JACKSON TWP.  There was a party going on at the Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers Grand Opening celebration the morning of Feb. 20. There was music, cheers from the Walsh University cheerleaders, giveaways, balloons and the chicken fingers that everyone in attendance was waiting to taste.

The Raising Cane’s eatery at 5455 Dressler Road in Jackson Township opened with a flurry of activities throughout the day. The line of people waiting for the opening at 10:30 a.m. wrapped around the building. The drive-thru lines were still wrapped around the building at 8 p.m. that evening.

Raising Cane’s Area Director J.B. Searcy said he’s been in the restaurant business for 22 years and has never seen an opening like the one held in Jackson.

"This is the best turnout for a grand opening that I’ve ever seen, we are happy to be here and looking forward to serving this community and to giving back to the community," Searcy said.

The Jackson Township location is the 24th Raising Cane’s restaurant in Ohio. Most are located in the Columbus area. The chain was started by Todd Graves in 1996 and named for his yellow Labrador, Raising Cane. It has been named as one of the top three quick service restaurant chains in the nation for 2017 by Sandelman & Associations Quick-Track Study.

The restaurant serves breaded chicken fingers, Texas toast, coleslaw, crinkle cut fries and the famous Cane’s dipping sauce. The eatery employs 90 crew members with five managers.

"Our chicken is fresh, never frozen. We use only the tenderloin part of the chicken. It’s marinated for a minimum of 24 hours and every single order is made fresh. We’re well known for our dipping sauce which is tangy with a bit of spice, it goes perfect with our chicken or great on anything," Searcy said.

Searcy said the company selected the Jackson Township/North Canton area for a number of reasons including, "It is rated as one of the most prosperous trade areas in northeast Ohio. The area has a wonderful reputation and has several supportive Chamber of Commerce organizations."

During the grand opening, General Manager Julia Sandor presented the Stark County Humane Society with a donation check of $1,000. Sandor said that several crew members had recently volunteered with the Humane Society helping to clean kennels and walk dogs.

"We were proud to pitch in at the shelter for our pre-opening service project to support the work they do for animals in the area," Sandor said.

Both Sandor and Searcy said the company is known for its community involvement and they are looking forward to partnering with other organizations in the future. Searcy said those interested in partnering can email him at jsearcy@rcolimited.com.

One of the highlights of the grand opening was twenty people receiving coupons for "Free Cane’s for a Year!" The restaurant’s managers and crew members pulled 20 names for a drawing for the free chicken.

Representatives from North Canton Chamber and the Canton Regional Chamber along with Canton City Council and North Canton City Council members, crew members and managers and vendors participated in a ribbon cutting before letting customers enter. Customers were cheered on by the Walsh cheerleaders as they entered.

The first customer in line was Tyler Bodenschatz, of North Canton. He was ushered to the counter to place his order and received a couple of gift baskets for being the first customer.

"I’ve eaten the chicken before mostly in the Columbus area and really like it so I’ve been waiting for this location to open," Bodenschatz said.

Raising Cane’s has more than 360 locations in 23 states, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. The company continually is recognized for its unique business model and customer satisfaction. The Jackson location is in the same plaza as PetSmart and Fresh Thyme. Diners can eat in or use the drive-thru for carryout.