Business is booming at Shaq’s Big Chicken as franchise announces new location

Fast facts on Shaquille O’Neal.Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, O'Neal amassed a whopping 28,596 points throughout his career.O'Neal saw limited success on the big screen through his starring toles in "Blue Chips," "Kazaam," and "Steel.".O’Neal was a member of the U.S. Olympic basketball team that won a gold medal in 1996. He would go on to join the Los Angeles Lakers within the same year.The National Basketball Association has named O’Neal as one of the 50 greatest basketball players of all time

For NBA Hall of Famer and Atlanta resident Shaquille O’Neal, business is booming. Since retiring from a career of basketball greatness, O’Neal has set his sights on building a business empire. At the forefront of it all is Big Chicken, O’Neal’s most delicious venture.

Big Chicken is making its debut in Florida with a new Orlando location in late 2023, according to the Bradenton Herald. The restaurant already has locations in nine states, as well as on Carnival Cruise Line ships.

With a net worth of roughly $400 million, O’Neal has secured his place as one of the world’s wealthiest athletes. According to the NBA great, the success of Big Chicken — and his numerous other business ventures — comes down to a single trait: a hunger for learning.

“I just want to learn,” he told Inc. Magazine. “It’s very simple. When you talk to people smarter than you, it enhances your intelligence. I do things with people I like who are smart. It’s not complicated. I don’t know why people make it so complicated.”

“I’ve got a routine with this stuff,” O’Neal later added. “Any company I start or get involved with, I’ve got to have three things. First, I’ve got to have a real interest in the product. Second, it’s got to be something that I can see will help people. And, maybe most important, I’ve got to enjoy doing it.”

It’s a fact that Big Chicken CEO Josh Halpern can confirm. As the number one shareholder of Big Chicken, O’Neal’s personality can be felt all across the franchise.

“One of Shaquille’s top values is authenticity,” Halpern told Inc. Magazine. “He sought to create a concept that felt like him. He’s the number-one shareholder. You go into one of our stores, and it feels like him.”

“It’s about value and fun,” he later added. “Big Chicken is, at its core, what Shaq likes to eat. That’s the best chicken sandwich you’ll ever have, because it’s his mother’s recipe.”