Todd Graves, founder and CEO of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, will be investing $2 million and his time to help at least 20 independent restaurants owners overcome the struggles of the coronavirus pandemic.
In announcing a new documentary television series, “Restaurant Recovery,” Graves said he will be helping 20 different restaurants with a relief and recovery budget of $100,000 per unit. The series does not yet have a network.
“I don’t just want to help these restaurateurs come back,” Graves said in a statement, “I want them to come back stronger. So when the next pandemic, tornado, hurricane or any disaster strikes, they will be ready and equipped to weather the storm.”
Graves said he was aware of the challenges of keeping a small business going. “I want to help these great independent restaurants that have so much soul and really make a community special,” he said. “These restaurateurs care about their employees and community, and that means a lot to me, and should mean a lot to all of us.”
The series will be created with producers Kapil Mahendra and Paul Beahan through their Calabasas Films & Media, and Graves will and travel to cities to help restaurants that have closed or are on the verge of closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Working with Todd on this series, it feels like he’s helping family members, and that’s what will make the series such compelling television – the sincerity, spirit, and energy he brings,” said Mahendra.
Beahan added: “If this pandemic has taught us anything it’s how precious and fragile the things that bring us happiness — and bring us together — are, so we just think it’s a great idea to do what we can to help the rebuilding effort.”
The “Restaurant Recovery” team said filming will begin in August and continue for the rest of the year as states and cities ease coronavirus restaurant restrictions.
The initial schedule includes potential filming in Baton Rouge, La., the headquarters of Raising Cane’s, as well as Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and St Louis.
The series’ executive producers are Doug Weitzbuch (“World of Dance”) and Adam Saltzberg (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”).
Restaurant operators interested in participating in the series can fill out an application at the “Restaurant Recovery” website.
Raising Cane’s, founded in 1996, has more than 500 quick-service locations in 28 states as well as abroad.
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