Monday, October 11 2021

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Most of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurants have a warehouse-style interior like this, a screenshot of a presentation at a Clovis planning committee meeting. The national chain is seeking authorization to open a store in Clovis.

Screenshot of the presentation of the Clovis Planning Commission

Update: Clovis City Council gave unanimous consent on Monday October 19 for Raising Cane’s to go ahead with the drive-thru it wants to build.

Popular national chain Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers wants to open a restaurant in Clovis.

If all goes according to plan, the company would build a new drive-through restaurant on the site of the now closed Pier 1 store, at the northwest corner of Shaw and Cole avenues. It’s next to Cool Hand Luke’s Steakhouse and across from Sierra Vista Mall.

The Pier 1 store has closed in recent weeks and all stores in the bankrupt chain are closing. Raising Cane’s would overthrow the building and construct a new building on the site.

Raising Cane’s is a quick service restaurant with around 500 locations nationwide that specialize in just one thing: chicken fingers.

You can get meals with two, three, four, or six chicken fingers. All come with fries, Texas toast and coleslaw.

You can also get three chicken fingers as a sandwich, but chicken fingers are the only dish on the menu.

Raising Cane is the name of the founder’s dog – a friendly yellow lab featured in the restaurant’s marketing.

The Baton Rouge-based company has applied for a drive-thru permit with the town of Clovis. Drive-thru is technically prohibited on this stretch of Shaw Avenue, so the restaurant must apply for a special permit. Several other restaurants have received such authorization in recent years.

The town planning commission recommended approval last week and city council will have the final say at its Oct. 19 meeting, said Ricky Caperton, senior town planner for the town of Clovis.

“It’s a relatively simple project,” he said. “I received no objection from anyone.”

More locations?

Rumors of the channel’s interest in the Fresno area have been swirling for months.

The company bought property in Hanford (southwest corner of 12th and Lacey avenues) and posted a job posting for a regional manager last winter. But he declined to tell The Bee about his plans for the area.

Raising Cane’s is expanding into California and possibly planning two more locations in the region, the company’s director of real estate development, Adam Caracci, said during his presentation at the Clovis planning committee meeting on the 24th. September.

It has about two dozen restaurants in the Los Angeles area and is moving north, he said. Two branches have recently opened in Bakersfield.

Clovis Restaurant

If approved by city council, the Clovis location would be approximately 3,300 square feet, less than half the size of the current Pier 1 building, noted Caperton.

Drive-thru would occupy much of the rest of the property. It would have two lanes with room for 20 cars – more than the city needs – which flow into one lane.

During peak lunch and dinner hours, workers walk to the cars, using tablets for customers to order and pay for food. The workers then send the food to the cars, meaning some cars won’t go past a pickup window at all, Caracci said.

“During peak hours, the menu board, payment window, and withdrawal window are out of date,” he said.

The average drive-thru time to serve customers, from ordering to delivering food, is one minute and 46 seconds, he said.

“We know you’re ordering chicken, so when you get into the batch, we put the chicken in the fryer and it’s served the moment you get up at the window,” he said.

The restaurant would employ 100 full-time and part-time people, including six to eight managers with “executive level” salaries.

Its hours of operation will likely be 9 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 3:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

This story was originally published October 1, 2020 4:05 pm.

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Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A journalist for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She graduated in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.


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