Raising Cane Will Delight DeKalb County Eaters

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If you like chicken, you will really like the newest DeKalb franchise Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. The City of DeKalb has given approval to the Raising Cane’s Corporation to tear down the currently closed Applebees (located in the Target’s’ shopping center area). According to City Manager Bill Nicklas, the final plans are on temporary hold until the city approves the required drive-thru section of the new building. Although the current Applebees building is structurally sound, the Raising Cane’s business model calls for a drive-thru which is a good part of each location’s revenue stream.

Joe Ross, the new General Manager of the recently opened Batavia’s Raising Cane’s invited local Businessman and Chair of the DeKalb EDC, Jeff Richardson and Entertainment Producer and Food Editor of the DeKalb County Online News Magazine Michael Embrey to attend the grand opening (in January) and sample the food at Raising Cane’s. “When I hear just chicken fingers I was not expecting much until I tried the main item,” said Richardson. “I was more than surprised with the quality and good taste of the chicken.”

“With more and more fast-food restaurants having deliveries (and that cost is increasing), the need for getting something fast is becoming more important,” said Embrey. “The original concept of fast-food has changed to immediate quality food and has helped specialty establishments like Raising Cane’s and Potbelly’s gain popularity. For our business model, having fast food establishments that would provide a quantity of food for large groups is important.”

Joe Ross and his family live in the DeKalb area and many people will remember him as the Food Manager of the Kishwaukee Country Club and General Manager of the local ‘Buffalo Wild Wings’.

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers (also called Raising Cane’s) is a fast-food restaurant chain specializing in chicken fingers founded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana by Todd Graves and Craig Silvey on August 26, 1996. The chain has over 460 domestic restaurants in 28 states.

How did the concept for ‘Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers’ begin? Todd Graves and Craig Silvey, who were enrolled in a business plan writing course at LSU (Louisiana State University) at the time, wrote the business plan and Silvey turned it in, for which Silvey received a “B -“. The class Professor felt the concept of the project lacked merit and why would anyone want to just sell chicken fingers. After graduation Graves and Silvey submitted the business plan for financial support and was rejected numerous times by potential investors. So Graves earned the needed money by working in refineries in California and fishing for sockeye salmon in Alaska. He and Silvey obtained an SBA loan which they used to open the first restaurant in Baton Rouge at the intersection of Highland Road and State Street near the LSU campus. This location was important as the Professor that gave them the “B -” would have to drive by that first location every day on his way to work.

The new DeKalb location should be ready by late fall. DeKalb continues to be on the radar for other restaurants and fast-food establishments.

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