Big Chicken, owned by NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, is reportedly making an entry into the San Antonio market. According to KSAT, restaurants in Alamo City are expected to open in 2023 or early 2024, as part of Big Chicken’s expansion into Texas, which will add about 50 locations across Austin, Dallas and Houston as well as San Antonio.
The expansion comes after a Texas franchise agreement was awarded to three people who plan to develop the 50 Big Chicken restaurants
Josh Halpern, the CEO of the fast-casual restaurant franchise, said the first restaurants will open later this year in Houston and then Austin. A kitchen in Austin’s Moody Center may also open this month.
“It’s going to take us just a few minutes here to get to San Antonio, but we’re really excited to come to the market,” Halpern said. “I know Shaquille has a deep personal connection to the market, and I’m sure he’s excited to get in San Antonio as well.”
According to Fox35, 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,” Fox 35 quoted a press statement from the restaurant group.
Currently, Big Chicken has a couple of locations open in the U.S. — Glendale, California and Las Vegas –and on two Carnival Cruise ships.
O’Neal first opened his restaurant in Las Vegas in 2018 after retiring from the NBA and later expanded to a location in Glendale, California.
CNBC reports that the NBA star has personalized his business. One of the sandwiches on the Big Chicken menu is called Uncle Jerome, named after O’Neal’s uncle. Charles Barkley is another offering on the menu named after the former professional basketball player and O’Neal’s broadcasting partner on “Inside the NBA.”