5 things to know about Shaq’s Big Chicken restaurant

Big Chicken, a fast-casual chicken restaurant founded by NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, opened its first location in the Midwest last week at Austin Landing.

From crispy chicken sandwiches topped with mac and cheese and crispy fried onions to a “sidekick” side dish named after Shaq’s mother, the restaurant has it all. They even have a variety of shakes and ice cream sandwiches.

Here are five things you need to know:

1. Shaq’s order 🍗

According to Big Chicken CEO Josh Halpern, Shaq’s order typically consists of a couple of M.D.E sandwiches (a crispy chicken sandwich with Shaq sauce and pickles) and large Pineapple Cream Sodas.

“He has so much love for this place,” Halpern said. “If he’s in Ohio, he’s coming here.”

2. Big Chicken offers a cookie the circumference of a NBA basketball 🏀

Everything at Big Chicken is rooted in “big fun.”

From the big or bigger soft drinks to the larger than normal chicken breasts, you won’t go hungry at Big Chicken.

3. Menu was built by chefs 👨‍🍳

From a culinary standpoint, the menu is really well done, Halpern said.

The entire menu was built by two chefs who were friends with Shaq. Each menu item tells a story, offering guests an inside look into the life of Shaq.

4. Austin Landing location is the brand’s first franchise location 🍽

With the opening of the Austin Landing location, the Big Chicken team is celebrating a lot of firsts.

In addition to the restaurant being the first location in Ohio and the Midwest, it is the brand’s franchise.

“From the beginning, a major goal for Shaquille and the leadership team has been to give as many people as possible the opportunity to enjoy our menu and the Big Chicken experience. Franchising has given us a strategic pathway to make that happen,” Halpern said. “We will not stray from aligning with best-in-class franchise partners…operators who have the skills and desire to channel the brand essence that Shaquille designed with his co-founders Matt Silverman and Matt Piekarski. We have developed an incredible team of franchisees in our first year of franchising.”

5. More Big Chicken restaurants are coming to the Dayton area 🐓

The restaurant is looking at opening additional locations in Beavercreek and West Chester Twp. in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

The three locations are part of an agreement inked by franchisees Steve Christensen and Reid Richards and Ohio restaurateur Mike Craddick. Christensen and Richards met Craddick eight years ago through his ownership of several Five Guys and Another Broken Egg locations in Ohio.

The three initial locations are just the start, Craddick told this news outlet.

Big Chicken, located at 10655 Innovation Drive in Miami Twp., is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

Founded in 2018, Big Chicken is backed by O’Neal, along with multinational, multi-billion-dollar brand development, marketing and entertainment company Authentic Brands (ABG) and events and catering company JRS Hospitality.

For more information about Big Chicken, visit www.bigchicken.com or the restaurant’s Facebook page.

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