How To Avoid The Long Lines At Raising Cane's, According To Its Founder - Exclusive

It's lunchtime, and you find yourself facing a familiar dilemma. Do you satisfy those cravings for some tender Raising Cane's chicken fingers with crinkle-cut fries, slaw, and let's not forget the Texas toast — but deal with an epic drive-thru line that feels like it extends into the next county over? Or, do you grab something that isn't nearly as tasty, but can be acquired quickly?

According to Todd Graves, co-founder of Raising Cane's, you can give into your chicken finger whim without dealing with a long line — if you plan your fast food run with a little foresight. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Graves revealed that the 25-year-old purveyor of poultry has "off peak" hours. "I would go at 2:00 and just avoid the rush," Graves advised, conceding that during lunchtime, indeed, "people stack up." Can't wait that late for grub? Make it a brunch, Graves suggested. "I like it when people come 11:00, early for lunch." But generally speaking, he said, "1:30 after and during that day" is ideal if you want to speed through the drive-thru lane. The best times to grab dinner might surprise you, Graves added. "Dinner is shifting later ... after 7:00. I love it when people start coming through from 5:00 to 6:30, right? They don't have to wait so long and they can roll through. But like I said, dinner is shifting late, so generally stays busy til around 10:00."

Here's why you shouldn't be put off by those long drive-thru lanes, according to Graves

Eating those juicy chicken fingers at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. sounds perfectly doable if your job doesn't have a scheduled lunch hour, but let's get real: How many of us have that kind of flexibility? Most American workers take their meal breaks between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. (per RedBus). Does this mean you'll have to enjoy Raising Cane's on your day off? Not necessarily. According to Graves, those wrapped-around-the-block lines look much worse than they actually are. "We're quick. I think we're the quickest in the industry," he said.

Although Raising Cane's prides itself on its talented team of servers, it's not just their nimble fingers that account for this speed. "It'll be helped by that focused menu," Graves said. "We have such a focused menu, you pretty much get what you get." Unlike other fast food favorites like Chipotle or Blaze, where customization is the name of the game, your options at Raising Cane's are essentially chicken fingers, sauce, Texas toast, fries, and slaw — all available as one delicious meal. Skipping the slaw is really as "creative" as people tend to get with ordering, Graves said, adding that he himself does not usually eat it unless he's tasting it for quality. "I like having it on the menu because most people trade it out for extra toast or extra fries or extra sauce," he explained. "That's the fun component of it. Most order as 'no slaw, extra toast.'"

To find a Raising Cane's location near you, visit their website.