Shaquille O’Neal-Owned Big Chicken Signs 50-Unit Franchise Agreement in Texas

by Katie Lee

Houston — Big Chicken, the fast-casual chicken restaurant franchise founded by basketball Hall of Famer and entrepreneur Shaquille O’Neal, plans to enter the four largest Texas markets. Through a multi-unit development agreement, a Texas-based team is bringing Big Chicken to Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin — four of the top 11 markets by population in the United States.

“Big Chicken is exactly the kind of brand that succeeds in Texas: pioneering and bold, yet rooted in delicious tradition. Our restaurant industry’s rich diversity is our greatest strength, and we’re absolutely thrilled that Shaquille O’Neal and the Big Chicken team are joining us,” says Emily Williams Knight Ed.D., president and CEO of Texas Restaurant Association. “Welcome back home to Texas, Shaq.”

One part of the team behind the Big Chicken Texas growth is the duo of Fazil Malik and Frank Malik. The Maliks are known for their successful gas station and convenience store operations company, Northwest Petroleum (NWP), and Skylark Construction, the highly respected construction company specializing in retail developments, gas stations, convenience stores, quick-serve and sit-down restaurants. The other partner involved in the franchise group is Noordin Jhaver, CEO of Dew Real Estate Holdings L.L.C., one of Texas’ most notable real estate ownership companies in the retail and restaurant space, and the owner/operator of more than 50 Sonic restaurants, with another 45 in development. The Maliks and Jhaver have known each other for almost 30 years. Now, their first joint venture will be opening 50 Big Chicken locations in Texas.

“It’s amazing that Noordin, Fazil, and Frank have chosen their first joint venture together to be with Big Chicken. They have been incredibly impressive and successful, and after several conversations and meetings with our team, it was clear that this was a perfect fit,” says Josh Halpern, CEO of Big Chicken.

“Big Chicken wouldn’t be growing like it is without the team behind it,” says O’Neal. “My team has done a fantastic job making sure we’re growing in the right way, with the right people. Now, we’re going even BIGGER in Texas and I’m excited to be teammates with Fazil, Frank and Noordin.”

In addition to the agreement with the Maliks and Jhaver, Big Chicken recently announced its upcoming franchise expansion into the West Texas, Central Oklahoma, Chicagoland, Arizona 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.

Founded in 2018, Big Chicken is backed by partners JRS Hospitality, an accomplished Las Vegas-based ownership group; Authentic Brands Group, a multinational, multi-billion-dollar brand development, marketing and entertainment company; and Hall of Fame basketball star Shaquille O’Neal. With two traditional locations currently open and several in the development pipeline, Big Chicken is prepped to begin U.S. and international expansion through franchising. For more information, visit



SOURCE: Big Chicken

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