A leaner business model is helping RCO Limited branch out its Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers restaurants throughout central Ohio, with its sixth location slated to open in Hilliard next month.

A leaner business model is helping RCO Limited branch out its Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers restaurants throughout central Ohio, with its sixth location slated to open in Hilliard next month.

"This is specifically like our new Grove City location, the same prototype," said Tim McCarthy, who along with Roy Getz holds development rights in Ohio for the chain as partners in RCO Limited. "We have found this to be successful in terms of what we're going after, by reducing our footprint."

The Raising Cane's scheduled to open at 2550 Hilliard-Rome Road downsizes the restaurant compared to other central Ohio locations, from 3,500 square feet to 2,700 square feet. Instead of a mix of bench and table seating, the restaurant will include only tables for two that can be moved around the restaurant easily, McCarthy said.

"The reduction in size offers us a two-fold benefit - our energy costs for operating the restaurant go down, and also our carbon footprint is reduced," McCarthy said.

Scheduled to open on Oct. 19, the company looks to jump right into participating in the community, McCarthy added.

"What we typically do is a soft opening, and in tandem with that, we're going to be represented at the (Oct. 30 Hilliard-Davidson vs. Hilliard-Darby football) game and the (Oct. 16 Hilliard Bradley vs. Hayes High School) football game," McCarthy said. "We're going to feed the press box, throw stuff out into the crowd, and will be presenting checks to each of the schools themselves."

Founded in Baton Rouge, by Todd Graves and Craig Silvey in 1996, the chain offers fried chicken fingers as its only main course.

As of 2006, Raising Cane's has grown to including more than 50 locations throughout the United States.

McCarthy said that RCO Limited has had its eye on Hilliard ever since the company opened its first franchise five years ago.

"We've been looking in the Hilliard area for a suitable location since we opened in 2004," he said. "When we first started looking outside of our location on (the Ohio State University) campus, we knew that we wanted to be in the Hilliard area. It's a great, close-knit community, the type of area we definitely want to tie in with. It's a very active community in terms of getting its members involved, not only from a sports standpoint but on a lot of different levels."

The Raising Cane's Hilliard restaurant opens for business at 2550 Hilliard-Rome Road on Oct. 19.

lrice@thisweeknews.com