Raising Cane CEO steps in to help family restaurants recover from COVID-19 pandemic

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL / KMSS) – Louisiana-based founder and CEO of Raising Cane’s is mobilizing to help family restaurants across the country hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic through a reality show featuring its job to help them recover and bounce back stronger than ever.

“They fight. And the suffering. And then the closing. And it killed me, ”Todd Graves said.

“I’ve done television before. I know its power and I created “Restaurant Recovery”. I hired a production company and we went to help 10 restaurants across the country, including two in our own home state here. [Louisiana]. Baton Rouge and New Orleans. “

Raising Cane’s head office and first location are in Baton Rouge. The place Graves chose to help was personal.

“I checked out my favorite downtown restaurant, Poor Boy Lloyd’s, and the great Cajun restaurant run by the Taylor family. The oldest in downtown Baton Rouge. I’ve seen their sales dry up, ”Graves said. “And this good family, who are excellent restaurateurs, are struggling.”

Todd and his team changed the seats, designs and exteriors, all to maximize space and the flow of people.

“We worked to make it a take-out machine,” Graves said.

He also leaned on a few of his friends for help. Friends like basketball Shaquille O’Neal, New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, rapper and music mogul Snoop Dogg, and NFL Hall of Famer Archie Manning, to name a few.

“It was an easy question for me to ask my friends who these mega-stars are. Celebrities. Easy request, and an immediate ‘yes’, ”Graves said.

He says Shaquille O’Neal came from Atlanta to take part in the episode shot at Poor Boy Lloyd’s.

“It wasn’t like he was in town and it was like, ‘Oh, I’m going to stop.’ He flew to the city because he loves Baton Rouge. He understands that this restaurant is important.

The pandemic has had little effect on Graves’ business. He says sales actually increased from 2019 to 2020. According to Forbes, its more than 500 locations nationwide saw their sales exceed $ 1.9 billion last year.

“You do better, you make more money, but you don’t feel good because other restaurateurs, their dreams are just as important as mine,” said Graves. “Their teams are just as important. They are just as important to their neighborhoods. “

That’s why he says he wants you to visit his restaurants, but not exclusively. He wants you to visit restaurants that are staple foods in your community.

“When they leave, they never come back,” he said. “And they are replaced by a skyscraper or a chain. And to be honest with you, we don’t need it anymore.

Restaurant Recovery is currently streaming on Discovery +.

Graves says he plans to make future seasons because there will always be someone who needs help.

He says Shreveport is in the mix for potential future shows.

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