Big Chicken, the star-powered fast casual chicken concept founded by legendary Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, announced that seasoned restaurant operators behind H&D Group Investments have signed a franchise agreement to bring 20 locations to eastern Michigan, including Metro Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Flint, Saginaw and Mount Pleasant.

“Aside from its star-powered backing from Shaquille O’Neal, Big Chicken has a ‘wow’ factor that is rare to come by. I’ve had the privilege of trying a variety of menu offerings at different Big Chicken locations, and both the quality and flavor have been exceptional each time,” says a spokesperson from H&D Group Investments. “It was an easy decision to bring the concept to Michigan, and we’re excited to be a part of the brand’s rapid growth.”

Eager to introduce Michigan residents to BIG flavor, BIG food and BIG fun, H&D Group Investments is currently building out their first Big Chicken location in Clio. Located at 11476 North Linden Road, the restaurant is expected to open in early 2024.

The industry veterans with H&D Group Investments bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Big Chicken brand as successful operators of several full service restaurants in the region. Their proven track record at identifying niche and underserved locations provides the team with a strategic advantage as they actively seek out prime development sites to open their Big Chicken restaurants. 

“The team at H&D Group Investments are exactly the type of experienced operators we’re looking to grow with at Big Chicken,” says CEO Josh Halpern. “They have an impressive track record of success in the highly competitive full service restaurant segment, and we’re thrilled to add them to our all-star team of franchisees as they introduce the first locations in Michigan and expand Big Chicken’s presence in the Midwest. Let’s GROW!”

The newest franchise agreement in eastern Michigan will add to the 300-plus locations in development nationwide for the brand. Big Chicken currently has locations open in Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Seattle; Houston; Gilbert, Arizona; Rosemont, Illinois and in the Dayton, Ohio region, as well as in metro-New York’s UBS Arena, The Comcast Center in Philadelphia, The Moody Center in Austin, ASU’s Mullett Arena, Palm Springs’ Acrisure Arena, St. Louis’s Busch Stadium, Kansas City International Airport and on three Carnival Cruise ships. 

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 Reebok.
  • JRS Hospitality, Las Vegas’ leading restaurant group with a reputation for hosting top tier parties, private dining and corporate gatherings at its iconic venues such as Cabo Wabo, Alexxa’s, and Beer Park. 


The franchise investment has been designed to align with successful, multi-unit investors who want to become part of Shaquille’s dream team. Restaurant experience — whether traditional or otherwise — 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.

Fast Casual, Franchising, Growth, News, Big Chicken