When your recently-fired employee shares the secret sauce on Twitter

Raising Cane's 3 Finger Combo

No, the secret sauce isn’t ketchup. Or is it?



The secret’s out in 140 characters

In Texas, there’s a professional football team that could fill an infirmary ward restaurant called Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. A local FOX affiliate reports here that a recently-fired employee promptly raised Cain (see what I did there?) by taking to Twitter and sharing the recipe for Raising Cane’s famous sauce recipe. According to the FOX report, social media did its thing and the tweet went viral, with thousands of retweets.

So much for the secret sauce.

[By the way, if you want the secret sauce recipe for The Employer Handbook, it’s equal parts nerd and Drakkar].

In a dose of damage control following the leak of the recipe, Raising Cane’s responded, “Nah uh.” “Did you know that only our Restaurant General Managers are told the secrets of our Cane’s Sauce? Now you know!” Another article (this one) indicates that what the former employee shared is not the secret sauce.

How do you stop a former employee for sharing your trade secrets on social media?

I’ve got a few basic tips:

  1. Protect your trade secrets. Make sure that you are taking prophylactic measures to make sure that information that is supposed to be confidential remains that way. A handbook provision is good. Training is good. A non-disclosure agreement is good.
  2. Label trade secrets and confidential information. That way employees don’t have to guess.
  3. Remind your employees not to share trade secrets and other confidential information.  Yeah, I know. That seems kinda, “duh.” But, you’d be surprised the number of companies that take this for granted.
  4. Limit access to confidential information. Confidential information should be shared only with those employees who need access. And make sure that those employees safeguard those trade secrets
  5. Have a plan for offboarding. Require that all confidential information (and copies) be returned. Remind soon-to-be former employees that they cannot share confidential information. Make them sign a document reaffirming their obligation to not to share.

Obviously, there’s no 100% solution. But, these steps will help.

Image Credit: Shoshanah


  • reaganite88

    Protect Your Trade Secrets… such as having the secret sauce blended at a central warehouse by people (or machines) that are absolutely loyal.

    Even better… have the ingredients transferred from their labeled containers to anonymous containers (labeled 1…2…3… etc.) at separate warehouses… and then delivered to the mixing warehouse where the ingredients are mixed according to a recipe that says Add X amount of Ingredient 1 to Y Amount of Ingredient 2 to Z amount of Ingredient 3…

    To quote the old Mafia saying… Three can keep a Secret if Two are Dead.

  • CJK5H

    Big deal. Everyone’s “secret sauce,” starting with 1000-island dressing, starts out with mayo and ketchup as a base. Cane’s real “secret” is their customer service and their high-quality, freshly-cooked food. They don’t even need to keep this recipe a secret because you can’t get the entire Cane’s experience at home and other restaurants don’t bother to train their employees like Cane’s does.