Everybody in the world loves fried chicken, right?
After nearly 20 years and 250 locations, Raising Cane’s has finally made the leap overseas with the first international store. London? Tokyo? Paris? Nope, it’s in Kuwait City, the capital of Kuwait.
Thanks to Todd Graves’ partnership with M. H. Alshaya Co.—the company that brought brands like H&M, Williams-Sonoma and Starbucks to the global scale—the first international Cane’s location opened in September and has already started building a loyal following in Kuwait City.
Of course, plenty of research and adjustments went into adapting our hometown brand to the Middle East. Graves got personally involved in research and planning for the new location and sent 15 restaurant leads and trainers to Kuwait to prepare the store and its team to carry on the Cane’s name.
Most importantly, Graves and his team focused on making the classic Cane’s menu halal-friendly—meaning that every part of the food’s ingredients, preparation, storage and service must be in accordance with Islamic law. The attention to detail has paid off, going by the warm reception from Kuwait’s heavily Muslim population.
“We spent a lot of time sourcing products and ensuring that everything we serve is halal compliant,” Graves says. “I personally traveled to the Middle East several times and inspected chicken providers and all products to make sure they met our standards.”
Kuwait City’s position as one of the most international cities in the Middle East means that the Cane’s team behind the counter looks and sounds a little different than ours do, too. The Kuwait location employs 48 crew members hailing from 12 different countries, and they’ll accept nine currencies at the register.
Maybe the most noticeable difference in the Kuwait store is the absence of the chicken joint’s namesake and mascot, Raising Cane the yellow labrador. Because of high rates of rabies and stigma surrounding pet dogs in the Muslim faith, dogs aren’t quite as universally popular in Kuwait as they are in the States. Raising Cane doesn’t appear in any signage or merchandise for the Kuwait store.
No matter the mascot, food prep strategies or cash at the counter, Graves says that every Cane’s location that springs up internationally—including this one—will stay true to the flavors and personality of Baton Rouge’s favorite fast food restaurant.