Big Chicken, the star-powered fast casual chicken concept founded by legendary Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, announced that accomplished entrepreneur Jace Mattinson has signed an agreement to bring three locations to Killeen, Waco and College Station.

“With its rapid expansion, Big Chicken is making a major splash in the fast casual restaurant space, and I knew that now was the time to get in on the action,” says Mattinson. “It’s a fantastic brand with an awesome product, plus, the team is incredible to work with. I can’t wait to bring Big Chicken’s BIG flavors, BIG food and BIG fun to central and eastern Texas.” 

Mattinson is a seasoned franchise operator of Crumbl Cookies in Austin. Through his ownership, he has developed the experience and expertise to grow his portfolio with emerging fast casual concepts like Big Chicken. In addition to his background in the restaurant and franchise industries, Mattinson has also held executive financial roles with multiple companies, giving him crucial insight into managing the back-end of his Big Chicken business.  

“Jace’s success and background in franchise ownership with fast-growth emerging brands makes him the perfect fit for Big Chicken,” said Big Chicken CEO Josh Halpern. “We’re thrilled to expand the brand’s growing presence in Killeen, Waco and College Station. As always, let’s go BIG, Texas!”

The restaurants in Killeen, Waco and College Station will add to the 200-plus locations in development nationwide for the brand. Big Chicken currently has locations open in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Valencia, California and in the Dayton, Ohio region, as well as Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, metro-New York’s UBS Arena, The Moody Center in Austin, ASU’s Mullett Arena and on two Carnival Cruise ships. Tailored for skilled restaurant owner/operator groups, like Mattinson, the franchise investment has been designed to align with successful, multi-unit investors who want to become part of Shaquille’s dream team. 

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 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, Growth, News, Big Chicken