Big Chicken, the star-powered fast casual chicken concept founded by Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, announced today that it has signed a franchise agreement with local restaurant owner Damon Kreizenbeck to open 6 new Big Chicken locations across northwest Nevada.
“I’ve been in the fast casual business for the last seven years and was looking for an opportunity to expand my portfolio,” says Kreizenbeck. “I knew from the moment I met with the Big Chicken team that this brand was the right fit – their combined experience is incredibly impressive, and they’re just good people who we’re excited to work with. We’re looking forward to expanding with the brand in its home state!”
Prior to business ownership, Kreizenbeck spent most of his professional life in the fine wine business where he owned a wine and spirit marketing company and a fine wine distributor. In 2015, he became a Firehouse Subs franchisee, opening his first location in his hometown of Carson City, Nevada with his father-in-law, Patrick Lindsay. Kreizenbeck’s father-in-law will also be involved in the Big Chicken business, as will his wife, Karin and their daughters, Hanna, Lindsay and Kyda. Having worked in the fast casual industry for the last seven years, they know that in order to be successful, you need good people, a good environment and most importantly, good food, and are confident they’ve found that in Big Chicken.
“Damon’s experience and knowledge of the market make him the perfect person to help us expand into northwest Nevada,” says Big Chicken CEO Josh Halpern. “He and I had similar backgrounds prior to coming into the Fast Casual world, which I think will propel our partnership. He has done a great job building his Firehouse Subs locations and now we’re thrilled to have Damon and his family join our team!”
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 and Nevada. 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. Tailored for skilled restaurant owner/operator groups, like Kreizenbeck, 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 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.