Big Chicken, the star-powered chicken concept founded by legendary basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, is breaking ground in Renton with its first signed lease in a multi-unit deal across the Seattle metropolitan area.
The first Greater Seattle opening is part of an expansive agreement that will bring Big Chicken to one of the country’s major cultural and commercial cities. A talented multi-brand owner/operator team is launching its first restaurant at 921-A N 10th Street in Renton Landing, a bustling upscale shopping, dining and entertainment hub, Big Chicken is delivering on its goal of expanding into highly-visited destination sites.
“The Seattle market is vibrant and full of diverse cities with growing foodie cultures, and Big Chicken has the boldness and quality to match that energy. The passion their team has for the brand radiates through the food’s creativity and flavor, and we knew it was something the Seattle market needed a taste of,” says David Jones, who together with his wife Lorri are successful operators of four Subways and their own eight-location concept Blazing Onion Handcrafted Burgers. “We saw the demand for Big Chicken in Climate Pledge Arena and are now excited to have a Brick and Mortar Presence. It’s an amazing start to our journey to make the brand a staple in Greater Seattle.”
Having spent nearly 25 years owning and operating restaurants, the Jones bring experience in both growing franchise brands and establishing a multi-unit business from the ground up. Prior to launching Blazing Onion Handcrafted Burgers, David held positions at other major national restaurant brands, including Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Panhandler Pies and Denny’s. Lorri earned her experience working as a controller at Red Hook Brewery, Eldec Aerospace and Philipps Warranty. The couple decided to expand their portfolio to three brands to diversify their offerings in Seattle, bringing more flavor and giving them major growth opportunities with Big Chicken.
“David and Lorri have the background and drive needed to establish Big Chicken’s presence in such an artistic, bustling city,” says Josh Halpern, CEO of Big Chicken. “They know exactly what foodies in Seattle need and have the capability to go above and beyond to exceed those demands. This is the start of a long tenure for Big Chicken in the Pacific Northwest and with David and Lorri in the driver’s seat, Seattle is about to get a BIG bite of something special.”
Since the announcement of Big Chicken’s franchising initiative just under one year ago, the brand has more than 150 locations in its development pipeline. Upcoming franchise expansion includes new restaurants in Illinois, California, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio, Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Tennessee. Big Chicken currently has an existing location open in Las Vegas along with restaurants in Los Angeles, Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, metro-New York’s UBS Arena, The Moody Center in Austin and on two Carnival Cruise ships.
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.