Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in the U.S., opened its newest location to record crowds this week in Grove City, Ohio. The store, located at 1944 Stringtown Road, is the fifth Raising Cane’s in the greater Columbus, Ohio, area for franchise owners Tim McCarthy Jr. and Roy Getz.

“We had more than 50 guests lined up before we even opened our doors and served more than 1,600 customers on opening day,” McCarthy says. “We ended up hiring an off-duty police officer to help direct traffic.”

The huge crowds were the latest proof that the national Raising Cane’s chain, which has posted a six percent increase in same-store sales this year, is on a growth track with a very loyal customer base.

“Throughout the day, the drive-through lane was consistently wrapped around the building twice, but we made it worth guests’ while by giving them the best Chicken Fingers on Earth,” Getz says. “We couldn’t ask for a better welcome.”

The first Raising Cane’s restaurant, which opened on Aug. 26, 1996, in Baton Rouge, was such a hit that customers crowded in for chicken fingers until 3:30 a.m. To accommodate its massive fan base, the Grove City restaurant plans to extend its hours on Fridays and Saturdays until 3 a.m.–four hours later than the standard operating hours.

Raising Cane’s has been recognized for its innovative business model and commitment to quality with accolades such as being named to Restaurant Hospitality’s “Top 10 Growth Chains for 2008;” ranking second onRestaurant Business “Future’s Top 50 List; placing second in the country in the Sandelman & Associates’ Quick-Track Customer Satisfaction study; ” winning Nation’s Restaurant News 2003 “Hot Concepts Award;” and being listed among the “Top 100 Movers and Shakers” in Fast Casual magazine. The restaurant was also voted “Best New Restaurant” in Houston by the readers of the Houston Business Journal.