Shaquille O’Neal-Owned Big Chicken Inks 20-Unit Development Deal in Eastern Michigan
Fast Casual Chicken Concept Expands in the Midwest with Seasoned Team of Operators to Bring First Locations to Michigan
DETROIT – Michigan, get ready for a taste of the BIG leagues!
Big Chicken, the star-powered fast casual chicken concept founded by legendary Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, announced today that seasoned restaurant operators behind H&D Group Investments have signed a franchise agreement to bring 20 locations to eastern Michigan, including Metro Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Flint, Saginaw and Mount Pleasant.
“Aside from its star-powered backing from Shaquille O’Neal, Big Chicken has a ‘wow’ factor that is rare to come by. I’ve had the privilege of trying a variety of menu offerings at different Big Chicken locations, and both the quality and flavor have been exceptional each time,” said a spokesperson from H&D Group Investments. “It was an easy decision to bring the concept to Michigan, and we’re excited to be a part of the brand’s rapid growth.”
Eager to introduce Michigan residents to BIG flavor, BIG food and BIG fun, H&D Group Investments is currently building out their first Big Chicken location in Clio. Located at 11476 North Linden Road, the restaurant is expected to open in early 2024.
The industry veterans with H&D Group Investments bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Big Chicken brand as successful operators of several full service restaurants in the region. Their proven track record at identifying niche and underserved locations provides the team with a strategic advantage as they actively seek out prime development sites to open their Big Chicken restaurants.
“The team at H&D Group Investments are exactly the type of experienced operators we’re looking to grow with at Big Chicken,” said CEO Josh Halpern. “They have an impressive track record of success in the highly competitive full service restaurant segment, and we’re thrilled to add them to our all-star team of franchisees as they introduce the first locations in Michigan and expand Big Chicken’s presence in the Midwest. Let’s GROW!”
The newest franchise agreement in eastern Michigan will add to the 300-plus locations in development nationwide for the brand. Big Chicken currently has locations open in Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Seattle; Houston; Gilbert, Arizona; Rosemont, Illinois and in the Dayton, Ohio region, as well as in metro-New York’s UBS Arena, The Comcast Center in Philadelphia, The Moody Center in Austin, ASU’s Mullett Arena, Palm Springs’ Acrisure Arena, St. Louis’s Busch Stadium, Kansas City International Airport and on three Carnival Cruise ships.
Along with O’Neal, the championship pedigree behind Big Chicken includes a pair of powerful ownership group partners, including:
- Authentic Brands (ABG), a brand development, marketing and entertainment company, which owns a portfolio of iconic and world-renowned brands including Sports Illustrated, Elvis Presley and Reebok.
- JRS Hospitality, Las Vegas’ leading restaurant group with a reputation for hosting top tier parties, private dining and corporate gatherings at its iconic venues such as Cabo Wabo, Alexxa’s, and Beer Park.
The franchise investment has been designed to align with successful, multi-unit investors who want to become part of Shaquille’s dream team. Restaurant experience — whether traditional or otherwise — is preferred, but not required. With significant interest from new owners, franchise investors will have the advantage to join a brand on the cusp of worldwide expansion.
To learn more about the Big Chicken franchise opportunity, visit www.bigchicken.com/franchise-information.
About Big Chicken
Founded in 2018, Big Chicken is backed by a dream team of partners; JRS Hospitality, an accomplished Las Vegas-based ownership group; Authentic Brands Group, a multi-national, multi-billion-dollar brand development, marketing and entertainment company; and Hall of Fame basketball star Shaquille O’Neal. Big Chicken fuses O’Neal’s home-cooked childhood favorites with today’s trending flavors. From crispy chicken sandwiches and tenders to Cheez-It® crusted mac n’ cheese and hand-crafted ice cream shakes, each menu item tells a story all while offering guests an inside look into the life and personality of Shaquille O’Neal. With ten traditional locations currently open and several in the development pipeline, Big Chicken is prepped to begin U.S. and international expansion through franchising.
To learn more about Big Chicken, visit www.bigchicken.com.
About Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the world’s most successful athlete-turned-businessmen, whose accomplishments both on and off the court have translated into a highly sought-after consumer brand. As an entrepreneur, sports analyst, DJ, restaurateur, and brand ambassador, Shaquille O’Neal’s signature “Business of Fun” mantra resonates throughout each of his countless endeavors.
The 15-time NBA All-Star’s unprecedented athletic career spanned nearly two decades and earned him countless awards and honors, including NBA Most Valuable Player, NBA Rookie of the Year, four NBA Championships and a First Ballot NBA Hall of Famer. Currently, O’Neal is an analyst on TNT’s Emmy Award-winning “Inside the NBA.”
O'Neal, who has a PhD in Leadership and Education, established The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation which provides resources for underserved youth. He also gives back through a number of annual philanthropic programs including Shaq to School, Shaqsgiving, and Shaq a Claus.
The launch of his Las Vegas eatery Big Chicken has further elevated Shaquille’s status as he has positioned himself as a successful restaurateur. The brand currently has sites open in Las Vegas, Glendale, CA, two Carnival Cruise Ships (Mardi Gras and Radiance), Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, UBS Arena in New York with many more locations under development.
About Authentic Brands Group
Authentic Brands Group (Authentic) is a global brand development, marketing and entertainment platform, which owns a portfolio of more than 40 iconic and world-renowned Lifestyle, Entertainment and Media brands. Headquartered in New York City, with offices around the world, Authentic connects strong brands with best-in-class partners and a global network of operators, distributors and retailers to build long-term value in the marketplace. Its brands have an expansive retail footprint, including more than 9,100-plus freestanding stores and shop-in-shops in more than 150 countries and generate approximately $24 billion in global annual retail sales.
Authentic is committed to transforming brands by delivering powerful storytelling, compelling content, innovative business models and immersive experiences. It creates and activates original marketing strategies to drive the success of its brands across all consumer touchpoints, platforms and emerging media. Authentic’s brand portfolio includes Marilyn Monroe®, Elvis Presley®, Muhammad Ali®, Shaquille O'Neal®, David Beckham®, Dr. J®, Greg Norman®, Neil Lane®, Thalia®, Sports Illustrated®, Reebok®, Eddie Bauer®, Spyder®, Volcom®, Airwalk®, Nautica®, Izod®, Brooks Brothers®, Barneys New York®, Judith Leiber®, Ted Baker®, Hervé Léger®, Frye®, Juicy Couture®, Vince Camuto®, Lucky Brand®, Aéropostale®, Forever 21®, Nine West®, Jones New York®, Tretorn®, Prince®, Van Heusen®, Arrow®, Hickey Freeman®, Hart Schaffner Marx® and Thomasville®.
For more information, visit authentic.com.