The Lost Cajun, which had 24 units in 2018 and is slated to open 10 more units this year and more than a dozen in 2020, tries to stand out in the crowded casual-dining segment in a variety of ways. Unlike many well-known brands in the space, it focuses on Creole cuisine. Upon being seated, each diner is greeted with a wooden paddle stocked with six 2-ounce portions of the chain's most popular dishes. The samples frequently increase average check, founder Raymond Griffin says, as diners often add an extra portion of gumbo or bisque to their order. The family-friendly concept also allows kids to write on the walls and even the concrete floors with chalk while their parents sip "porch wine." And instead of full buildouts, units, which typically run 2,500 to 3,000 square feet, are often built into existing restaurant spaces. "We like doing these conversions," Griffin says. "There's a lot of restaurants that have tried in the last four or five years and have failed. ... A lot of the strip centers don't want another pizza or Mexican place."

LocationFrisco, Colo.
2018 Systemwide Sales ($000,000)$46*
YOY Sales Change58.0%
2018 U.S. Units24
YOY Unit Change50.0%
2018 Average Unit Volume ($000)$2,320*
Future 50 Year2019
FranchisingYes
*Technomic estimate

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