Todd Graves Net Worth

Written by Ivana - Reviewed by Emilija Business Leaders

6 min read
Net Worth $ 160,000,000
Real name Todd Graves
Source of Wealth Fast food restaurant chain
Profession Entrepreneur and owner of the Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers fast food restaurant chain
Spouse/Partner Married to Gwen Graves
Date of Birth Feb 20, 1972
Zodiac Pisces
Age 50
Gender Male
Height 175 cm / 5 ft 8 inch
Nationality American

Biography

Todd Graves is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and co-founder and CEO of the fast food restaurant chain dedicated to chicken finger meals - Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers.

Todd managed to build a thriving fast-food business from a college dream to a more than 700-location international restaurant chain expanding across the U.S. and the Middle East.

Thanks to his ultra-successful Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers, Todd’s net worth is estimated at around $160 million.

Todd Graves’ example is the genuine story of how hard work, dedication, and drive can turn an idea into a successful business.

Todd Graves’ early life and the birth of Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers

Todd was born in New Orleans, but he was raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which would, later on, be the birthplace of Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers.[1]

He attended Episcopal High School in Baton Rouge. He continued his education at Louisiana State University, where the idea of the fried chicken finger restaurant was first born.

Graves and his friend Craig Silvey had a class assignment to create a business plan. They devised a business plan for a chicken finger-exclusive fast-food restaurant. However, their professor told them their business idea wouldn’t work and gave them the lowest grade.

Nevertheless, Todd believed in his vision for a restaurant serving America's most beloved chicken finger meals and was determined to make it a reality.

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The chicken fingers restaurant becomes a reality

Todd tried applying for bank loans and pitching to investors. Unfortunately, he was rejected and couldn’t secure the finances to open the fast-food restaurant.

He worked grueling jobs that paid well to save up for his business. First, he worked as a boilermaker at an oil refinery, grinding 90 hours a week. Later, he went to Alaska and joined a commercial fishing boat, catching sockeye salmon 20 hours a day.[2]

After earning enough to start his restaurant business, Todd returned to Baton Rouge.

Managing to take out an SBA loan, he bought an old building, which used to be a bread bakery, at the North Gate of his alma mater Louisiana State University and began renovating it.

On August 28th, 1996, Todd opened his first Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers restaurant. Location 0, also known as the Mothership, was so successful that the fast food business expanded across the United States and the Middle East in Kuwait and Bahrain.[3]

Today there are more than 700 Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers restaurants in 33 states, employing more than 50,000 staff members and boasting one of the highest average unit volumes in the industry.

Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers is the U.S. Fastest Growing Chicken Chain and was awarded Restaurateur of the Year by the Louisiana Restaurant Association.

Learn about the career and net worth of Clara Wu Tsai.

How Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers got its name

Todd named the restaurant after his Labrador Retriever, Raising Cane.[4]

Originally, Todd meant to name the restaurant “Sockeye’s” as a tribute to his time in Alaska. But a friend of his suggested he name the restaurant after his Labrador, who kept them company at the construction site at the first restaurant site.

After the original namesake Raising Cane, Todd continued the tradition of naming his Labradors Cane I, Cane II, and Cane III, who continue the legacy of their predecessor.

Pictures of the first Raising Cane are displayed at most restaurants.

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Awards and recognitions

Besides the business recognition Raising Cane garnered, Todd received multiple awards for his entrepreneurship and hard work.

He has been awarded the SCORE Award for Outstanding Socially Progressive Business, named Louisianians of the Year by Louisiana Life, and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and reached #28 in the Top 100 CEOs in the U.S. by Glassdoor.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CeRW1T3LaQt/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Philanthropy and TV appearances

Apart from being involved in the daily running of his fast-growing restaurant chain, Graves is an avid philanthropist and wants to give back to the community.

Over the years, he has donated over $100 million to charitable and community-focused organizations.

After the COVID pandemic hit, Todd launched the docuseries “Restaurant Recovery.” The show follows Todd as he goes across the country, helping independent restaurants that were on the verge of closing down to survive and thrive.

The series is available on Discovery+ and features appearances of celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal and Snoop Dogg.[5]

Besides creating his own series, Todd and his wife Gwen appeared on an episode of “Secret Millionaire” in 2008. They donated $400,000 and created the Cane’s Plaquemine Parish Relief Fund to help the South Plaquemines Parish victims in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.

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Todd also appeared on episodes of “Food Court Wars,” “Treehouse Masters,” and “Fast N' Loud.”

In 2021, Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers donated $25 million to local charities across the U.S. at their 25th anniversary.[6]

In 2022, Raising Cane's partnered with 100 Black Men of America Inc. and donated $100,000 to help their mentorship program.[7]

As one of their latest projects, Todd and Raising Cane’s joined forces with Reginald F. Lewis Scholars in support of the "Carrying on a Dream" exhibition honoring Martin Luther King Day & Black History Month.

https://twitter.com/ToddGraves/status/1615097757781610497

Conclusion

Todd Graves is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and co-founder and CEO of Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers - a restaurant chain serving signature chicken finger meals.

Todd has received numerous awards for his hard work and dedication to building the fastest-growing restaurant chain in the U.S.

Apart from developing his restaurant brand, Todd is constantly involved in charity activities, helping charity organizations for various causes.

Todd Graves’ net worth is estimated at $160 million.

References

  1. Todd Graves (entrepreneur) (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Graves_(entrepreneur) (Accessed: January 20, 2023). 

  2. Who We Are | Raising Cane's (no date). Available at: https://www.raisingcanes.com/who-we-are (Accessed: January 20, 2023). 

  3. How I Built This: Todd Graves Shares What’s Behind the Tasty Goodness of Raising Cane’s (no date) Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. Available at: https://www.raisingcanes.com/news/how-i-built-this-todd-graves-shares-whats-behind/ (Accessed: January 20, 2023).

  4. Why the Dog (no date) Raising Cane's. Available at: https://raisingcanes.com/why-the-dog (Accessed: January 20, 2023). 

  5. Kelso, A. (2021) Why Raising Cane’s Founder Todd Graves Is Trying To Save Independent Restaurants, Forbes. Forbes Magazine. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/aliciakelso/2021/04/15/why-raising-canes-founder-todd-graves-is-trying-to-save-independent-restaurants/?sh=2c527b5241db (Accessed: January 20, 2023). 

  6. Mosbrucker, K.(2021) Raising Cane's hits 25 year milestone with $25 million in donations; plans to open 100 new 'high profile' spots, The Advocate. Available at: https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/business/raising-canes-hits-25-year-milestone-with-25-million-in-donations-plans-to-open-100/article_93562aba-05c0-11ec-8343-675e70db65fc.html (Accessed: January 20, 2023). 

  7. Special.to (2022) Raising Cane’s Expands Partnership with 100 Black Men of America with $100,000 in Support of Mentorship Programs, L'Observateur. Available at: https://www.lobservateur.com/2022/06/16/raising-canes-expands-partnership-with-100-black-men-of-america-with-100000-in-support-of-mentorship-programs/ (Accessed: January 20, 2023).