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The Rise and Fall of Raising Cane's Chicken

(The Verge)  – Monmouth University students might notice something different as they enter the Student Center this year. The building’s food court went through a summer long reconstruction, with the biggest change being the opening of Jersey Mike’s Subs replacing Raising Cane’s Chicken, only a year after its opening.
It has been quite a roller coaster ride for the students of Monmouth University when it comes to what they want to eat. Last year saw the disappearance of Einstein Bagels and the opening of fast food chain Raising Cane’s Chicken, both decisions were met with more confusion then approval from the school’s students.
In a 2012 interview with The Outlook, Vice President of Student and Community Services Mary Anne Nagy explained that the reason she prompted the close of Einstein’s was due to the dwindling amount of Einstein franchises open outside of the University, which created the perception that the brand was unstable. When the decision to pull the plug on Einstein’s was completed, Ms. Nagy met with ARAMARK (The organization that supplies the university with food services) and decided that she wanted a new franchise in the student center. Originally, Nagy wanted a bigger name brand franchise to enter to enter the doors of Monmouth University, but controversy derailed that idea almost immediately.
“We wanted to bring in Chick-fil-A initially after hearing many students wanted chicken on campus, but this was at the same time there was a lot of controversy regarding Chick-fil-A’s stance on sexual orientation. Because we did not feel their position was not consistent with this community, we decided not to purse Chick-fil-A” said Nagy in a 2013 interview.
Upon hearing about the recent success of ARAMARK establishing a Raising Cane’s Chicken in Boston University, Nagy sampled the Louisiana based chicken chain’s food selection and soon discovered the chicken franchise she had been searching for. Unfortunately for Nagy, many of the Monmouth students did not completely agree with her sentiments in the long run.
“We initially had positive feedback from the staff and students but about a month or two in, many students said while they enjoyed the food, they could not eat it more than once a week or even more than once a month for that matter” said Nagy.

Raising Cane's, in its short stay on campus, is still missed by some, including Vice President Mary Anne Nagy. Image taken from:
Raising Cane’s, in its short stay on campus, is still missed by some, including Vice President Mary Anne Nagy. Image taken from:

Heading into the Fall 2013 semester, many changes to Monmouth University were set to be going into effect. Not only was the school going to be receiving a new president in Paul Brown, but also their Student Center cafeteria was going to receive a face-lift over the summer that saw many new options including a pasta bar, an updated salad bar and the opening of a new franchise in Jersey Mike’s Subs. Gone however, was the smell of fried chicken and secret sauce, as the space Raising Cane’s was occupying was now replaced by a relocated Grille Works.
Nagy explained “We knew the model was not going to be substantial and we terminated our contract with Raising Cane’s at the end of the Spring 2013 semester. We discussed it over with ARAMARK and we soon struck a deal with Jersey Mike’s.”
Since the opening of the sub shop this past September, the overall reaction has been positive. Students stated Jersey Mike’s offers many more options then Raising Cane’s did which is clear in the sales, as they are averaging 600 sandwiches sold a day, far beyond exceeding the school’s expectations.
“I feel like it was a loss, but a necessary loss” said Wes Textores, a Junior at Monmouth. “While I did love Raising Cane’s, I believe that adding Jersey Mike’s and moving Grille Works is better for students, as it’s healthier and allows (them) to have a more mobile food choice”.
In the end though, the person who is feeling the void of Raising Cane’s Chicken, is the same person who terminated their contract. That happens to be Nagy herself. “I miss it. Every now and then I get a craving for a chicken sandwich and I have to remind myself that it’s gone.”
Taking the chicken restaurant's place: Jersey Mike's Sub Shop, which since early September, is selling 600 sandwiches per day! Image taken from:
Taking the chicken restaurant’s place: Jersey Mike’s Sub Shop, which since early September, is selling 600 sandwiches per day! Image taken from: