Todd Graves Urges Companies to Keep True To Themselves


William Shakespeare coined the phrase “To thine personal self be true.” Todd Graves has utilized that philosophy to his enterprise life, efficiently constructing Elevating Cane’s Rooster Fingers into the fastest-growing restaurant chain within the nation. He recommends others do the identical.

“Our No. 1 technique for development is staying true to who we’re,” mentioned Graves, who proudly shows “Founder & CEO, Fry Prepare dinner & Cashier” on his enterprise card. “Meaning staying true to our one love, and that is high quality hen finger meals, by no means dropping that focus.

“That is our idea, which is doing one factor and doing it higher than anyone else,” he mentioned.

Graves shared his ideas on rising a enterprise and making a successful organizational tradition within the September episode of the twenty first Century Enterprise Discussion board, which options month-to-month one-on-one interviews with among the nation’s most outstanding enterprise minds and thought leaders.

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Graves maintains it will be significant for leaders to retain a singular focus if they are going to succeed.

“I’d encourage anyone in enterprise or every other group to search out your one love,” he advised the podcast’s host, creator Jon Gordon.

“My one love is hen fingers, and I try to be the perfect at that,” Graves mentioned. As for others, he urges them to lock in on what they do exceptionally nicely “after which execute it each day, day in, day trip.

“That is the way you win,” he mentioned, including, “Not making an attempt to be all issues to all individuals is so vital as a result of in the event you attempt to be all issues to all individuals, you are not something to anyone.”

Elevating Cane’s has been in enterprise 25 years and has tripled in measurement within the final 5 years, with 575 eating places at current and a watch on $3 billion in annual gross sales. Business consultants have advised Graves alongside the way in which that he could not take his restricted menu to different markets past his Louisiana roots and make it, however he mentioned “sticking to (our) weapons is actually what has made us profitable.

Crew Appreciation

“As an alternative of spending time engaged on various things like menu objects or various things to principally cannibalize our personal enterprise, we truly can consider the issues that matter — our crew, our prospects, our group,” Graves mentioned.

And it’s his crew — or, as he calls it, his “crew” — that Graves mentioned “is my No. 1 focus.”

That focus is predicated on the assumption that to ensure that nice customer support to happen, the corporate’s management “ought to serve our crew members who’re serving these prospects.” And a key to serving Elevating Cane’s crew members, Graves mentioned, is “to allow them to know they’re appreciated — one thing all organizations can and will do.

“Talk that (appreciation) with them, always,” Graves mentioned, noting that “this can be a nice day and age with social media and crew apps, worker apps” to do exactly that.

“Secondarily, present them (appreciation) by doing stuff for them,” he mentioned. He mentioned he created a division referred to as “Cane’s Love” that’s “staffed with a complete bunch of individuals, and the entire function of it’s crew member respect, recognition and rewards.”

Graves lately rolled out a Restaurant Associate Program aimed toward making restaurant operators millionaires in 10-15 years in addition to a set of academic advantages to hourly and managerial crewmembers with no ready intervals that offers them entry to tuition reductions at establishments like Southern Methodist College, Tulane, Howard College, LSU and extra as a part of the corporate’s “No Crew Left Behind” mantra.

“Crew member appreciation is our secret to customer support,” Graves mentioned.

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