With our newest production, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change opening this weekend, we were thrilled to be able to interview Mark Condello, Area Leader of Restaurants for Raising Cane’s, our production sponsor. Mark oversees all business operations for five restaurants in San Diego county and has been with Cane’s for 6 years, and we asked him to shed some light on some of the fabulous things that make Cane’s special… and why they decided to sponsor our show! Read on for more information:
Tell us about your brand: how did you get started?
While attending college, Todd submitted the original business plan for Raising Cane’s and received the worst grade in his class. His professor noted that a restaurant who only serves high quality chicken finger meals and nothing else would never work. Unfortunately, the banks said the same. However, Todd didn’t let that stop him. To earn money, Todd worked hard as a boilermaker in California, then as a sockeye salmon fisherman in Alaska to earn money to open his first location. It took all of his savings, some friends as investors and handling most of the building renovations himself – but, on August 28, 1996 (25 years ago!), Todd opened the first Raising Cane’s outside the north gates of LSU.
What does Raising Cane’s most stand out for…? That is, what do people love the MOST about your brand?
There is so much to love about Cane’s, but a few things stand out: our consistent commitment to quality chicken finger meals, active community involvement and cool culture. We truly love what we do, and the communities we are a part of – this is evident from the moment you walk into a Raising Cane’s.
Why did you initially get involved with sponsoring this production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change at Patio Playhouse?
Patio Playhouse is an incredible non-profit community service organization that promotes community and youth theater. Unfortunately, funding for community and youth arts programs are being cut nationwide. Cane’s believes the arts are an integral part of the community, and loves to support them whenever possible.
How does giving to Patio Playhouse fit into Raising Cane’s philanthropic goals? Why was giving to Patio important to you this summer?
At Cane’s, we care about our communities and we want to give back through our five areas of active community involvement: feeding the hungry, education, entrepreneurship, active lifestyles, pet welfare and everything else! It is a top priority to be active members of our community, not for recognition, but because it is the right thing to do.
In what ways do you think theatre/musicals are important today?
Theater is essential in many ways. First, it brings a sense of community and camaraderie in an increasingly digital world. It allows citizens from all walks of life to come together, participant or patron, and put on a show that generates lasting social dialogue and change. Lastly, theater promotes education, literacy, diversity and creativity.
How does live theatre tie in with the food and camaraderie that you offer at your restaurants?
Our crew are our “troupe” family! We consistently encourage our crew to explore their talents, passions and skills to grow both personally and professionally. Similarly, theater and the arts do the same thing. Our food is our “art” – we focus on serving the highest quality chicken finger meals, every time. No exceptions.
Do you have any new or upcoming projects that you’re excited about sharing with us?
Mobile ordering has been our biggest development lately. We realize our lines can be crazy, so now you don’t have to wait! You can download our app, place your order and pay right from your mobile device, then pick-up at our convenient mobile area in the restaurant.
Relationships… gotta love ’em! Any relationship advice you’d like to share with our audiences?
It is true what they say – “dogs really are a man’s best friend.” Cane’s is actually named after our founders dog, Cane I, who never left his side while opening the first Raising Cane’s in Baton Rouge Louisiana. There are so many amazing pet welfare and animal rescue groups in San Diego, we encourage you to check them out! We have close relationships with: SPOT: Savings Pets One at a Time, Dogs on Deployment, Rescue Dog Barkery, FACE Foundation, Shelter to Soldier and Labrador Rescuers of San Diego (most of which will be at our Escondido opening on September 15!)
Tell us about your new Escondido location – what can our audiences anticipate? When do you open, and what are you most excited about?This location has been a long time coming and we couldn’t be more excited! We open Wednesday, September 15th at 9am and have lots of fun activities throughout the day. We are hosting a drawing at 7:30am where 20 lucky customers will win FREE CANE’S FOR A YEAR, followed by a ribbon cutting with the Escondido Chamber and FREE limited-edition t-shirts for the first 100 customers. Chino from Channel 93.3 will be on-site from 9:00am – 11:00am with giveaways and animal welfare organizations will also join us at that time as well. Lastly, there will be freebies and giveaways throughout the day.
The cast and crew of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is thankful for this tremendous partnership with Raising Cane’s and encourages our audience and community to visit the new Cane’s restaurant, located at 1280 West Valley Parkway in Escondido, which opens September 15 and will be open from: Sunday – Wednesday, 9am – 2am and Thursday – Saturday, 9am-3:30am.
And don’t forget to see the production live and in person at Kit Carson Amphitheater running August 27 through September 11 (Thursdays through Sundays at 8pm).