Raising Cane’s Keeps on Rising

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Raising Cane’s is the product of creative thinking forced by the need to fill a college tuition hole.


With his son about to enter his senior year of college, a father who ran a marketing company decided to partner with a business. The father-son duo found a young man in Baton Rouge with a simple, yet elegant restaurant concept built around a homemade recipe for chicken fingers. The restaurant needed marketing help, the marketing company needed a client, and Raising Cane’s was born.


Since then, finding trusted partners has been a critical point of success for Raising Cane’s.


Raising Cane’s can now be found in Dubai, the UAE and throughout parts of the U.S. Brian Settle, head of business support for the franchisee Raising Cane’s of Ohio (RCO), helps oversee a rapidly expanding company. RCO opened its first franchise on the campus of The Ohio State University in 2004.


When Settle arrived at RCO four years ago, the company had 13 stores and roughly $35 million in sales. He expects RCO to do $100 million in 2018 with more than 35 outlets. The projected growth profile is significant and shows how powerful a simple concept managed with old-school values can become. RCO expects to reach $200 million in sales by 2020 with at least 50 stores.


That kind of growth requires robust partners with values that are consistent and above board. The Merchant Bill of Rights, created by Heartland to bring transparency to card processing, as well as fairness to all aspects of client services, has been a comfortable fit for a company that did its first deal on a napkin.  


“When I first came here, we evaluated different processors,” said Settle. “We needed to know if they were set up to be a long-term partner. That is what Heartland has provided. They have been great to work with and they are able to grow as we grow. There are always hiccups along the way when you are bringing along a long-term partner, but they have always put their best foot forward. If there is something that needs to be fixed, they make it right.”


Raising Cane’s is old school in other ways, too. They do one thing – chicken fingers – and little more. The company takes only cash, credit cards, and on college campuses, the school’s form of payment as well. Simplicity, combined with transparency of costs and reporting, has allowed RCO to concentrate on its own values.


“It’s about heart and soul,” says Settle. “One love, that is our motto. We do it right, we do it well, and we do it as much as we can.”