Shaquille O’Neal Owned Big Chicken Announces Plans to Expand to West Texas and Oklahoma
Successful Multi-Unit Franchisee Signs Agreement to Introduce Hit Fast-Casual Chicken Concept Into Several Markets
Big Chicken, the star-powered fast casual chicken concept founded by basketball Hall of Famer and celebrated entrepreneur Shaquille O’Neal, announced today that Coby Jones, an accomplished restaurant franchise investor with over 20 years of industry experience, has signed a multi-unit agreement to open six units across West Texas and Central Oklahoma.
“I’ve worked in restaurants for nearly my entire life, and Big Chicken is unmatched in its category. The way the concept has been developed from operations and innovation standpoints is truly amazing. The brand story, the leadership team and the menu are all clear differentiators. I am blown away,” said Jones, who prior to owning and operating restaurants held executive sales positions in the high-end wine industry. “Plus, to be in the same business family as Shaquille O’Neal means we instantly have fantastic credibility given his entrepreneurial successes.”
As one of the top franchisees in the Firehouse Subs system, Jones’ restaurant career began back in 1989 when he worked at a local restaurant group in Lubbock. After graduating from Texas Tech University, Jones moved to Atlanta and began working at Buckhead Life Restaurant Group as a beverage manager. From there, he spent time in the fine dining sector, working as a fine wines sales associate and state manager for brands like Fosters Wine Estates. Jones opened his first Firehouse Subs franchise in 2012 in his home Lubbock, Texas market, and has since expanded to 9 locations across West Texas and Oklahoma. He plans to leverage his experience in the industry and as a business owner as he expands Big Chicken in the Sooner and Lone Star States.
“Coby has quickly become one of my favorite people in the restaurant and franchise industries. When we met with him, we were immediately impressed with his experience, industry know-how, and his desire to partner with us to make our company as strong as possible.” said Big Chicken CEO Josh Halpern. “As we continue our targeted expansion across the country, Coby is exactly the kind of entrepreneur we’re looking to grow with. We look forward to supporting him as he introduces Big Chicken to West Texas and Oklahoma.”
In addition to the agreement with Jones, Big Chicken recently announced its upcoming franchise expansion into the Chicagoland, Metro Phoenix and Greater Los Angeles Markets. Current locations are also open in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, metro-New York’s UBS Arena and on two Carnival Cruise ships. Tailored for skilled restaurant owner/operator groups, like Jones, the franchise investment has been designed to align with successful, multi-unit investors who want to become part of Shaquille’s dream team.
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 Forever 21.
- JRS Hospitality, Las Vegas’ leading events and catering company with a reputation for hosting top tier parties, private dining and corporate gatherings at its iconic venues such as Cabo Wabo, Hexx, and Beer Park.
Ideal franchisees are multi-unit operators who trust and understand the established system Big Chicken has in place and have the capital to open several units. Restaurant experience — whether traditional or not — 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 two locations currently open and several in the development pipeline, Big Chicken is prepped to begin U.S. and international expansion through franchising.