May 06, 2008

Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers, A Louisiana Restaurant

One of the missions of this blog is to highlight events, people and places in Louisiana, more specifically North Louisiana. Although Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers began in South Louisiana, there are quite a few restaurants in North Louisiana. The food is great! The reason that I chose to highlight this restaurant first is that it is a story of following your dreams and making them a reality. It is the true story of how determination and hard work turned one man's crazy dream into a very, very successful restaurant.

First of all, I remember the first time that I saw Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers in Shreveport, Louisiana...I remember thinking that a restaurant that only sells chicken fingers would never stay in business. Boy, was I wrong. In fact, the restaurant is so successful in Shreveport that they opened another location and I heard a rumor that there will be one opening in Bossier as well. Chicken fingers, ah yes, chicken fingers. They are delicious. It has to be one of my all-time favorite restaurants.

There's something about the way the chicken fingers are cooked that makes them so scrumptious. You have to dip them in the special, secret Cane's sauce. Make sure you order extra so you don't run out. The meal comes with coleslaw, toast, fries, chicken fingers, sauce, and a drink. Their lemonade and sweet tea are good. My huband likes to dip his fries and bread in the sauce and my son loves the coleslaw.

According to the Raising Cane's website, it all started when founder, Todd Graves, wanted to open a restaurant. His idea was a restaurant that only served chicken fingers. He was fresh out of school, unemployed, had no money but had a passion.

He went through the proper channels of making a business plan, going to banks and private investors and asking for help. Everywhere he went, he was turned down. Graves was not about to let go of his dream so he set out for the west coast in search of employment. He took a job working very long hours at a refinery and saved his money. It was while he was out in Los Angeles that he met a man named "Wild Bill" who told him that he could make money by working on fishing boats in Alaska. So off he went to work on a salmon boat working 20 hour days.

The rest as they say is history. Armed with his hard-earned money, Graves moved back home to Baton Rouge and this time was able to convince investors to help him make his dream come true. The first restaurant opened just outside of the gates of the LSU campus in 1996. Now, there are Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers restaurants all over the country. It is a true story about how passion can turn a dream into a reality.

Another reason that I like Todd Graves' story is that he could have gone anywhere in the country to start his business but he chose to come home to Louisiana and start it here. Graves also supports Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) and there have been community food drives. He believes in giving back to the community and helping others.

So the next time you see the big red and white Cane's logo stop by and try it. Our favorite is the "Caniac" with sweet tea. It's sooooooo goooood!!

In North Louisiana you can find Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers restaurants in Shreveport, Ruston, West Monroe, Monroe and Alexandria.

Support Louisiana businesses, products and restaurants. When you get the chance, choose Louisiana products over others it benefits all of us.
Source: Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers website.