Big Chicken is coming to the state where everything’s bigger and better.
The fast casual chicken restaurant franchise that was founded by NBA Hall of Famer and celebrated entrepreneur Shaquille O’Neal recently announced that the brand will enter the Lone Star State’s four largest markets with a 50-unit development agreement.
“Big Chicken is exactly the kind of brand that succeeds in Texas: pioneering and bold, yet rooted in delicious tradition. 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,” Emily Knight, president and CEO of Texas Restaurant Association, said in a statement. “Welcome back home to Texas, Shaq.”
Bringing the brand to the Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio markets are a highly successful Texas-based owner/operator team.
Fazil Malik and Frank Malik of Northwest Petroleum (NWP) and Skylark Construction are behind the development and operation of numerous gas stations, convenience stores, retail establishments, and quick-serve and sit-down restaurants. Brand names in the companies’ portfolios include Shell, Phillips 66, 7-Eleven, Burger King and Denny’s.
Joining them is Noordin Jhaver, CEO of Dew Real Estate Holdings LLC, one of Texas’s most notable real estate ownership companies in the retail and restaurant space. Jhaver’s company owns and operates more than 50 Sonic restaurants and has another 45 in development.
The Maliks and Jhaver have known each other for almost 30 years. Now, their first joint venture will be opening 50 Big Chicken locations in Texas.
“Big Chicken wouldn’t be growing like it is without the team behind it,” said O’Neal. “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 and I’m excited to be teammates with Fazil, Frank and Noordin.”
Launched in Las Vegas in 2018, Big Chicken is backed by Las Vegas-based JRS Hospitality, multinational Authentic Brands Group, and, of course, O’Neal. The brand fuses O’Neal’s home-cooked childhood favorites with today’s trending flavors.
On the menu are items that offer guests a tasty inside look into the life and personality of O’Neal. There’s a variety of crispy chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, Cheez-It® crusted mac n’ cheese, hand-crafted ice cream shakes and more.