Shaquille O’Neal is serving the great state of Texas his business — more like 50 of them.
The NBA legend and successful businessman announced that plans are in motion for him to open up to 50 of his fast-food franchise Big Chicken to various parts of Texas, including San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, and Houston.
In an interview with KSAT-TV, Josh Halpern, the CEO of Big Chicken, talked about how restaurants are expected to first appear in Houston and then Austin. Eventually, the fast-food chain will be in other cities like Antonio in 2023 or early 2024.
Big Chicken was founded back in 2018 and has continued to expand, having two brick-and-mortar locations in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and spots in arenas in Seattle and metro New York. There are also nontraditional spots sailing the seas on Carnival cruise ships Mardi Gras and Radiance. This is Big Chicken’s first time fusing into Texas’ fast-food market.
“Big Chicken is exactly the kind of brand that succeeds in Texas: pioneering and bold, yet rooted in delicious tradition,” Emily Williams Knight Ed.D., President and CEO of Texas Restaurant Association, said in a press release. “Our restaurant industry’s rich diversity is our greatest strength, and we’re absolutely thrilled that Shaquille O’Neal and the Big Chicken team are joining us. Welcome back home to Texas, Shaq.”
While O’Neal appreciated Big Chicken’s teams’ kind words in the press release, he also showed appreciation to other influential people, including fellow NBA legend Charles Barkley, his mother, and his uncle, by naming certain food items on the menu after them.
“Big Chicken wouldn’t be growing like it is without the team behind it,” O’Neal said. “My team has done a fantastic job making sure we’re growing in the right way, with the right people. Now, we’re going even BIGGER in Texas.”
The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association announced in a press release Thursday that they’ve signed an agreement with Big Chicken to grow the franchise into North Florida and Northwest Arkansas.