Crunching the Numbers: What it Really Costs to Franchise a Raising Cane’s

Advertising Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links from our partners, which means that we may receive a small commission if you sign up via these links. If you like what we’re doing, consider supporting us by clicking. We do our best to keep offers up-to-date. More info can be found here.

Share the wealth!

Opening a franchise of a well-known and successful restaurant chain like Raising Cane’s can be a great opportunity for those looking to enter the food industry. However, it’s important to understand the costs associated with franchising a Raising Cane’s location before making the decision to invest. The initial investment can be substantial, and there are ongoing costs to consider as well. In this article, we will take a closer look at the costs associated with franchising a Raising Cane’s location, including the initial franchise fee, the total investment required, ongoing royalties and fees, and other expenses to keep in mind. We’ll also discuss financing options and other important factors to consider before opening a Raising Cane’s franchise.

History of Raising Cane’s

Raising Cane’s, the beloved fast-food chain renowned for its mouthwatering chicken finger meals, was founded by Todd Graves and Craig Silvey in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, back in 1996.

United by a shared dream, the duo envisioned a restaurant exclusively dedicated to these delectable chicken fingers. Overcoming initial financial struggles, they inaugurated the first Raising Cane’s near the Louisiana State University (LSU) campus on August 26, 1996.

Their unique concept, focusing on a straightforward yet delightful menu featuring chicken fingers, crinkle-cut fries, Texas toast, coleslaw, and the cherished Cane’s sauce, quickly captured the hearts and taste buds of patrons. The chain’s commitment to fresh ingredients and consistent quality set it apart. Raising Cane’s rapid popularity spurred expansion, reaching beyond Louisiana and gaining traction across the United States, particularly in regions with college campuses.

This success was fueled by a strong emphasis on maintaining simplicity, high-quality fare, and a warm and welcoming ambiance. Known not only for its delicious food but also for its active philanthropic endeavors, Raising Cane’s became a symbol of community engagement, supporting education, pet welfare, and disaster relief initiatives.

The Initial Investment: Franchise Fee, Net Worth Minimum, and Total Costs

Opening a Raising Cane’s franchise can be a great opportunity for those looking to join the food industry, but before you jump in, you need to understand the costs associated with franchising a Raising Cane’s location. First, let’s talk about the minimum net worth you need to meet. To open a Raising Cane’s franchise, you need to have a net worth of at least $768,000. This can be in the form of cash, equities, bonds, real estate, etc.

And then there’s the initial investment. The franchise fee for Raising Cane’s is $50,000, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The total investment required to open a Raising Cane’s location can range from $914,500 to $1,824,500, and that includes costs associated with the purchase or lease of land, construction costs, equipment and furniture, inventory, working capital, and professional fees. It’s important to note that these costs can vary depending on the specific location and the requirements of the franchisor.

Ongoing Costs: Royalties and Fees

Once you’ve opened your doors, there are still ongoing costs to consider. Raising Cane’s charges ongoing royalties of 4% of gross sales and an advertising fee of 1% of gross sales. These costs will be ongoing and need to be factored into your budget. And let’s not forget about other expenses that may be associated with opening and operating a Raising Cane’s franchise, such as rent or mortgage payments for the store location, utilities, employee salaries and benefits, insurance, and other business-related expenses.

Steps to Open a Raising Cane’s Franchise

A general overview of the steps involved in opening a Raising Cane’s franchise includes:

Research the franchise opportunity: Learn about the franchise and the requirements for becoming a franchisee. Review the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and speak with current franchisees to gain a better understanding of the business model, costs, and potential return on investment.

Meet the qualifications: Meet the qualifications set by Raising Cane’s such as the net worth requirement and any other qualifications that are set by the franchisor.

Submit a franchise application: Submit a franchise application to Raising Cane’s, which includes detailed information about your financial situation, business experience, and plans for the franchise.

Attend training and orientation: Attend training and orientation provided by Raising Cane’s to learn the company’s systems, procedures, and best practices.

Site selection and lease negotiation: Work with Raising Cane’s to select a location for the franchise and negotiate a lease for the property.

Obtain licenses and permits: Obtain all necessary licenses and permits to operate a business in your location.

Build-out and equipment: Work with Raising Cane’s approved contractors to build out the location, purchase equipment and inventory.

Pre-opening support: Receive pre-opening support from Raising Cane’s in areas such as marketing, training, and operations.

Grand opening: Host a grand opening and begin operations.

Ongoing support: Receive ongoing support from Raising Cane’s in areas such as marketing, training, and operations.

Financing Options for Franchisees

For those that need financing, there are several third-party lenders that can provide financing to qualified franchisees. Some of these lenders include:

Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans: The SBA partners with banks and other lending institutions to provide loans to small businesses, including franchises.

Franchise Business Loans: Some lenders specialize in providing loans to franchisees. They are familiar with the franchise industry and have experience with the specific requirements of franchisors.

Traditional Bank Loans: Some traditional banks also offer loans to franchisees, although they may have stricter requirements than other types of lenders.

Equipment Financing: Some lenders will provide financing for specific items such as equipment, inventory or other business-related expenses.

Alternative Lenders: There are a number of alternative lenders such as online lenders, merchant cash advance providers, and crowdfunding platforms that may be willing to provide financing to franchisees.

The Importance of a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)

It’s also important to review the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) before investing in a Raising Cane’s franchise, the FDD provides detailed information on the investment, fees, restrictions, and obligations for both the franchisee and franchisor, including the net worth requirement and other qualifications.

And don’t forget to consult with a financial advisor to ensure that you meet the net worth requirement and to understand the financial requirements of the franchisor.

The Potential ROI of a Raising Cane’s Franchise

The potential return on investment (ROI) for a Raising Cane’s franchise can be substantial, but the ROI will depend on various factors such as location, competition, management, and overall market conditions. It’s important to do your own research and consult with a financial advisor before making a decision.

A case study of a real Raising Cane’s franchisee can provide more insight into the financial aspect of running a Raising Cane’s franchise and the franchisor’s support.

Example Numbers from a Theoretical Raising Cane’s Franchisee: A Case Study

The numbers provided below are theoretical and meant to give an idea of what the revenue and expenses may look like for a franchisee opening a Raising Cane’s location in Orange County, California.


  • Annual sales: $1,200,000
  • Gross profit: 70% ($840,000)


  • Rent: $150,000
  • Salaries and wages: $300,000
  • Food and supplies: $250,000
  • Utilities: $40,000
  • Insurance: $20,000
  • Advertising: $60,000
  • Royalties: 4% of gross sales ($33,600)
  • Other expenses: $50,000

Net profit: $236,400

I need to emphasize that these numbers are theoretical and should not be taken as a guarantee of financial performance for a Raising Cane’s franchise location. It’s important to conduct thorough research, consult with a financial advisor, and speak with current franchisees to get a better understanding of the costs and potential return on investment for a Raising Cane’s franchise.

Share the wealth!