Shaq Is Expanding His Fan-Favorite Chicken Eatery

Celebrities collaborating with fast food chains is something we've been seeing a lot of lately. The last couple years have brought us Timbiebs (the donut hole collab between singer Justin Bieber and fast food breakfast chain Tim Hortons), Dunkin' teaming up with TikToker Charli D'Amelio, and plenty of collabs with McDonald's and various musical artists like BTS, Travis Scott, Saweetie, and J Balvin, per The New York Times. The influence celebrities have on the food industry doesn't stop there. There are also many celebrities out there who actually own restaurants. Lifestyle maven Martha Stewart owns The Bedford in Las Vegas, rocker Jon Bon Jovi has Soul Kitchen in New Jersey, and Trejo's Tacos is owned by none other than Danny Trejo, to name a few (via People).

A relatively new fried chicken chain, Big Chicken was founded in 2018 by famous basketball player and Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal, with help from Authentic Brands Group and JRS Hospitality who partnered with O'Neal to bring his vision to life. Inspired by meals cooked at home during O'Neal's childhood, Big Chicken's menu includes options like crispy chicken tenders and sandwiches, ice cream shakes, and macaroni and cheese with a crunchy Cheez-It topping. The first Big Chicken opened in Las Vegas, and while the chain already has locations across multiple states, O'Neal has big plans for expansion in the coming years.

Big Chicken has plans to expand into other states

According to Big Chicken's Facebook, the chain's newest location will open on January 12, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada at 9595 W. Tropicana Ave. Before that, the most recent Big Chicken location to open was in Renton, Washington in December 2022, per Twitter. The chain shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. As of January 2023, Big Chicken has opened two locations in California and Washington and one location in Arizona, New York, and Texas, respectively, plus its first location in Vegas (via Big Chicken). The chain plans to expand into Illinois, Louisiana, and Missouri in 2023. Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, and Washington can all expect additional Big Chicken locations in the next year as well.

It doesn't stop there: O'Neal has plans to open at least 150 additional locations throughout the United States, including Florida, Idaho, Utah, and Oklahoma, according to QSR. Big Chicken is also featured on several Carnival cruise ships, including the Mardi Gras, the Celebration, and the Radiance, and is expected to also be featured on the Jubilee. If there's not a Big Chicken location in your state yet and you want to experience Shaq's restaurant, you can still enjoy it by ordering through Goldbelly and getting it shipped to your door. Chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches, and ice cream sandwiches are all available for online order.