OUT TO LUNCH finds Baton Rouge Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel combining her hard news journalist skills and food background: conducting business over lunch. Baton Rouge has long had a storied history of politics being conducted over meals, now the Capital Region has an equivalent culinary home for business: Mansur’s. Each week Stephanie holds court over lunch at Mansur’s and invites members of the Baton Rouge business community to join her. You can also hear the show on WRKF 89.3FM.
It is not unusual for entrepreneurs to tell you that the single biggest attribute you need to succeed in business is "passion." Even if you've heard that a thousand times you won't fully appreciate what it means till you hear the business tales of Todd Graves and Brandon Landry.
These two homegrown Baton Rouge entrepreneurs have defied the odds and the expressed wisdom of their elders to follow their dreams and act on what they knew was a good idea. Both of their companies are now powerhouse restaurant chains based right here in Baton Rouge: Raising Cane’s and Walk-Ons Bistreaux and Bar.
Todd Graves founded Raising Cane’s 20 years ago on the corner of Highland road and State Street, just outside the north gates of LSU. In the years since, his chain of fried chicken fingers restaurants has grown to almost 300 locations in 20 states and the country of Kuwait. Cane’s is also one of the 10 largest private companies in Baton Rouge, with revenues last year of $580 million and the company shows no signs of slowing down. Todd’s story is legendary in Baton Rouge but it's just the tip of the iceberg. On this edition of Out to Lunch you get to meet Todd in his own words and have him show you around his world.
Brandon Landry could be Todd's entrepreneur double, if there was such a thing. Brandon's string of successful sports bars sprung from the same sort of poorly received business plan as Todd's and from being a walk-on on the LSU Men’s Basketball team. Walk-On’s has seen phenomenal success, spreading beyond Baton Rouge and being crowned by ESPN as the Best Sports Bar in America. In 2015, Drew Brees became a partner-owner and an ambassador for Walk On’s.
Even if you don't eat chicken and don't care for sports, you'll walk away from this conversation inspired.