Raising Cane’s founder Todd Graves is one of the richest men in the restaurant industry—and the world, for that matter—according to a new report from Bloomberg.
Graves owns 90 percent of the chicken chain. Combined with his dividends, he’s worth $7.6 billion. That makes him the wealthiest person in Louisiana and the 307th wealthiest person on Earth. Bloomberg’s list has Graves ranked higher than Chick-fil-A chairman Dan Cathy and his brother Bubba Cathy ($7.38 billion each), Walmart heiress Ann Kroenke ($7.38 billion), Dallas Mavericks owner and serial investor Mark Cuban ($6.37 billion), Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings ($5.49 billion), and Starbucks founder Howard Schultz ($5.2 billion).
Bloomberg found that Raising Cane’s earned $3.3 billion in sales for its fiscal year ending in June. Total revenue rose from $1.5 billion in 2020 to $3.1 billion in 2022. The fast casual is expected to reach $10 billion in annual sales by the end of the decade. Raising Cane’s ranked 23 on this year’s QSR 50, a report of the top 50 quick-service chains in terms of U.S. systemwide sales. The brand, which largely grows with its own stores as opposed to franchising, had an AUV of $5.4 million in 2022, second only to Chick-fil-A among the top 50 concepts.
Raising Cane’s plans to open 100-plus restaurants in 2024, all of them in the U.S. Internationally, Raising Cane’s has about 40 units in the Middle East, and it’s looking for more in Europe and Asia. Globally, the chain has more than 750 locations.
“It’s an expression of myself and my family,” Graves told QSR in October. “I want our crew to be happy and make sure we’re doing a good job for the customers. I get all our mystery shopper reports and all that. I feel bad when someone has a bad meal, so it’s real personal. This is not some venture capitalist group that owns it and they’re just looking at the bottom line. I’m more about taking care of our crew and our customers for everything.”
The first Raising Cane’s opened in 1996 near the campus of LSU. Graves initially submitted the idea as an assignment in college but received the lowest grade in the class. To raise money for his first restaurant, he traveled to California to work as a boilermaker and to Alaska to work in salmon fishing. He reconstructed an old building in Louisiana himself and named the restaurant after his yellow lab, Cane.