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How I Built This with Guy Raz

Raising Cane's: Todd Graves

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By his early 20s, Todd Graves knew exactly what he wanted to do—open a restaurant near Louisiana State University that would make four things better than anyone else: chicken fingers, crinkle-cut fries, Texas toast, and coleslaw. After he and his partner Craig Silvey got rejected from every bank in Baton Rouge, Todd set out to fund his dream by working two treacherous jobs; first at an oil refinery and then on an Alaskan fishing boat. With roughly $150,000, he remodeled an old bike shop and opened his first restaurant in 1996. As word spread, Todd began building more restaurants, fueling the expansion on a rickety system of loans, and dreaming of making Cane’s as ubiquitous as McDonald's. Over the years, he has retained ownership of the business and watched it grow to over 600 stores, with 3 billion dollars in sales projected this year.

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