The long awaited fast food chain officially opened on Oct. 23, adding more competition and variety to the network of eateries along Route 66.
On Wednesday, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers opened its doors officially at 855 E. Alosta Ave., Azusa. Customers waited outside the restaurant in a long line prior to the 9:00 a.m. opening. The anticipated opening comes as the fast food chain has been working to increase its presence around college campuses. The new location is the restaurant’s 20th in California.
To celebrate the new opening, The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported that customers entered a raffle for “Cane’s for a year” as early as 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The first 200 customers who purchased a combo in the dining room received a limited edition Azusa grand opening shirt and a coupon for a free box combo for their next visit.
The new location features a two-lane drive through making service more efficient to customers. It also has a brand new authentic “Raising Cane’s Route 66” sign that was custom made for the restaurant.
The restaurant features a metallic numeral one design element that represents the chain’s popular “One Love” slogan.
“We only serve one thing. We serve one thing very well,” said Mica Brandt, leader of marketing at Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. “Our ‘One Love’ is our quality chicken finger meals.”
The cooked-to-order chicken fingers are hand-marinated for 24 hours and are complemented with the chain’s own dipping sauce, crinkle cut fries, flat topped griddled Texas toast, hand-mixed coleslaw, lemonade and their signature sweet tea.
“We’re so excited to open here in Azusa. We opened our first restaurant in California four years ago, so four years later, we get to open our 20th California restaurant,” Brandt said. “And here in the beautiful city of Azusa that is so caring about the local businesses, we want to be part of the community. Not just here in the community, but a true partner with the community.”
In 2015, Raising Cane’s opened its first Southern California location in Costa Mesa and now has locations in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.
The privately owned chain was founded by Todd Graves in 1996 in Baton Rouge, La., and has since grown to a total 465 locations in 28 states and eight countries.
“Being in a spot where the next Raising Cane’s is 15 miles away and we have about 45 schools and groups that we can be part of within five miles of the restaurant is huge,” said Jerome Benevento, the restaurant’s general manager. “I’m very excited. One of the things I was looking forward to with coming to Azusa was being able to work with the community.”
The restaurant’s newest location brings an effortless amount of convenience to not only Azusa residents, but students at Azusa Pacific and Citrus College. It is situated directly behind the Jack-in-the Box restaurant, adjacent to University Village, the apartment complex owned by APU for upperclassmen.
“Raising Cane’s is raising standards for chicken fingers,” senior Caelin Nelson said. “I love that it is close in proximity to APU, but hopefully they won’t start accepting dining points because then I’ll really be in trouble!”
Other students said they were excited for the new location.
“I’m actually really excited because I’ve been going to the one in Upland forever,” said senior Gabe Guerra. “It’s been like a tradition for me and my friends to go over there and take the 30 minute trek, but now it’s like right here. I can wake up every morning and just go to Cane’s.”
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is the third fast food chain to open up along Route 66 this year coming after In-N-Out and Popeyes.