- Hollis Johnson
- Someone claiming to be Raising Cane’s CEO Todd Graves had a disastrous Reddit AMA on Wednesday.
- Reddit users turned on Graves after the person behind the account declined to comment on what they called “touchy issues,” such as LGBT rights, President Donald Trump, and abortion.
- Raising Cane’s told Business Insider that the person participating in the AMA was not, in fact, Graves.
- AMA moderators removed the post, saying that the user had “not provided adequate proof” of their identity.
- Editor’s note: After this story was initially published, a Raising Cane’s representative told Business Insider that the person responding to this AMA was not actually CEO Todd Graves.
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Raising Cane’s CEO Todd Graves appeared to have a disastrous Reddit AMA – an “ask me anything” session – after he declined to answer many of people’s biggest questions. But, it was apparently not Graves on the account at all.
On Wednesday, a Raising Cane’s Reddit account claiming to be Graves posted: “My name is Todd Graves, I am the CEO and founder of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers! AMA.”
However, on Thursday, a Raising Cane’s representative told Business Insider that the account was not actually Graves, and that an unknown person had used the chain’s Reddit account to impersonate the chain’s CEO.
“Someone claiming to be Raising Cane’s founder Todd Graves created a fake post on Reddit, inviting users to ask him anything,” Camille Penniman, Raising Cane’s senior vice president of legal, fry cook and cashier, said in a statement to Business Insider.
“Our founder had absolutely no involvement with the post, and it is in no way representative of who we are at Cane’s,” Penniman continued. “We are working to have the fraudulent post removed by Reddit and are taking steps to ensure their moderators prevent this from happening in the future.”
Graves founded Raising Cane’s, a chicken-finger chain that is quickly expanding, in 1996. On Reddit, Graves’ apparent impersonator quickly alienated many Reddit users by avoiding certain topics.
“I prefer not to comment on touchy issues such as this,” the apparently fake Graves said in response to a question about his thoughts on LGBT rights. “All I will say, is that how people choose to live their life really isn’t my business. I only care about if they’re heard of my One Love; which is Raising Canes Chicken Fingers. All are welcome at my restaurants at every location.”
The person behind the account also declined to comment on their views on abortion and whether they would vote for President Donald Trump in the upcoming election, saying that “how other people choose to vote really isn’t my business.” (Graves donated $35,500 to the Democratic National Committee in October, according to FEC documents.)
The faux Graves also dodged a question about knock-off Raising Cane’s sauce.
“Both the Toast and the Cane’s Sauce are made using a secret recipe,” Graves’ impersonator wrote. “The only people that know it are me, Craig, and the regional managers of Raising Cane’s restaurants.”
As the AMA continued, backlash built against Graves. By Thursday morning, AMA moderators had locked the post, and the original AMA post had been deleted. A comment from AMA moderators said that the post had been removed because the user had “not provided adequate proof within a reasonable amount of time.”
Editor’s note: After this story was initially published, a Raising Cane’s representative told Business Insider that the person responding to this AMA was not actually CEO Todd Graves.