Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, the limited menu chain that currently operates 547 locations in 29 states and four foreign countries, has selected R.J. Brunelli & Co. LLC to help guide its entry into key New Jersey and New York markets.
The Old Bridge-based retail real estate brokerage was named exclusive real estate representative for the chain in central and northern New Jersey, and Staten Island, N.Y.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this important, community-minded brand’s expansion into New Jersey and New York,” said R.J. Brunelli President/Principal Danielle Brunelli, who will lead an account team that also includes Ron DeLuca, Mario Brunelli, and Pete Nicholson.
“Our account team is seeking freestanding locations for company-owned restaurants at prime intersections along every major corridor in central and northern New Jersey, and Staten Island,” Brunelli continued. “Plans call for eight locations annually in our central and northern New Jersey markets alone.”
Raising Cane’s specifications for the metro New Jersey/New York market call for sites of 1 acre or more to accommodate a building of 3,500 to 4,000 square feet with a double drive-thru, and parking for 30 to 40 or more cars.
Site preferences include high visibility corner locations with signalized access on roads with a daily traffic count of at least 35,000. Locations should offer close proximity to universities, schools, major retail centers, office parks, major medical facilities, or high-density residential areas—all primed for daytime and nighttime dining.
Raising Cane’s story is one of resilience. Graves’ initial business plan for the concept was presented in a business course, where he promptly earned the lowest grade in the class. Undeterred, he donned a cheap suit and picked up a weathered briefcase to lure investors in, but time after time, was told the same thing: “Serving only chicken finger meals just won’t work.”
To make his dream a reality, Graves worked as a boilermaker in California and a Sockeye salmon fisherman in Alaska, to earn money to open the first location in Baton Rouge. He renovated the building himself and opened the doors in 1996.
“The company’s commitment to its employees and communities was personified during the current pandemic,” Brunelli noted. “They didn’t let go of one person during COVID and instead gave back to their communities, helping people get through the pandemic.”