Big Chicken, the star-powered fast casual chicken concept founded by legendary Hall of Famer and New Jersey native, Shaquille O’Neal, announced today that accomplished entrepreneurs, Chad and Aditya Patel, have signed an agreement to bring six locations to New Jersey.

“Aditya and I are thrilled to be working with the team at Big Chicken,” says Chad regarding the agreement. “The whole team has been incredibly welcoming and supportive throughout the whole process. We both love the variety that Big Chicken offers, and how innovative the menu is. In the current “chicken sandwich war,” Big Chicken is a great contender – not just because of Shaquille, but because they know what they’re doing from the operations, all the way to food and customer service.”

Chad and Aditya both have extensive experience in the restaurant industry, managing several different teams of employees across their various restaurant endeavors. Chad spent many years running both quick service franchise locations, as well as traditional restaurants. Aditya has a similar background working with many multi-unit QSR franchises, and in addition, was also co-owner of a hospitality business. Their combined experience makes them ideal co-owners, who are more than capable in helping expand Big Chicken throughout New Jersey.

“Chad and Aditya are fantastic people to partner with,” adds Josh Halpern, CEO of Big Chicken. “With their experience, they’re the perfect pair to bring the brand to New Jersey and have BIG plans to do so. As a New Jersey resident myself, I am excited for them to open their first store so I can bring my kids and their friends to experience the BIG Flavor and BIG Fun of our BIG Food.”

The newest franchise agreement in the Middlesex County area will add to the 250-plus locations in development nationwide for the brand. Big Chicken currently has locations open in Las Vegas (Paradise Road and Tropicana Ave.); Los Angeles (Glendale and Valencia); Seattle; Houston; Gilbert, Arizona; and in the Dayton, Ohio region, as well as in metro-New York’s UBS Arena, 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 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.

Emerging Concepts, Fast Casual, Franchising, News, Big Chicken