Raising Cane’s founder, and co-CEO Todd Graves has quite the story to tell. It began in college, where he received the lowest grade in his college class for his proposed business plan, opening a fried chicken business. His teacher didn’t believe this would thrive in Louisiana and when he presented his idea to banks, they did not support him either. He moved to California and worked in an oil refinery then moved to Alaska to work on a salmon boat in 1995. It wasn’t until years later that he had finally saved enough money on his own to open his first fried chicken restaurant named after his dog.
The skeptics have since gone, and now the numbers tell the story. Raising Cane’s finished 2021 with sales of $2.37 billion and 567 locations. Todd Graves and his partner AJ Kumar show no signs of stopping. They have dreams to grow the business to be in the top rankings with over $10 billion in systemwide sales and have over 1,500 locations. They realize this is a huge challenge but are ready to take it head on. “Only seven restaurant brands in America eclipsed $10 billion in systemwide sales at the end of 2021 (McDonald’s: $45.96B; Starbucks: $24.3B; Chick-fil-A: $16.7B; Taco Bell: $12.6B; Wendy’s: $11.1B; Dunkin’: $10.4B; and Burger King: $10.03B).”
In order to grow their business, they have developed a very complex and consistent employee hiring, training and retention program. They believe the employees that serve their customers is a very important part of their business model and want them to be motivated to stay with the company long-term and move up in ranks. They offer competitive pay and incentives for managers and can retain top talent in the marketplace. It’s incredible to see such success in a quick serve restaurant that essentially only has one main offering, chicken tenders.
To read more about their strategy and goals for the future, click the link below.