alaska, and there are no fillers.”

“We have great quality, and I think we need to talk about that more.”

Long John Silver’s is a privately owned company with more than 1,100 franchisee-owned restaurants. The owners include Rick Duffy, adviser for the advertising firm Scoppechio, and prominent Louisville attorney Ed Glasscock, among others. Last year, they tried unsuccessfully to sell the company. Starting this year, the company leaders regrouped, hired a CEO and other top executives, and are looking to reinvigorate the brand.

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LOUISVILLE, KY -- (February 12, 2015) ---

Long John Silver’s®, the nation’s largest quick-service seafood chain, has named James O’Reilly as chief executive officer. O’Reilly brings to the role more than 20 years of food service leadership, including, most recently, chief brand officer for Sonic Drive-In.

Additionally, O’Reilly has served in a variety of domestic and international leadership positions for many prominent brands including Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Yum! Brands, and Procter and Gamble. He earned an MBA from York University and B.S. in Biochemistry from McMaster University.

“I am very pleased that James has accepted the position of CEO for Long John Silver’s,” said Rick Duffy, chairman of the board for LJS Partners, LLC. “James brings the right combination of brand building, system leadership, and innovation to the LJS system. I am confident that his leadership of the brand will poise the company for growth in the years ahead.”

O’Reilly added, “I’m pleased to join the team at Long John Silver’s. It’s an iconic brand, and I look forward to drawing upon my knowledge of the quick-service industry to give consumers more reasons to love Long John Silver’s.”

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America’s Favorite Seafood Restaurant to Give Away Classic Fish & Fries

LOUISVILLE, KY -- (June 12, 2014) ---

Long John Silver’s, the world’s largest quick service seafood brand, has announced an offer that will have Americans clamoring to “climb aboard” and indulge in the one-of-a-kind taste they’ve grown to love and crave.

America’s Favorite Seafood Brand Feeds the Whole Family for $10 with Limited Time Offer

LOUISVILLE, KY -- (April. 30, 2014)--

Long John Silver’s, the world’s largest quick service seafood company, has taken the hassle out of dinner time while making it possible to feed the entire family for just $10 with a special offer every member will crave. For a limited time, guests can bring home Long John Silver’s Chicken Family Pack with eight pieces of tender, white-meat, classic-battered chicken, a choice of family-size side, and eight hushpuppies for $10.

LOUISVILLE, KY -- (May 2, 2014) ---

Long John Silver’s, the world’s largest quick service seafood company, is giving its fans a “stake” in the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” this weekend with a FREE offer anyone can enjoy. Today the company announced that any guest who joins Long John Silver’s Mobile Text Club before 6 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 3rd will receive a text coupon for a FREE Two-Piece Fish Basket “if a four-legged horse wins the weekend’s big race in Kentucky.”

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