Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is making plans to expand its successful managing partner program that was introduced last year, the chain’s founder and co-CEO Todd Graves said.
The new program would target multi-unit leaders under a Market Partner Program, slated to be introduced early next year, Graves said.
“It will look like the restaurant program, but on a market-wide basis,” he said. “We’re trying to figure out that team and what it looks like. We just want to get it right. We’re taking the rest of this year to work on it.”
The fast-growing Baton Rouge, La.-based chicken finger chain launched its Restaurant Partner Program in early March 2020 to boost retention of top managers.
The program allows them to earn more than $100,000 a year in salary and benefits while earning performance-based incentives. The program also comes with benefits, such as a financial adviser and healthcare concierge service.
Since the launch, Raising Cane’s has added 60 new Restaurant Partners to its program and the brand has seen a 30% increase in its 2021 partner candidate class size, the company said.
Retention of those in the program is more than 97%, Raising Cane’s said.
Graves said he has never seen a more competitive hiring environment in 25 years, and that programs such as this one have been a boost to the chain’s recruitment and retention efforts.
“It’s having great results,” he said.
Under the Restaurant Partner Program, the chain projected participants could have a net worth of more than $1 million.
“We believe our partners can have a great career, and also have a great lifestyle, a balanced lifestyle, while working hard and having fun and have a great net worth for their families,” AJ Kumaran, Raising Cane’s co-CEO, said when the program launched.
The 560-unit fast-casual chain has seen system sales more than triple in recent years, to $1.5 billion, with average unit volumes topping out at more than $3.5 million.
Raising Cane’s debuted an early version of the managing partner program in 2009, and company executives have said it has been central to the chain’s growth.