BY STEVEN GORDON, LEMONADE DAY NATIONAL PRESIDENT
Happy smiles and generous spirits beamed brightly at a special check presentation event hosted by Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers team members in Houston yesterday. Our Lemonade Day national youth entrepreneurship program is the extremely grateful designated beneficiary of a donation of $103, 880 -- which resulted from the sale of 103,880 units of lemonade sold on March 20 at Raising Cane’s restaurants all over North America. Special thanks go out to Rebecca Latacz, Vice President – Restaurant Marketing, and Tommy Van Wolfe, Vice President – Company Restaurants, with tremendous support from Megan Hernandez, Senior Brand Manager, Fry Cook & Cashier, for the major role they played in producing this special celebration!
The Louisiana-based restaurant company known for its ONE LOVE® – quality chicken finger meals – launched its second annual national partnership with Lemonade Day earlier this year. Raising Cane’s locations prominently displayed a Lemonade Day stand, window clings, counter POP and promotional messages for months, and the company devoted significant “real estate” on its Web site and social media platforms to share Lemonade Day news and information. Then, on March 20, Raising Cane’s restaurants nationwide hosted a fundraiser and donated $1 to Lemonade Day for every lemonade purchased from open to close.
The “Best Tasting Contest” winners from Lemonade Day Houston also attended yesterday’s event, sharing samples of their tasty, award-winning homemade recipes. Representatives from the three winning teams and and their adult chaperones set up their lemonade stands within the Raising Cane’s restaurant at 1902 Westheimer Road, and approximately 50 yellow-clad Raising Cane’s and Lemonade Day supporters literally lined up for their turn to taste many versions of lemonade. One recipe included watermelon. Another, the Unicorn Lemonade, was a stand out for its packaging creativity. I can see why these kids emerged as the winners!
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has more than 440 restaurants in 27 states, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with multiple new restaurants under construction. The company has ONE LOVE®—quality chicken finger meals—and is continually recognized for its unique business model and customer satisfaction. Raising Cane’s vision is to have restaurants all over the world and be the brand for quality chicken finger meals, a great crew, cool culture and active community involvement.
“We are proud to be a National Partner of Lemonade Day and to have the opportunity to make this donation,” Raising Cane’s Founder and CEO Todd Graves said. “It’s thanks to the generosity of Caniacs nationwide that we are able to provide such meaningful support to this worthy cause. I began my entrepreneurial journey as a child when I ran a lemonade stand in my front yard, which is why I’m so passionate about Lemonade Day. The program introduces thousands of kids to business each year, and it’s exciting to think about how many of them will become the entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders of our future.”
Founded by Todd Graves in 1996 in Baton Rouge and named for his yellow Labrador, Raising Cane, this rapidly growing company has consistently been ranked among the top restaurants for Overall Customer Satisfaction based on food quality, customer service, cleanliness, and other important factors. Raising Cane’s has been named a Top 10 brand for “craveability” and was recently recognized as having the most loyal Guests – known as “Caniacs” – in the fast-casual segment in Technomic’s 2018 Consumers’ Choice Awards.
Because Todd hosted a lemonade stand as a child, he is clearly a believer in the power of a lemonade stand to teach kids business skills that serve them for life. He helped to bring Lemonade Day to the state of Louisiana in 2011 and Raising Cane’s has been actively involved in supporting and promoting the organization ever since. Last year, Raising Cane’s restaurants across the country raised more than $75,000 for Lemonade Day. This year, most of Raising Cane’s U.S. locations – more than 400 restaurants in 25 states – stirred up sweet success by participating in this nationwide fundraiser.
I am honored and grateful to Todd, his team members and Raising Cane’s fans across the nation for their unwavering commitment to ONE LOVE chicken fingers and our youth entrepreneurship program. Amazing partners like Raising Cane’s are instrumental in enabling Lemonade Day to impact millions of children and adult mentors in the U.S., Canada and other countries. We offer a proven process, through printed and digital tools, that helps young kids to create a business plan, formulate a recipe, select a location, build their stand, serve customers, and earn real money for themselves and a cause that matters to them.
Registration in our Lemonade Day program is always free, thanks to Raising Cane’s and other sponsors. We are now operating in more than 80 markets in 33 states and four countries. In addition to taking part in the fundraiser, Raising Cane’s customers had the opportunity to register children to participate in Lemonade Day and give them a taste of the sweet success that comes with owning their own.
Please support Raising Cane’s any chance you can. I encourage you to learn more about this great company at raisingcanes.com. And please get involved in Lemonade Day in some way.
I welcome your comments, questions and suggestions. Please email me any time at Steven@LemonadeDay.org.