A fast food chain specializing in chicken fingers has filed suit against a shopping center in Hobart, according to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana. Louisiana-based Raising Cane’s alleges the defendants did not disclose that they had already granted McDonald’s the exclusive right to sell chicken products at the Crossings of Hobart before Raising Cane’s signed a long-term lease.
The lawsuit was filed against the Crossings of Hobart and the property owner, Ohio-based Schottenstein Property Group.
Raising Cane’s was planning to build a new restaurant at the site of a former TGI Friday’s across from Southlake Mall in Hobart. McDonald’s has a restaurant just a few blocks west of the location.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Dallas, Texas, where Raising Cane’s has a corporate office. Attorneys representing the defendants are seeking to have the case moved.
“Unbeknownst to Raising Cane’s, years before the lease was negotiated and executed, another tenant, McDonald’s, was given the exclusive right to sell chicken products at the shopping center,” Raising Cane’s attorneys said in the lawsuit. “Despite knowing that the entire business model of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is premised on the sale of chicken fingers, the defendants did not disclose this issue before the lease was executed. In fact, the defendants specifically represented to Raising Cane’s that there was no exclusivity right that would conflict with Raising Cane’s ability to operate its restaurant.”
The lawsuit says Raising Cane’s was not notified of the exclusivity conflict until nearly eight months later. The fast food chain by that time had spent more than $1 million to develop the restaurant, the publication said.
Raising Cane’s is seeking for the lease to be voided and to be repaid for the development expenses it has incurred.
You can read the full story from The Times of Northwest Indiana’s Joseph S. Pete by clicking here.
Raising Cane’s currently has locations in Avon, Bloomington, Mishawaka and West Lafayette. The chain has another location in Noblesville in the works.