Louisiana’s popular fried chicken establishment, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, is taking the country by storm. This popular quick service restaurant already has over 600 locations across 32 states, and they are looking to add an additional 100 locations by the end of 2022. Raising Cane’s (named after the founder’s Labrador Retriever) currently has 52,000 employees and plans to hire an additional 8,000 this year.

As part of their recruitment plan, they launched a “One Crew. One Love.” advertising campaign in April featuring 6,000+ employees across all their current locations. The commercials simultaneously raise awareness of the Raising Cane’s brand and help attract new hires. The brand values its employees and prides itself on having a positive, fun work environment. They refused to fire or furlough anyone when sales were down 30% during the initial COVID slump, instead turning their attention to strengthening their drive-thru business.

Cane’s is currently working on opening its first restaurants in New York City. Confident of a successful expansion, their NoHo location’s lease will be for 20 years. They also plan on opening a location in Times Square.

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Raising Cane’s differentiates itself from other QSRs with a highly focused menu that prioritizes quality over quantity. Their menu centers around chicken tenders made from a premium cut of all-breast tenderloins. The chicken is delivered fresh, never frozen, and is made to order. Fried chicken sales did extremely well throughout most of COVID. On average, fried chicken establishments saw their sales increase by 24% in 2021 as Americans looked for a fast and convenient way to feed their families.

From their rapid expansion, Cane’s ranked second in our list of QSR brands by brand equity growth from Q1 to Q2 2022 based on QuestBrand data. Their overall brand equity grew +1.8, with their greatest growth in familiarity (+3.1). This is unsurprising due to their rapid expansion across the U.S. and into high prominence markets, such as NYC. Raising Cane’s also saw growth in momentum (+1.5), consideration (+1.5), and perceived quality (+1.2).

Ironic given the chain’s exploding growth, Cane’s success was not always a given. Founder Todd Graves came up with his business plan for Raising Cane’s at Louisiana State University as part of a class project. His professor was not impressed with his chicken-centric restaurant plan and gave him the lowest grade in the class. After having his business plan further rejected by numerous banks, Graves has finally found success at the top of a billion-dollar chain that continues to rise.


Catherine Ake

Senior Marketing and Content Strategist

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