Company News

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers Opens 1st Area Store

BOARDMAN, Ohio – Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers today joins the already-competitive U.S. Route 224 restaurant environment.

The restaurant officially opens this morning following a week of in-store training, a ribbon cutting Tuesday night and other events.

The restaurant, 450 Boardman-Poland Road, is the first in the Mahoning Valley for Columbus-based franchisee Raising Cane’s Ohio. The franchisee, Raising Cane’s largest, opened its first Ohio store in 2004. According to Matt Salts, marketing director, the Boardman store makes 34 in the state and four in the northeastern Ohio region.

“Northeast Ohio is an expansion area for us,” he said. Last year, the franchisee opened its first northeastern Ohio store in Canton. 

“We are thrilled to bring Raising Cane’s One Love to everyone in the Youngstown area,” Eric Ongaro, president of Raising Cane’s Ohio, said in a statement announcing the opening. “I have no doubt that this team will do an excellent job at serving the local community.”

Today’s events include live entertainment and giveaways of T-shirts and a year’s supply of Raising Cane’s food.  

The restaurant is led by general manager David Fedor of Struthers, a Youngstown State University graduate who has 23 years of restaurant experience. Fedor said he believes there will be strong demand for the product.

The store, which seats 149 including patio seating, opens with 120 employees, Fedor said. That’s about 25 more than the usual opening number, Salts said, but Fedor asserted the anticipated demand warrants the higher number. 

“Obviously the area has quite a bit of people here. The trade area specifically is very well trafficked,” Salts said. 

Fedor describes the restaurant’s culture as “fun.” Hanging from the ceiling are three disco ball lights. 

“It’s exciting when you come in,” he said. “We have music inside, outside, in the kitchen, even in the restroom. … The crew can sing a little bit.” 

The interior also features “some cool culture pieces,” including photos and memorabilia for boxer Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, actor Ed O’Neill and former Cleveland Browns quarterback and Canfield native Bernie Kosar, Salts said.

“We do a lot of digging into the community. We figure out some cool historical points and things like that,” Fedor said.

In advance of today’s opening, the Boardman restaurant hosted a friends-and-family day on Monday and on Tuesday invited people from surrounding businesses for lunch before hosting area veterans, military personnel and police  in the evening, Fedor said.

Later this year, store openings are planned for Lakewood, Old Brooklyn and possibly Rocky River, Salts said. No other Mahoning Valley stores are confirmed as yet. “There’s nothing specifically on the books, but we’re always reviewing different areas,” Fedor said.

Pictured: David Fedor, manager of the Raising Cane’s restaurant in Boardman, is joined by employees Rebekah Omeara and Kaya Ratliff.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.