Shaquille O’Neal to Open 56 Big Chicken Restaurants in North Texas

Shaquille O’Neal is the face of a growing chicken brand called Big Chicken. More than 50 restaurants are expected to open in Texas in the coming years, after a franchise agreement was made public in 2022.(Courtesy of Big Chicken)

Big Chicken, a fast-casual restaurant featuring the favorite foods of basketball player Shaquille O’Neal and his famous friends, is expected to make a towering entrance into Dallas and its suburbs starting in 2023.

As many as 56 Big Chicken restaurants are expected to open across Texas, in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin.

The news is particularly timely because O’Neal recently purchased a home in Collin County. So, are Dallas’ northern suburbs a focus for Big Chicken?

“I would be stunned if Plano was not in the cards,” says CEO Josh Halpern. He’s spent time looking in Plano, Frisco and Prosper, in addition to other areas in Texas. No leases have been signed in the 56-unit franchise deal, however.

Big Chicken started in 2018 in Las Vegas and experienced almost no growth during the first year of the pandemic, which was common during such an uncertain time.

Halpern joined the company in May 2021, when Big Chicken had just two shops open and six on the way. A year later, Halpern has plans to open more than 150 restaurants in the next five to six years.

“We don’t want to over-saturate a market, but we’re willing to make this as big as we possibly can,” he says. And then he jokes. (Or does he?) “If Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos want to talk, we’re happy to talk.”

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The Dallas Morning News, Sarah Blaskovich