Raising Canes expanded its chicken franchise to the Great Lakes state. In East Lansing, Michigan, the city enthusiastically welcomed the popular chain restaurant to its downtown area.
On Tuesday, Oct.18, Mayor Ron Bacon accompanied other city officials and Cane’s representatives in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event solidified the official opening of the first Raising Cane’s in Michigan.
According to the State News, Mayor Bacon was excited about the new restaurant and its future successes.
“We’re looking forward to having something in the space, [that] leads to more and more as we fill out our downtown,” Bacon said.
The restaurant is stationed right across from Michigan State University’s Union. A location that Raising Cane’s Regional Leader of Restaurants, Jenn Szewc, called strategic.
“There is so much enthusiasm and anticipation already among our East Lansing Caniacs, and I could not think of a better location to open than in the heart of MSU’s campus,” Szewc told the Lansing State Journal.
Julia Doyle, Head of Public Relations for Cane’s, was at the site the morning of the
opening. She shared with WILX News 10 that it was a student petition that suggested MSU would be a successful location.
“For our first Michigan restaurant, we really wanted to open big. These students…had a petition, they reached out to us, they said, bring Raising Cane’s to Michigan. When this site opened up here on campus, it was a no-brainer,” Doyle said.
When the restaurant announced they would be picking twenty lucky names from a raffle to win Cane’s free for a year, students took action. Starting that Monday, Oct.17, at 3:45 p.m., students began camping out to await their fate that following morning.
MSU senior Lily Cross was among the many students waiting in line. She shared that she joined the festivities at about 11:00 p.m. the night before the opening.
“About less than 20 of us at that point were waiting outside that entire evening, and then…people slowly started piling in…getting closer to 8:30 a.m.,” Cross said. “Then, at that point, the line was probably wrapped around the back towards the parking garage.”
Grand River businesses are not unfamiliar with massive crowds and long lines, especially on game days. City Council Member, Dana Watson, told WILX News 10 that they don’t track the earnings, but game days bring in a lot of money to the city.
“You know we had a downtime for a minute …[due to Covid-19] and it hurt the businesses, it hurt the area,” Watson said. “Now … people are here and in town you know ready to buy things, ready to have a good time and good memories.”
With the city’s economy now steady, the Cane’s opening puts a spotlight on East Lansing. As more traffic comes into the area, this could mean more money for the city and surrounding businesses.
“We talk a lot to the team about making history here and this restaurant is going to do that,” Szewcs said.
NAME & TITLE: Lily Cross, Senior, Journalism with a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation
NAME & TITLE: Ron Bacon, Mayor of East Lansing Michigan
Secondary source- State News
NAME & TITLE: Jenn Szewc, Raising Cane’s Regional Leader of Restaurants
Secondary source- State News, WWMT
NAME & TITLE: Julia Doyle
NAME & TITLE: Dana Watson, City council member
Secondary source- WILX 10 NewsSource: https://www.wilx.com/2022/10/15/msus-homecoming-brings-people-money-city/