Everyone has their own classic recipe for fried chicken. It’s often a recipe that has been passed down through generations and can come from many different cultures and backgrounds. It seems that although it’s an American staple, almost everyone everywhere loves fried chicken! In 1996, Todd Graves knew that he had the power to make potentially the best chicken tenders, and he wanted to share those chicken fingers with the rest of the world! Here are the Top 10 Untold Truths of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers!
10. The Caniacs: The World’s Best Fans!
You may know some die-hard Taco Bell, McDonald’s, or even Starbucks fans – or maybe you’re one yourself. It seems these fast food fans always know exactly when new promotional items from their favorite restaurant will be coming out, or perhaps even own rewards cards that they use on the daily to help them receive free items and discounts. If you’ve ever thought that these fast food fans may be pushing the envelope in terms of their quick service appreciation, then stay far away from any Raising Cane’s fans! Raising Cane’s has the absolute most insane fans on the entire planet! Considering that Raising Cane’s best customers are known as Caniacs, you kind of get a hint of the level of devotion these chicken finger lovers show to their favorite restaurant! The Caniacs have even been treated to exclusive online concerts – one of the perks of being best fast food fans in the industry! Unlike regular fast food fans that just simply adore the restaurant, this fan club has actually been endorsed by the restaurant brand, and a sign-up page can be found on the Raising Cane’s website. Considering that you’ll receive a free combo just for signing up, it’s no wonder this fan club is filled with so much love and appreciation! When you’re a fan of Raising Cane’s it feels good in your stomach, your head, and your heart!
9. Classic Cane’s Dipping Sauce
Besides the delicious, tender, flaky, original chicken – which is fantastic – what else is worth trying at Raising Cane’s? There are those who argue that some of the side dishes are the best part of the experience. This may depend on how much you love southern fried food with all the fixings. Instead of focusing on hundreds of options while trying to please everyone, founder, Todd Graves wisely decided to focus on a few crowd-pleasing sides that were unlikely to be too polarizing. Graves wanted the chicken to be all-inclusive, meaning that anyone could partake in the devouring of a delicious Cane’s Box Combo. He focused on side options like crinkle-cut fries, Texas toast, and coleslaw! And that’s pretty much the whole menu! So what is it about this restaurant that makes it so amazing? Some would argue that the dipping sauce itself is beyond compare! The reason? This sauce is made fresh in-house every single day! That sure beats the huge ketchup dispenser at the counter or the tiny pre packaged sauce containers that fast food fans are used to. This sauce provides the perfect amount of tang, spice, and sweetness, taking the chicken from a 10 on 10 to an 11 on 10! The best part about this sauce recipe is that there are hundreds of knock-off options to be found online that can help satisfy the Canes’ craving no matter what time of day or where you are!
8. Opening Day: A Success Story
Considering that Todd Graves was told almost every step of the way that his business would be a failure, he never ever lost sight of his dreams and continued to work hard and pursued them to the fullest. To this day, his kindness and philanthropic activity has made him one of the world’s most beloved and respected bosses. More company owners should be taking cues from Graves! Despite his success, life was not always so easy for Todd. The grand opening of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers was one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking days for Graves. All of his hopes and dreams were finally right there before him. Would he be successful? Doubt would begin to cross his mind, considering he was now opening a restaurant near the same school where a professor had once said his business strategy was doomed to fail. Todd’s hard work certainly paid off and he was able to prove all of his doubters wrong! The first day that Raising Cane’s opened, the students loved the chicken so much that the restaurant stayed open until 3:30 in the morning, continually serving chicken! This day is seen as a historic moment in the Cane’s history book – a day that set a positive tone for the future of the restaurant! Who knew students would love chicken tenders this much? Well, Todd Graves sure did!
7. The Name
Raising Cane’s may not necessarily immediately bring images of chicken tenders to mind. The name itself does not necessarily sound like a fast food restaurant, but perhaps more like a dog food brand. There’s a good reason for this. In the early days of the restaurant, work days were long and tiring for the tight crew of close friends who would help Todd Graves build the first location. Todd originally developed the idea for Raising Cane’s in a surprising way. During the final years of his education, Todd was asked to design a business plan that would be deemed successful. Not only was he ridiculed by some professors and peers, but when he decided to actually go through with his plan, even the bank had no faith that Todd could turn chicken tenders into a multi-million dollar business. After returning home and having made his own money to open the restaurant, Todd began working at making his dream come true. Man’s best friend has helped many people through difficult situations, but Cane, Todd’s dog, may have saved the restaurant before it ever even opened. Having originally picked the name Sockeyes, Graves felt something just wasn’t quite right. After his lovely pooch continued to lounge about during the construction phase, it occured to Graves that there was only one true name appropriate. So, he named the restaurant “Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers” after his beloved pet! Talk about an honor!
6. The Story Behind the Mothership
Anyone who has ever opened a restaurant or been involved in the process knows that it is incredibly difficult work – it’s not for the faint of heart. Coming up with an amazing idea may seem like a simple step, but actually putting all the pieces together to make it work can be absolutely exhausting! After already working nonstop in order to secure the funds to open the first Raising Cane’s, Todd Graves understood his hard work had only just begun. After purchasing the first location for the original Raising Cane’s, Graves and a team of friends got to work on the demolition and renovations of the building at the entrance of Louisiana State University. Upon ripping apart one of the walls inside the building, Graves was absolutely shocked at what he discovered underneath the exposed brick! Hiding in plain sight, was a beautiful sign for the original bakery! Many restaurant owners would have simply torn this out or redesigned the wall, but Todd was so enamored by the piece that he kept the wall as is – a way to pay homage to the bakery that was there before him. To this day, the mural is a standard part of any new restaurant concept and can be found at all locations. However, it’s important to note that the only “authentic” mural is the one found at “The Mothership”, otherwise known as the original Raising Cane’s location, in Louisiana. All the rest are replicas which help keeps uniformity and adds familiarity for the customers!
5. Raising Cane’s Merchandise Line
Not only does Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers offer you some of the best southern-style food in all of the United States, but they’re also serving up some super cool apparel as well! The Raising Cane’s brand has become so popular and so loved that people not only want to support them by eating lunch at the restaurant, but also by wearing Cane’s cute little face wherever they go! Picking a golden Labrador as the face of the franchise means that designing merchandise for the brand has got to be crazy fun. The designs are completely adorable and anyone who loves dogs, or chicken fingers, would be happy to sport any of the items on the website. The clothing itself is fun and features designs for everyone, from dad to baby! Despite the clothing featuring cute and fun designs, the accessories are the true prize when it comes to Cane’s line of gear. The website features everything from Raising Cane’s notebooks and lip glosses, to towels and beer cozies! The original Cane definitely did not know that he would one day be as famous as he is now! If you love Raising Cane’s and consider yourself a Caniac, then you absolutely should check out this amazing merch next time you need a little shopping treat!
4. Cane, Cane II, and Cane III
Cane the dog is the beloved mascot of the Raising Cane’s brand. I mean, who wouldn’t love a lab with such a cute face? Despite fans’ love of Cane the dog, those with a sense of a time probably won’t be surprised to learn that the original Cane passed away many many years ago. The family’s love for Cane was unfounded and sometime after the loss, the family welcomed a new female yellow lab, Cane II! The wonderful dog worked as a service animal and dedicated her life to being the best dog possible. Currently the face of the company is known as Cane III, and it’s easy to say that each Cane has been just as cute, cuddly, and courageous as their precious namesake! Talk about a royal line of canines!
3. What’s in a name?
How does a chicken finger restaurant almost end up with a name like Sockeyes, a type of salmon? The story of Raising Cane’s was troubled and complex. There were many moments when Todd Graves would wonder whether or not the noble pursuit of supplying delicious chicken fingers was actually worth all of the work that it entailed. Having crafted the plan for Raising Cane’s for class credit, Todd was heartbroken to have his business plan not only ridiculed, but it also received the lowest mark in the class. What a kick to the gut! Luckily for chicken finger fans, Todd would not let the opinions of one instructor ruin his chances at success. The next steps would involve some serious hard work on Todd’s part. After working long weeks in an oil refinery, Todd moved to Alaska where he learned all about commercial salmon fishing. After returning home and finally securing enough money to get his first restaurant started, Graves wanted to honor his time spent in Alaska by naming his restaurant after the fish that has helped him get to this point. Amazing how one moment in time can change the entire future of a business! Imagine what it would have been like if we were all looking for that amazing Sockeyes dipping sauce instead of Cane’s famous!
2. They Have Halal
Fried chicken is considered to be one of the ultimate best in terms of American fast food. With dozens of fried chicken restaurants to choose from, it can be difficult for an up and comer to find a place within the fast food landscape. While many other restaurants may not have a lot of choices when it comes to dietary restrictions, Raising Cane’s has worked to ensure that their chicken appeals to a wide variety of the population. By offering Halal chicken as opposed to regular chicken, Raising Cane’s has made a place for themselves within the hearts of much of the Islamic community in America. Halal means permissible in Arabic. This can refer to the specific part of the animal where the meat is taken from, the type of meat itself, and even how the animal was slaughtered. These changes may not seem like a big deal to some, however, for many, this is a common issue when trying to order fast food. Finding a restaurant that caters to a specific market can be incredibly difficult for customers so it’s no surprise why Raising Cane’s is so loved by many in the Islamic community. The chain has seen such wild success with their halal inclusive menu that they decided to take their business to the middle eastern market! Due to the success of their halal preparation process, in 2018 Raising Cane’s announced they would be adding 80 more locations in different middle eastern countries! These chicken tenders are taking the world by storm!
1. Champions of The Pandemic
The last year has one of the toughest years for businesses on record. As the pandemic circles the world, restaurants are forced to continually make difficult decisions regarding costs and closures. Raising Cane’s has not been immune to some of the worst hardships that restaurants have had to face, and yet the owner Todd Graves refused to let his employees suffer for his benefit. While many restaurants have witnessed executives making more money while employees are being layed off left, right and center, Graves refuses to let Raising Cane’s be an examples of disregard for employees. Both Graves and CEO AJ Kumaran are refused to take salaries during this time in order to help guarantee that their employees were taken care of first. In addition to their own personal sacrifices – which few other business owners would be willing to make – the company is also helping to create personal protective equipment (PPE) in locations that were unable to keep doors open. In the few Raising Cane’s locations that didn’t have a drive-thru, or couldn’t operate safely, Graves has kept employees staffed by paying for them to make masks while the restaurants are closed. When you consider that we’re talking about a fried chicken chain, it’s kind of amazing to see. Finally, despite Raising Cane’s losing approximately 25% of sales this year, the company is continuing to make financial donations in order to help fight the pandemic. More companies should be like Canes, no wonder the Caniacs love it so much!