Raising Cane’s Inland expansion aided by mighty big crew – San Bernardino Sun


The words fried chicken and fast food once conjured images of an elderly man in a string tie or a swarthy sailor with big muscles.

But Texas-based Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has made considerable inroads in the fried chicken scene, growing to 650 restaurants in 33 states and five countries, including 17 locations in the Inland Empire. The company is looking to hire another 10,000 workers as it plans another 100 new restaurants.

The company, founded by Todd Graves and Craig Silvey in Baton Rouge, La., offers just one entree: the company’s signature, hand-battered chicken fingers. Sides include French fries, coleslaw and Texas toast. Oh, and the house dipping sauce has a loyal fan base.

The company’s moniker came from Graves’ labrador retriever, Raising Cane, who frequented the construction site of the company’s first location near Louisiana State University.In addition to its legion of “Caniacs,” the company has cultivated a welcoming work culture that’s reflected in comments by employees taking the Top Workplace survey.

“All of the managers and crew members are easy to work with and welcoming,” one worker wrote. Another said the managers “are focused on my professional and personal growth.”

We asked Richard Erving, who manages the Redlands location, to share more about Raising Cane’s success, its philanthropy and culture used to attract and retain workers. His answers have been edited for length.

Manager Richard Erving works the register at Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers in Redlands on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Q: With chains like KFC, Popeyes, El Pollo Loco and Wingstop, there’s no shortage of fast-food restaurants that specialize in chicken. What sets Raising Cane’s apart from the others?

A: At Cane’s, we do one thing, and we do that one thing really well. Since we were founded over 26 years ago, we have remained focused on serving our customers ‘The Perfect Box’ – quality chicken fingers, crinkle cut fries, Texas toast, coleslaw and our award-winning Cane’s Sauce. Our customers know they can depend on us for their quality chicken finger meals, fast, and they know we have fun while doing it.

Manager Richard Erving points to the bulidng outside of Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers in Redlands on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Manager Richard Erving points to the bulidng outside of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers in Redlands on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Q: The business has grown tremendously. What do you attribute that success to?

A: Our crew members are who make it all possible. They work hard and they have fun while doing it. All of this growth has allowed so many of our employees to grow within Cane’s, rising from hourly workers all the way up to managers, multi-restaurant leaders and beyond, and we are so grateful for all they do to help us succeed.

Q: Raising Cane’s supports a number of local organizations throughout the U.S. What are some of the top ones, and why is this important to the company?

A: At Cane’s, it is part of who we are to be active members of each community that we serve. We currently partner with over 33,000 local organizations, including the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes here in Inland Empire. In the last two years alone, Cane’s donated over $25 million to local organizations across the country in celebration of our 25th year in business.

Q: What kinds of programs and policies do you have to attract and retain good employees?

A: In addition to our industry-leading compensation and benefits, our culture makes us stand out. We take care of our people, and everything we do is rooted in an appreciation for all their hard work and commitment.

We work hard to show our crew members how much we value what they do – whether that be through writing thank-you cards to our staff every week, bringing pizza and cupcakes after a busy Friday night shift, or giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars in surprise bonuses and giveaways to our employees as we did last year on our end-of-year call. All of this is to show appreciation for our staff – we can’t do what we do without them.

Raising Cane's Clydia Kellison holds up a chicken finger combo at the new San Bernardino location in January 2018. The location was the chain's second in the Inland Empire. (John Valenzuela/ Fontana News Room/SCNG)
Raising Cane’s Clydia Kellison holds up a chicken finger combo at the new San Bernardino location in January 2018. The location was the chain’s second in the Inland Empire. (John Valenzuela/ Fontana News Room/SCNG)

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

Founded: 1996

Headquarters: Plano, Texas

Industry: fast food

Inland Empire employees: 1,805

Website: www.raisingcanes.com

Quote: “We take care of our people, and everything we do is rooted in appreciation for all their hard work and commitment,” Richard Erving, manager of the Raising Cane’s in Redlands.



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