Merely three months after signing its first set of North Carolina franchise agreements in Raleigh, The Lost Cajun, a family-friendly restaurant with a focus on authentic Cajun food served with Southern hospitality, is set to expand its local footprint even further. The Louisiana-based franchisor has signed an agreement for the development of six additional restaurants in Western North Carolina over the next four years.
The new restaurants will be owned and operated by Steve Galloway, a veteran restaurant franchisee who discovered the brand a few years ago while visiting family in Greenville, South Carolina. While Galloway has yet to sign any leases, his restaurants will be scattered throughout Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Asheville.
Galloway is actively working with Steven Turner of Turner Commercial Properties to secure his first location in Charlotte with plans to open there this fall.
“When I got to Greenville my brother suggested that we eat at a recently opened restaurant called The Lost Cajun,” Galloway says. “Is it any good?” he asked. “Been open 6 days and we’ve eaten there 6 times,” came the reply. “Let’s make it 7,” Steve said – and so they did.
“The authentic taste and smell of the food is what stood out to me, but the outstanding customer service interactions amongst guests and employees was the kicker. It’s exactly the kind of Southern hospitality I was raised around and I knew I had to bring this amazing concept to my local community.”
Somewhat of a lost Cajun himself, Galloway grew up in New Orleans, worked in local restaurants and began his professional restaurant career in Lafayette, Louisiana while in college. He knows authentic Cajun and New Orleans foods and appreciates Southern hospitality.
With more than 25 years’ experience developing and operating restaurants, Galloway has lead multi-unit businesses from start-ups and turn-arounds to large, multi-concept enterprises generating more than $100 million of revenue in the United States and abroad. These franchises included international brands such as Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway and Dunkin Donuts, as well as a wide range of notable casual dining concepts. Currently, Galloway owns and operates five Dunkin’ Donuts in North Carolina.
“I wanted to expand my portfolio with a unique and growing casual dining concept,” Galloway says. “The Lost Cajun has proven to be just that and is now seeing rapid growth throughout the country. I am thrilled to bring The Lost Cajun’s culture into Western North Carolina.”
The Lost Cajun’s menu offers diners a sampling of traditional Cajun fare, including a variety of gumbos – seafood, chicken and sausage, and vegetarian. Red beans and rice, fried seafood, crawfish etouffee 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.
“As we continue to expand in the Carolinas, it’s critical to find the right franchise partners who are deeply passionate about the brand and are excited to promote our Cajun culture,” Raymond Griffin, Founder and CEO of The Lost Cajun, says. “This is why we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Steve into The Lost Cajun family. We’ve known each other for several years now and Steve is a hardworking individual who shares our culture and values. Our proven business model paired with a successful restaurant pro like Steve is a winning combination, and we’re confident his locations will thrive.”