Big Chicken, the star-powered chicken concept founded by legendary basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, is breaking ground in Houston with its first signed lease in a major multi-unit deal. 

Part of a 50-unit agreement across the state’s four largest metro areas – Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin – Big Chicken’s first Texas location in Houston is a major milestone in the brand’s Texas takeover. Located in Woodland Square at 9660 Westheimer Road #250 in the Mid-West area of Houston, Big Chicken is taking a BIG bite of one of the city’s most highly-trafficked shopping, dining and entertainment hubs just down the street from the Houston Galleria mall. 

“Our efforts over the last several months have all culminated in this exciting moment,” says Fazil Malik, co-owner of the new Houston restaurant alongside Frank Malik and Noordin Jhaver. “When seeking new opportunities, we knew we needed to partner with a brand that matched the vibrant spirit of Texas, and Shaquille O’Neal’s bold, colorful Big Chicken fit the bill. We’re thrilled to be debuting our first of many restaurants in Houston.” 

Behind the new location is a trio of highly accomplished multi-unit operators with experience in the retail, restaurant and convenience spaces. The Maliks make up two parts of the team, well-known for their operation of Northwest Petroleum (NWP), a gas station and convenience company, as well as Skylark Construction, a retail and restaurant development and construction company. Jhaver is the CEO of one of Texas’ most prominent restaurant and retail real-estate ownership companies, Dew Real Estate Holdings L.L.C., as well as a multi-unit operator of over 50 Sonic restaurants with 45 additional locations in development. A partnership 30 years in the making, the Maliks and Jhaver joined forces to bring BIG flavor and BIG fun with 50 Big Chicken locations in Texas. 

“This first lease kicks off our BIG growth plans for Big Chicken in Texas within four of the country’s largest cities,” says Josh Halpern, CEO of Big Chicken. “Fazil, Frank and Noordin have impressed us since our first meeting, and we are thrilled to celebrate this incredible milestone with them. With our proven growth strategy targeting top retail destinations across the nation alongside seasoned multi-unit operators, Big Chicken Texas is primed for massive success.” 

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, Tennessee 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. 

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, Growth, News, Big Chicken