The Lost Cajun Moves Headquarters to New Orleans
Cajun restaurant franchise eyes continued growth; Set to open first Louisiana location this summer.
May 22, 2018 // Franchising.com // COVINGTON, La. - The Lost Cajun may have been born in Colorado, but its ties in Louisiana tradition are as deep as a Cypress tree’s roots. The family-friendly franchise chain focused on authentic Cajun food and hospitality, and founded by Barataria native Raymond “Griff” Griffin, has moved its corporate headquarters to New Orleans and seeks to continue the rapid growth that has defined the brand over the last couple of years.
With 17 restaurants operating in four states, nearly half of which have opened in the last two years alone, Griff expects to have a total of 25 restaurants open by the end of 2018, including the concept’s first Louisiana location at the Fremaux Center in Slidell this summer. The growth will be achieved exclusively through franchising and will be anchored by a revamped executive team that brings decades of franchise and restaurant experience to the brand.
“I couldn’t be more excited about coming home to be near family and friends, and the culture in which I grew up. I’m thrilled about what the future holds,” says Griff. “As the word spreads around the country about our great food, everyone is asking the same question over and over, ‘What makes a Lost Cajun so special’?,” said Griff. “The answer is pretty simple - our one-of-a-kind culture built on courtesy and respect. At The Lost Cajun, all the workers – from the chef to the servers - have three phrases ingrained in their vocabulary: ‘please,’ ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome.’ Servers address patrons using ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am.’”
For 15 years, Griff and his wife, Belinda, owned and operated a fishing lodge in Barataria. Following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav, and the big oil spill, Griff and his wife, Belinda, wanted a break from the heat and malaise that hovered over their lives in the Big Easy. After that last disaster, he and Belinda moved to the mountains of Colorado and brought the rich flavors of Louisiana with them.
“We had always talked about opening a little gumbo shop, but I didn’t have any idea of how to operate a restaurant. I knew how to cook, and I knew how to give good service. Let’s keep it simple - cook some gumbo and fry some fish,” Griff says.
They opened the original Lost Cajun in October 2010 in Frisco, Colorado. The original menu had four items: seafood gumbo, fried catfish, chicken and sausage gumbo, and beignets.
Today, The Lost Cajun has expanded its menu to include all the traditional Cajun fare, including a variety of gumbos - seafood, chicken, chicken and sausage, and vegetarian. Red beans and rice, crawfish etouffeé and lobster bisque also top the menu, as does another Cajun staple, jambalaya. And what Cajun restaurant would be complete without beignets for dessert?
The Lost Cajun further distinguishes itself with a fantastic down-home atmosphere - a true hole-in-the-wall with wooden tables, unique decorations and an expertly crafted playlist of Zydeco music. The open kitchen concept harks back to the wooden counters in Louisiana’s gumbo houses; patrons can watch their food being cooked and hear the courtesy and respect commonly associated with Cajun culture.
While Griff admits he’s still learning the ropes, The Lost Cajun now has the foundation to fuel its promise. “When I opened the first store I didn’t know what food cost was. I didn’t know what labor cost was. I didn’t know anything about operating a restaurant. The only things I knew was how to produce good food and how to give great service. Those two things right there I truly believe with all my heart if you do those two things first, all the other things will fall in place.”
For more information on The Lost Cajun, visit www.thelostcajun.com.
About The Lost Cajun
Founded in 2010 and franchising since 2013, The Lost Cajun is a family-friendly restaurant concept with a focus on authentic Cajun food and hospitality. Today, there are 17 restaurants open and operating in four states, with several others in various stages of development. For more information, visit www.thelostcajun.com
SOURCE The Lost Cajun