The New York Islanders new UBS Arena will sound the sirens loudly this November, and it’s not just because of a game-winning goal. There is a win everyone at the arena can celebrate, with the opening of Shaquille O’Neal-owned Big Chicken.
Opening before the end of this month in the highly anticipated $1.5 billion arena, which is next to the famed Belmont Park horse race track, Big Chicken will welcome Islanders fans as well as concertgoers and guests of a variety of events to be held there year-round. The restaurant will open later this month with the venue when it hosts its first event on Saturday, November 20th.
“We’re fortunate to partner with Oak View Group and Delaware North to bring our restaurant to the new home of the Islanders and to be part of Greater New York’s majestic live entertainment experience,” says Josh Halpern, CEO of Big Chicken. “And, I know people will go wild for the The Islander sandwich, which comes served on a Blue and Orange bagel from Blue Line Deli. Let’s go BIG, Islanders.”
This is Big Chicken’s second recent opening in one of America’s newly opened and widely celebrated sports and entertainment venues. The concept just opened in October at Seattle’s new Climate Pledge Arena offering Amazon’s Just Walk Out and Amazon One technology, making the product even more accessible to fans. Through the innovative technology, guests can insert their credit card at the location’s entry gates or hover their palm over an Amazon One device before entering. Plus, the Just Walk Out technology determines what they take from Big Chicken before charging customer credit cards.
Offerings at the new UBS Arena location include the Islander sandwich (fried chicken breast, ranch, cream cheese and pickles on a blue and orange colored plain bagel), the M.D.E. Chicken (Shaq Sauce, chicken breast and B&B Pickles) and Uncle Jerome (Nashville hot chicken, mayo and pickles), along with chicken tenders, fries, sodas, ice cream sandwiches and a BIG Cookie, which is the circumference of an NBA basketball.
The Big Chicken location at UBS Arena will be operated by Delaware North. As one of the world’s leading food service companies, it manages hospitality services at nearly 50 sports and entertainment venues worldwide and serves millions of guests each year in the sports, travel hospitality, restaurant and catering, lodging, gaming and specialty retail industries.
In addition to the UBS Arena and Seattle’s new Climate Pledge Arena, Big Chicken has locations open in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Carnival Cruise Ship Mardi Gras, and in Rochester, New York through a partnership with Ghost Kitchen Brands. With seven restaurants in the development pipeline including a location set to open in the Moody Center in Austin, the brand’s current franchise growth plans also include key U.S. metropolitan markets and select countries.
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.